Terminating the Tolling of the Statute of Limitations
First, let’s break this phrase down into three parts — starting backwards:
1. Statute of Limitations:
a. The legal time limit in which a plaintiff can sue a defendant— two years in this case.
b. Two years was the time period that Black farmers could have sued USDA for racial discrimination against them after they filed a complaint against USDA in Federal Court in August of 1997.
c. Therefore, the Black farmers (Pigford et al.) would have only been able to go back to “acts of discrimination” to August of 1995. This would not have allowed them an opportunity to sue for wrong doing in the early eighties and nineties. So, Congress passed an Act called the “Tolling of the Statute of Limitations”, herein below at footnote 1 (Judge Friedman’s Opinion in Pigford I at Page 9).
¹The law that USDA violated was called (“ECOA”) The Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, as amended. This law had a two year limitations period. See also, Judge Friedman’s Opinion (Pigford I) at Page 9 (“…If the farmer waited for the USDA to respond to his discrimination complaint and did not file an action in court until he discovered in 1997 that the USDA had stopped responding to discrimination complaints, the government would argue that any claim under ECOA was barred by the statute of limitations. In 1998, Congress provided relief to plaintiffs with respect to the statute of limitations problem by passing legislation that tolls the statute of limitations for all those who filed discrimination complaints with the Department of Agriculture before July 1, 1997, and who allege discrimination at any time during the period beginning on January 1, 1981 and ending on or before December 31, 1996. See Agricultural, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub. L. No. 105-277, § 741, 112 Stat. 2681 (codified at 7 U.S.C. § 2297, Notes).” This Section (§741) of the Act is also known as the “Waiver of the statute of limitations”.
2. Tolling the Statute of Limitations:
Congress passed and the then President, Bill Clinton signed into law an Act of congress allowing the Federal Courts to “Toll” (stop, stay and roll back to a predetermine time) the statute of limitations back to January 1, 1981 through December 31, 2000. That is to say: any wrong doing (racial discrimination by USDA) against Black farmers et al. could be filed against USDA — not two year from August of 1997, but back to January 1, of 1981 (some 14 years).
3. Terminating the Tolling of the Statute of Limitations:
a. Here, the Defendants, USDA and Tom Vilsack its Secretary, have asked the Federal Courts to do, among other things, (1) “Terminate” (reverse the tolling —move forward again), (2) give his agency closure from being sued by any new claimants and (3) have a final accounting of what the lawsuits (Pigford I, In re Black farmers, Keepseagle et al., Garcia et al., and Love et al.) have cost his agency and the tax payers — to date.
b. However, all of the attorneys representing the Hispanic and Female Farmers and Ranchers have filed Responses to USDA’s Motion — asking the Appeals Court NOT to allow the Motion to Terminate the Tolling of the Statute of Limitations. And, you guessed it, the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, Inc. (BFAA, Inc.) has also filed a Response to USDA’s Motion — asking the Courts NOT to grant the Motion to Terminate.
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.
Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
Joshua 10:13 KJV