There has been a new twist to the Farmers Discrimination cases. On April 4, the Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association, Inc. (“BFAA”) filed a Motion to Intervene in the female and Hispanic farmer discrimination cases.
Last week, the BFAA requested the Court to allow its members to participate in the USDA’s Administrative Claims process set up for female and Hispanic farmer. Unlike the Black Farmers or Indian Farmers discrimination cases, the female and Hispanic farmers cases were not certified as class actions. Those latter cases included an Administrative Claims process where female or Hispanic farmers could make a claim for up to $250,000.
The BFAA claims that its members should also be allowed to participate in the USDA’s Administrative Claims Process.
The BFAA argues that it should be allowed to intervene in the female and Hispanic farmer cases as a matter of right because (1) it has a recognized interest in the subject matter of the litigation; (2) the interest might be impaired by the disposition of the case; and (3) the interest will not be adequately protected by the existing parties. The BFAA’s legal arguments are fairly thin.
However, the BFAA also argues that even if it does not have the ability to intervene as a matter of right, the Court can allow it to intervene as part of the Court’s discretionary power. It is not clear how female or Hispanic farmers could be affected by this move.
If the Court allows the intervention, black farmers who missed the May 11, 2012 might still be able to participate in the Administrative Claims process and file a claim for up to $250,000.