Welcome to the Informational Website for In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation
Welcome to the informational website for In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, 08-mc-0511 (D.D.C.), also known as "the Black Farmers case" or Pigford II. This website is provided to Plaintiffs in this case pursuant to the order of Judge Paul L. Friedman on December 23, 2008. It is designed to provide you with basic background information about this case, and what rights you may have. This website does not provide legal advice. For legal advice, we encourage you to contact one of the law firms representing clients in this matter. This website will be updated as this case progresses.
December 8, 2010 UPDATE:
On December 8, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which provided an additional $1.15 billion (additional to the $100 million already provided in the 2008 Farm Bill) to fund a Settlement Agreement reached by counsel for the black farmers and counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on February 18, 2010. To read the relevant text of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, click here.
There are a number of steps that will need to take place before any of the Settlement funds can be paid to successful claimants. These steps are explained in more detail in the “What Comes Next?” section of this website. Because the Settlement requires Court approval, the first step in the process is the filing of a motion asking the Court to grant preliminary approval of the Settlement. Counsel for the black farmers and counsel for USDA will be working to finalize and file that motion early in 2011. If the Court gives preliminary approval to the Settlement, notice materials will be sent out to potential class members. For more information on the Settlement Agreement, click here. For more information on the estimated timeline for payments and Settlement approval, click here.
Important note: No payments can be made to any claimants under the Settlement until all claims have been determined. That means that it could be 2-3 years before successful claimants receive any payments. Please be patient.
The Settlement applies only to African-American farmers who meet specific eligibility requirements, including the requirement that they previously submitted a request to file a claim under the 1999 settlement in the Pigford class action. A list of these eligibility requirements is in the “The Settlement Agreement” section of this website. If you believe that you may meet these eligibility requirements, we encourage you to click here and call us to provide your name and contact information so that you can be contacted directly after the Court preliminarily approves the Settlement. Beyond providing this information, no further action by you is necessary at this time. However, after the Settlement is finally approved, you will need to file a Claim Package in order to be eligible to recieve a payment or USDA loan forgiveness. If you are represented by a lawyer or law firm already, your firm will contact you with additional information on how and when to file a claim. Or, you can check back to this site for case updates and additional information on how to file a claim as those details become available.
Please note: You do not need to pay money to any individual, farm advocacy group, or law firm to participate in the Settlement. Paying money to an individual or group will not "reserve your spot" in the case, it will not increase your chance of success, and you will not receive a faster recovery.
For additional information about this case, call this toll-free phone number – (866) 950-5547.