2nd Round of Court Documents Filed in Lake View Natural Dairy v. Minnesota Department of Agriculture

The Assistant State Attorney, Max Kieley, has filed the Minnesota Department Of Agriculture’s (MDA’s) Memorandum Of Support Of The Validity And Enforcement Of The Administrative Inspection Order (AIO), which is the second scheduled document required by the Court in the Lake View Natural Dairy v. MDA court case.  The MDA’s 27 page memorandum (with another 112 pages of exhibits, much of which has previously been linked to within this blog) is a response to the arguments put forth by LVND’s attorney, Zenas Baer, which was the first scheduled document.

Kieley relies on several state statutes that give the MDA their inspection and regulation authority.  However, those statutes themselves give exemptions to farms, some in part and some entirely.  For example Chapter 28a, known as “Minnesota Consolidated Food Licensing Law,” states:

28A.15 EXCLUSIONS. Subdivision 1. Licensing provisions applicability. The licensing provisions of sections 28A.01 to 28A.16 shall not apply to the following: Subd. 2. Sales by farmers; others not in food business. Persons selling the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by them, or to persons not regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling food and who prepare food only on order of and for sale directly to the ultimate consumer, or to educational, charitable or religious organizations not regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing, processing, or selling food at their established educational, charitable or religious institutions.

Another, Chapter 32 “Dairy Products,”  jurisdiction to inspect/regulate/license only applies if LVND can be defined as a “Dairy Plant.”  That definition, which Kieley argues applies to LVND, excludes a dairy farm:

Chapter 32.01, Subd. 6. Dairy plant. “Dairy plant” means any place where a dairy product is manufactured, processed, or handled and includes milk-receiving stations, creameries, cheese factories, condenseries, milk plants, transfer stations, cream stations, marketing organizations not operating dairy plants, but purchasing milk and cream directly from producers for resale, and other establishments, as those terms are used in this chapter and chapters 17, 27, 31, and 33; but does not include a dairy farm or an establishment where no dairy products are processed, but dairy products are sold at wholesale or retail only.

Kieley continues, with the MDA’s Memorandum, to explain why private farmers/gardeners have no state or federal constitutional protections to be free from state intrusion while privately associating with private men and women to exchange money for food.  The MDA is attempting to treat private farmers, private gardeners, private men and private women, associating in a direct private relation, to choose what they put on their dinner table; the same as they would a large industry dairy farm who sells to a creamery, who then bottles their milk and then sells it to many different retail stores for retail purchase.  These are two very different relations.  The first carrying protections of Intimate Association (Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 1984) and the second being rightly under jurisdiction of the MDA as a non-private retail sale with many different handlers of the product before reaching the end user.

I have linked to the court documents in this case so people interested may read and judge the validity of the arguments coming from both sides.  I hope that readers will consider attending the next court hearing, “Court Date: Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 at 10:00 AM for Lake View Natural Dairy v. MDA.”

There is one scheduled document to be filed yet by LVND’s attorney, Zenas Baer, which will be posted soon after it’s Tuesday, September 9th filing date.  This document will respond to the MDA’s arguments.  Stay tuned, it is an incredible amount of information to sift through, but our personal liberty is more than worth this effort.  Thank you.