NFDM Case Dismissed
In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, on February 8, 2010, Judge Anthony W. Ishii dismissed the nonfat dry milk prices misreporting case against DairyAmerica and California Dairies, Inc.
Americans are brought up and taught to believe that America has the best judicial system in the entire world. At best that is only a half truth. The best part of our legal system goes back to Anglo-Saxon England with concepts of "innocent until proven guilty." Much of the rest of the legal system is the legal equivalent of biological inbreeding. Prior cases are cited to determine present results.
The case was dismissed on the basis of, "filed rate doctrine." Filed rate doctrine is actually caselaw which goes back to the early 1900s in cases involving trolley car fare. The trolley car might be privately owned, but the fare was actually set by government.
Judge Ishii begins his decision with “This is a putative class action in diversity arising from the alleged misreporting of pricing data by Defendants Dairy America, Inc., (“Dairy America”) and California Dairies, Inc. (“California Dairies”) (collectively “Defendants”) which resulted in depressed prices paid to plaintiffs for raw milk during the period between January 1, 2002, through April 30, 2007. This case is the lead case of four cases that were consolidated by an order filed on May 29, 2009.” There are four farmers acting as plaintiffs.
Speaking of the filed rate doctrine the judge wrote, “The doctrine is closely related to principles of federal preemption in that it bars “challenges under state law and federal antitrust laws to rates set by federal agencies.”
“The duty and authority of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (hereinafter, the “Secretary”) to determine and enforce minimum prices for milk and milk products arises from the enforcement provisions of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, 7 U.S.C. § 601 et seq.” The Judge wrote.
Think about it. On the one hand we have one branch of government, USDA, claiming that farm milk prices are determined by the market. On the other hand, we have another branch of government, the judicial system saying, farm milk prices are determined by USDA.
We cannot have it both ways for very long.