“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…?”…”