Horne, et al. v. United States Department of Agriculture, 186 L. Ed. 2d 69 (U.S. Sup. Ct. 2013)

(plaintiffs are raisins growers against with the USDA brought administrative proceedings alleging that plaintiffs were subject to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (AMAA) which regulates “processors, associations of producers, and others engaged in the handling” of certain agricultural commodities by subjected, in this case, plaintiffs to the California Raisin Marketing Order which established a Raisins Administrative Committee which sets up reserves pools that keep a percentage of raisins (approximately one-third to one-half of plaintiffs’ crop in particular years without compensating plaintiffs) off the domestic market and imposes an assessment on “handlers” to cover the RAC’s administrative costs; plaintiffs were subjected to six figure fines for non-compliance with marketing order; plaintiffs claimed they were producers and not “handlers” and were, therefore, not subject to the AMAA; plaintiffs also claimed that the Order violated plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment rights against the taking of private property without just compensation; USDA determined that plaintiffs were handlers and rejected takings defense; trial court affirmed USDA administrative decision and granted USDA summary judgment; on appeal, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed on the “handler” issue, but determined that only U.S. Court of Federal Claims had jurisdiction on takings issue; on further review, U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed; plaintiffs were subject to final USDA order that imposed fines and penalties and AMAA provides comprehensive scheme for remedies that provides jurisdiction to appellate court rather than Court of Federal Claims; takings claims can be raised during administrative process and Congress removed jurisdiction from Court of Federal Claims in such situations; Ninth Circuit decision reversed and case remanded).

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