Further legal wrangling in Minnesota over the Alvin Schlangen raw milk case

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

“First, the  judge in the administrative case launched by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture against Alvin Schlangen put a hold on the agency’s  attempt to  score a quick legal victory  against the farmer. The MDA fileda motion in a state administrative court for summary disposition against Schlangen, growing out of MDA administrative hearings earlier this year in which Schlangen was declared in violation of Minnsesota dairy and food licensing regulations by distributing food to members of his food club.

As part of these latest proceedings, the MDA (via the Minnesota Attorney General) asked the judge in the  case to rule in its favor because Schlangen hadn’t filed the  requisite responses in the agency’s administrative case earlier this year by the required deadlines. Schlangen’s FTCLDF lawyer, Nathan Hansen, argued that the farmer didn’t have  proper legal  representation to handle the paperwork. Several days ago, the judge denied the MDA’s request to penalize Schlangen for being late in filing his papers, and asked some pointed questions of the MDA.

So now  the judge has  to rule on what to do next–whether to grant the MDA’s request to rule in its favor or hold a hearing– and once he gets into  the meat of it, as it were, via a hearing he may wonder about the MDA’s failure to reveal the shortcomings of its  undercover officer who supposedly purchased products from Schlangen, but didn’t actually pay for  them  or obtain delivery (as described in my recent post). In a memorandum accompanying his denial of the request to penalize Schlangen, the judge,  Manuel Cervantes, indicated his irritation with, and maybe even mistrust about, the MDA’s approach, when he inquired, “…was the Erickson (undercover  agent) transaction  a sale? If  not,  what additional evidence of food sales by Respondent (Schlangen) does the current record contain…?”…”

Read more on The Complete Patient blog.

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