Property Owner Entitled to Pursue Only Unjust Enrichment Claim Against Former Property Owner Who Improperly Received CRP Payments.

The defendant enrolled land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and received CRP payments from the USDA until 1998, when the defendant sold the property to another party. In exchange for the CRP payments, the USDA required the defendant to plant hardwood trees on the property.  The defendant did not plant the trees. The plaintiff purchased the property in 2001, and continued to participate in the CRP program. When the plaintiff attempted to sell the property in 2009, it discovered that the defendant had not planted the promised trees and that the USDA was investigating. The USDA required the plaintiff to repay all CRP payments made on the property since 1998, even those made to prior owners. The plaintiff filed an administrative appeal, but the USDA upheld the decision. The plaintiff then filed its action seeking relief from the defendant and judicial review of the USDA’s decision. The court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss all claims by the unjust enrichment claim on the grounds that they were barred by the statute of limitations. The plaintiff did not fail to join a necessary party. Welsh Farms, LLC v. United States Dep't of Agric., No. 3:12CV410 DPJ-FKB, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51915 (S.D. Miss. Apr. 15, 2014).

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