Jim Hood — Mississippi Attorney General
On Monday, January 13, 2014, the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, Incorporated, a Delaware corporation, filed, by and through its attorneys, an Amended Complaint (Second Amended) and other documents against several defendants to include, but not limited to, Jim Hood, Attorney General, State of Mississippi (and Alabama’s AG) for, among other things, violation of its constitutional rights under the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. Section(s) 1981, 1982 and 1983 and the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.
The original lawsuit was filed on December 5, 2013, in the United States District Court For The Southern District of Mississippi — Jackson Division, Civil Acton No., 3:13-cv-763 (TSL-JMR).
Moreover, BFAA, Inc. alleges that Mr. Hood and others have engaged in an unlawful confederation and plot to discredit, defame, and slander BFAA, Inc. and its President, Thomas Burrell, under the pretext and guise of an official WARNING for the benefit of the citizens of their states.
These self-serving warnings and accusations of scamming and defrauding behavior by BFAA, Inc. against citizens of Mississippi and Alabama were done for the sole purpose of keeping BFAA, Inc from assisting the 43,000 or more claimants who were denied a $50,000.00 payment by USDA in September and October of 2013. Many of the denied claimants live in Mississippi and Alabama and the lawsuit alleges that this concerted action was calculated and intended to harm BFAA, Inc. and its members.
Luther Strange — Alabama Attorney General
A. Luther Strange (individually), Attorney General, AL
B. Attorney Hank Sanders of Selma, AL
C. Congresswoman Terri Sewell (individually) of the 7th U.S. Congressional District of Alabama,
D. Gary Grant of Tillery, North Carolina
E. WDAM TV Channel 7 of Hattiesburg, MS
F. Mayor Johnny Dupree of Hattiesburg, MS
G. City of Hattiesburg, MS Police Department
H. City of Dothan, AL Police Department and
I. Certain banks and financial institutions
BFAA, Inc.’s Position and Arguments
During the months of October and November of 2013, BFAA, Inc. conducted several meetings and workshops in the states of Mississippi and Alabama. Several thousand individuals showed up. These meetings were for the benefit of the thousands of Black farmers, their heirs and administrators who were both claimants and potential claimants in the lawsuit styled: In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation (Pigford II) and claimants and potential claimants in the voluntary claims process styled: Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Process (Garcia et al).
Notwithstanding the fact that jurisdiction over the Black farmers’ lawsuits was given to the Federal District Court For the District of Columbia (Washington, DC.) (Judge(s) Friedman, Sullivan and Walton) — not to attorney generals and/or local politicians — these actors took it upon themselves to determine what subject matter BFAA, Inc. and its members could discuss at public and private facilities within their states. These actors and their willing aiders and abettors were at best interfering upon BFAA, Inc.’s First Amendment rights and more specifically, obstructing justice.
Astonishingly, several residents in Mississippi have informed BFAA, Inc. that the attorney general there instructed certain banks and other financial institutions, “not to honor any checks written by them for membership dues to BFAA, Inc.” Some banks did indeed refuse to make the checks good until the members came into the bank branches and acknowledged that they did indeed want to become a member of BFAA, Inc.
BFAA, Inc. and its members have the right to meet and discuss the dynamics of these lawsuits whether they are closed or not. The endeavor to advocate the government for regress of grievances, while assembled peaceably, are basic constitutional rights that no state can abridge. The above mentioned defendants took the occasion to interfere, hinder and prevent these claimants from contracting, by making false and defamatory (slanderous) remarks against BFAA, Inc. and its President, Thomas Burrell.
Moreover, in spite of the well – known fact by certain defendants (Attorney Hank Sanders) that BFAA, Inc. had filed a Motion To Intervene (Fed. Rule of Civil Procedure No. 24 (a) and (b)) in Judge Walton’s Court — no weight or hesitation in favor of determining the status of our standing in these matters was considered. They proceeded to defame BFAA, Inc. by making knowingly false and misleading statements to the public.
At any rate, “Too many Black farmers and their heirs who need our help have not been paid. We will not stop holding meetings and advocating lawful ends until all of BFAA, Inc. members have been compensated.” –Thomas Burrell.
To view lawsuit document in its entirety, click HERE.