U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

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Case Updates

D.C. Circuit denies nationwide class certification

March 03, 2006

The D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to deny nationwide class certification. In its decision, the court said that anecdotal, unsubstantiated claims of discrimination were insufficient grounds for establishing class certification. The court remanded the question of whether the USDA’s failure to investigate discrimination claims is actionable under the Administrative Procedure Act (an issue that was outside the scope of NCLC’s involvement in the case).

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

October 28, 2005

NCLC urged the D.C. circuit to affirm the district court’s decision denying nationwide class certification in this case. This case involved claims that the USDA unlawfully discriminated against females and Hispanics across the nation in its administration of farm loans programs (and, in one case, disaster benefits). The plaintiffs, Rosemary Love and nine other female farmers, had claimed they represented no less than 3,000 other similarly discriminated against women farmers, and sought $3 billion in money damages under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Among other things, NCLC pointed out that class certification is plainly inappropriate where, as here, the decision-making process is decentralized and the decision-makers are geographically dispersed and making independent selection decisions.

Case Documents