BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, will host an update meeting on the black farmers lawsuit next week at Tuskegee University.
Included as part of the landmark Farm Bill, which recently passed the U.S. Congress with overwhelming bi-partisan support, is a provision allowing plaintiffs in the Pigford settlement (the black farmers lawsuit) to re-submit their claims in federal court if they were denied as late filers.
Davis will lead a panel of experts in a conversation conducted to inform individuals and families about the new Pigford provision during the session, which will be held at 10 a.m. CDT at the Kellogg Center on the Tuskegee University campus.
Davis was the principal sponsor of the original legislation to re-open the Pigford case. The congressman wants to arm individuals with the most up-to-date information so that plaintiffs may protect themselves against fraud and abuse.
Nearly 80,000 farmers who filed claims in the original Pigford settlement were denied without a hearing on the merits of their case because they were said to have filed after the initial and subsequent established deadlines. Part of the reason for the large number of late filers was the inefficient notification efforts employed by those charged with administering the settlement.
Now that the Farm Bill has become law, those who were deemed late filers will have an opportunity to re-file their case in federal court for two years from the date the bill was enacted (May 22, 2008).
For more information on this event, contact Congressman Davis’ Selma office at 334-877-4414.