Black Farmer Discrimination Litigation Settlement

May 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm

After a few extensions, May 11, 2012 is the last day for minority farmers and their heirs to join in the class action civil rights lawsuit settlement.  The original case, Pigford v. Glickman, was settled in 1999.   It alleged that the United States Department of Agriculture was racially discriminating against black farmers in allocating farm loans and assistance between 1981 and 1996.  The consent decree list the class as individuals who:

  1. Are African American
  2. Was farming between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1996
  3. Applied to participate in a federal farm credit or benefit program
  4. Believed they were discriminated against by USDA on the basis of race AND
  5. Filed a discrimination complaint against the USDA on or before July 1, 1997.

While the original class action had a deadline of Oct. 12, 1999, there were disputes about whether all class members were sufficiently and accurately notified of the proceedings.  Many farmers filed to participate in the settlement after the initial deadline due to confusion over the process.  The 2008 Farm bill allowed for late applicants to still pursue claims, and President Obama designated $1.2 billion to fund the new settlement in 2010.

For more information on the settlement, or if you think you may qualify, please see the informational website for In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation Settlement.  The class counsel is also available May 11, 2012 on a first come, first serve basis at the Sheraton Imperial hotel at 4700 Emperor Blvd. in Durham, NC.

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Entry filed under: Farm Lending.

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