Deadline to file claim in Black Farmers Discrimination Lawsuit approaching - help offered | News
Federation to hold final outreach conference call on Pigford II Black Farmers Discrimination Case claims process
On Tuesday, May 8, 2012, starting at 8:30 PM the Federation of Southern Cooperatives will hold a final outreach conference call to alert Black farmers and their heirs to the Friday, May 11, 2012 deadline in the claims process in the Pigford II Black Farmers Class Action Discrimination Lawsuit against the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The call in numbers for the call are: 805/399-1000 with access code 764041.
After distributing over $1 billion to Black farmers in the Pigford I settlement from 1999 to 2000, Black farm organizations continued to fight for the 65,000 late claimants whose claims were never reviewed on their merits in the first case. In the 2008 Farm Bill, with the help of the Congressional Black Caucus, a legislative and legal path was created for the initiation of Pigford II to settle late claims and late-late claims in the case.
In 2010, at the urging of the Obama Administration, the Congress in its lame duck session appropriated $1.25 billion for the settlement of the Pigford II case. After a fairness hearing in October 2012, Federal District Judge Paul Friedman approved the settlement agreement in Pigford II. A 180-day claims period began on November 14, 2011, which ends on this Friday, May 11, 2012.
The Federation and other members of the Network of Black Farm Organizations and Advocates has been working feverishly to reach out to all potential late claimants to make sure no one who is eligible and qualified for the settlement is left behind.
Black farmers and their heirs, who filed a late claim between October 13, 1999 and June 18, 2008, are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in this settlement. The Pigford II Claims Administrator in Portland, Oregon, who can be reached at 877-810-8110, has a list of all the eligible participants and can provide them with a bar-coded claims form. The website: www.blackfarmerclaims.com also has more information on the details of the settlement and claims process.
In the conference call on Tuesday evening, John Zippert, Director of Program Operations for the Federation and others will give more information to assist Black farmers and their heirs to participate in the case. The call is open to Black farmers, advocates, church and human rights organizations with an interest in the case. Time will be allotted at the end of the call for any questions people may have on the case.
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is a regional service, resource and advocacy organization for 20,000 low-income families organized in more than 100 cooperatives, credit unions and self-help organizations across the rural South. More information is available at www.federation.coop or at 800/503-5678.
For more information on the conference call, contact:
Stanley Moore: 205/335-0056
John Zippert: 205/652-9676 or 205/657-0273
Information Source: Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund