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Mohamed v. United States Dep't of Agriculture Food and Nutrition

September 15, 2009

NASSR MOHAMED, AS OWNER OF FAMILY FOOD MARKET AND CO-OWNER OF PARKVIEW MARKET, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD AND NUTRITION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO LIMIT DISCOVERY (Doc. 111)

ORDER DIRECTING MEET AND CONFER AND FILING OF AMENDED JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING DISCOVERY ISSUES AND SCHEDULING (Doc. 107) Deadline: 10/5/09

ORDER SETTING TELEPHONIC DISCOVERY AND SCHEDULING CONFERENCE

Date: 10/15/09 Time: 10:30 a.m.

Plaintiffs are proceeding with a civil action in this Court. Pursuant to the parties' consent, the action has been assigned to the Magistrate Judge for all proceedings, including the entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Fed. R. Civ. P. 73(b), and Local Rule 73-301 (Doc. 17).

The motion of Defendant to limit discovery in this case to the issue of trafficking came on regularly for hearing on September 4, 2009, at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 7 before the Honorable Sandra M. Snyder, United States Magistrate Judge. Bruce D. Leichty appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs. Assistant United States Attorney Alyson A. Berg appeared on behalf of Defendant. After argument, the matter was submitted to the Court.

The Defendant's motion, points and authorities, declaration of Teresa Toups and exhibits thereto were filed on July 20, 2009 (Doc. 111). Plaintiffs filed opposition on August 10, 2009 (Doc. 112). Defendant filed a reply, including a declaration of Alyson

A. Berg, on August 24, 2009 (Doc. 113)

I. Defendant's Prayer

Defendant seeks an order limiting discovery to the witnesses and documents necessary to adjudicate the validity of Food and Nutrition Services' (FNS's) finding of trafficking of food stamps by employees of Plaintiffs' retail stores Parkview Market and Family Food Market.

II. Legal Standards

In this action, Plaintiffs seek to strike and set aside Defendant's administrative order that permanently disqualified Parkview Market and Family Food Market from further participation in the Food Stamp/EBT program, including imposing a civil money penalty; bar Defendants from imposing on Plaintiffs, the owners, a civil money penalty to the extent that Plaintiffs sell or otherwise transfer the markets or any assets thereof to a new owner; and, costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

The action proceeds pursuant to 7 U.S.C. § 2023(a), which provides in pertinent part:

(13) If the store, concern, or State agency feels aggrieved by such final determination, it may obtain judicial review thereof by filing a complaint against the United States in the United States court for the district in which it resides or is engaged in business, or, in the case of a retail food store or wholesale food concern, in any court of record of the State having competent jurisdiction, within thirty days after the date of delivery or service of the final notice of determination upon it, requesting the court to set aside such determination. ....

15) The suit in the United States district court or State court shall be a trial de novo by the court in which the court shall determine the validity of the questioned administrative action in issue, except that judicial review of determinations regarding claims made pursuant to section 2025(c) of this title shall be a review on the administrative record.

(16) If the court determines that such administrative action is invalid, it shall enter such judgment or order as it determines is in ...


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