Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

DIGHTON v. COFFMAN

June 4, 1959

HENRY TIMMONS DIGHTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES COFFMAN, JOE V. HARMON, AND E.W. HARTWIG, AS THE REVIEW COMMITTEE FOR PIATT COUNTY, ILLINOIS, APPOINTED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, AS AMENDED, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Platt, Chief Judge.

  Plaintiff, Henry Timmons Dighton, has been the owner and operator of a farm of about 435 acres of crop land in Piatt County, Illinois, since prior to 1953. For the planting years 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957 his base acreage for wheat on his farm was fixed at 110 acres by the County ASC Committee. In 1958 in accordance with the instructions of the State ASC Committee, the County ASC Committee determined wheat acreage allotments upon the historical average of wheat planted as provided in § 728.917(b). Because plaintiff failed to plant wheat in 1954, his acreage for that year was fixed at 0 for the purpose of computing the historical average. Consequently, his base acreage was reduced to 82 acres by the County ASC Committee, which cut his wheat acreage allotment to be harvested in 1959 to 49.3 acres. Plaintiff was dissatisfied with his allotment or marketing quota of 49.3 acres and made application for review. After the first hearing on July 18, 1959 the Review Committee denied his appeal, and on rehearing on December 16, 1958, the Committee affirmed its prior determination.

The controversy stems from the following facts: Section 334 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (7 U.S.C.A. § 1334) was amended by Public Law 690, 83rd Congress, approved August 28, 1954, to add a new section (f) which reads as follows:

    "`(f) Any part of any 1955 farm wheat acreage
  allotment on which wheat will not be planted and
  which is voluntarily surrendered to the county
  committee shall be deducted from the allotment to
  such farm and may be reapportioned by the county
  committee to other farms in the same county receiving
  allotments in amounts determined by the county
  committee to be fair and reasonable on the basis of
  past acreage of wheat, tillable acres, crop rotation
  practices, type of soil, and topography. If all of
  the allotted acreage voluntarily surrendered is not
  needed in the county, the county committee may
  surrender the excess acreage to the State committee
  to be used for the same purposes as the State acreage
  reserve under subsection (c) of this section. Any
  allotment transferred under this provision shall be
  regarded for the purposes of subsection (c) of this
  section as having been planted on the farm from which
  transferred rather than on the farm to which
  transferred, except that this shall not operate to
  make the farm from which the allotment was
  transferred eligible for an allotment as having wheat
  planted thereon during the three-year base period:
  Provided, That notwithstanding any other provisions

  of law, any part of any 1955 farm acreage allotment
  may be permanently released in writing to the county
  committee by the owner and operator of the farm, and
  reapportioned as provided herein. Acreage
  surrendered, reapportioned under this subsection, and
  planted shall be credited to the State and county in
  determining future acreage allotments.'"

On September 24, 1954, at 8:51 a.m., the Secretary of Agriculture delivered to the Director, Division of the Federal Register, for publication, a regulation which was printed in the Federal Register on September 25, 1954, (19 F.R. 6157) setting forth the amendment by Congress and reciting:

    "The purpose of this amendment is to provide for
  the release and reapportionment of unused 1955 farm
  wheat acreage allotments which are voluntarily
  released to the county committee.
    "Since farmers in many areas are now preparing to
  seed wheat for the 1955 crop, it is imperative that
  they be notified of this amendment and of any revised
  farm acreage allotments resulting therefrom as soon
  as possible. Accordingly, it is hereby found that
  compliance with the public notice, procedure, and
  30-day effective date provisions of the
  Administrative Procedure Act [5 U.S.C.A. § 1001 et
  seq.] is impracticable and contrary to the public
  interest, and the amendment herein shall become
  effective upon filing of this document with the
  Director, Division of the Federal Register."

The regulation stated in part:

    "[728.518] (b) Released voluntarily to county
  committee. Any part of any 1955 farm wheat acreage
  allotment on which wheat will not be planted in 1955
  and which is voluntarily released to the county
  committee by the closing date established by the
  State committee for the entire State, or for areas in
  the State if there is a substantial difference in
  planting dates for different areas in the State,
  which shall be the date on which the planting of
  wheat normally becomes general on farms in the State
  or area, shall be deducted from the wheat acreage
  allotment for such farm and may be reapportioned by
  the county committee not later than the date
  established by the State committee, which shall be
  the latest date on which wheat can normally be
  planted on farms in the State or area with reasonable
  expectations of producing an average crop, to other
  farms receiving allotments in the same county in
  amounts determined to be fair and reasonable on the
  basis of the wheat acreage for the years 1952 and
  1953, tillable acres, crop rotation practices, type
  of soil, and topography, but without regard to the
  limitations imposed under § 728.516. If all the
  allotted acreage voluntarily released is not needed
  in the county, the county committee may surrender the
  excess acreage to the State committee to be used for
  new farm allotments as provided under § 728.522, but
  without regard to the limitation imposed under §
  728.521 with respect to the wheat acreage indicated
  by cropland, soil type, and topography. Any wheat
  acreage allotment released for 1955 only shall, in
  determining future wheat acreage allotments, be
  regarded as having been planted on the farm releasing
  such allotments if wheat was seeded on such farm for
  harvest as grain in at least one of the three years
  immediately preceding the year for which the
  allotment is determined. Any part of the farm acreage
  allotment may be permanently released in writing to
  the county committee by the owner and operator of the
  farm and reapportioned as provided in this

  paragraph, in which case the farm from which the
  allotment is released shall be considered as having
  no wheat on such released acreage for any of the
  1952, 1953, and 1954 crops. In determining future
  farm wheat acreage allotments, the acreage planted
  for harvest as grain in 1955 of reapportioned acreage
  allotment under this paragraph shall not be
  considered. For purposes of determining future State
  and county acreage allotments, reapportioned acreage
  will be credited to the State and to the county in
  which such acreage was planted.
  "Done at Washington, D.C., this 22d day of September
  1954."

The State Committee, on September 21, 1954, pursuant to instructions of the Secretary, fixed October 1, 1954 as the closing date for farmers to release unused acreage allotments and October 15, 1954 as the final date for farmers desiring additional allotments to apply for additional acreage. (County Committee's Ex. No. 1.)

In response to a request from the Illinois ASC Office of October 22, 1954, (County Committee's Ex. No. 3) the office manager of the Piatt County ASC Office reported on October 25, 1954, "that there were not any acreage of 1955 wheat allotments released and reapportioned under the provisions of recent legislation, in Piatt County." (County Committee's Ex. No. 4.)

At the first hearing, plaintiff, by letter informed the Review Committee that he was unable to plant wheat in 1954 for the reason that he was changing from a corn picker to a picker sheller operation and was unable to plant any wheat or to hire anyone to do it for him, and that due to a change in operation on the farm he should be credited in 1958 with having planted the wheat in 1954. At the first hearing the County Review Committee made the following findings and conclusions:

"Findings of Fact

    "In the fall of 1954, Mr. Dighton did not plant any
  wheat because they were changing from picker to
  picker sheller operation for corn. They did not have
  time to `plant' any wheat, so they tried to hire
  someone to plant the wheat. They could not find
  anyone to plant their wheat, so they decided not to
  plant any wheat. Mr. Dighton stated at the time of
  ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.