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UNITED STATES v. CARROLL

April 9, 1962

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBERT B. CARROLL, JR., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Miller, Chief Judge.

The motion of plaintiff for summary judgment on Count IV of the complaint pursuant to Rule 56, Fed.R.Civ.P., 28 U.S.C.A., is now before the court.

The United States of America, plaintiff herein, filed its complaint containing four separate counts against the defendant, Robert B. Carroll, Jr., on July 17, 1961, in which it alleged violations of the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, 16 U.S.C.A. §§ 590g-590q, by the defendant. The motion is directed only to Count IV. In that count the plaintiff specifically alleged that the defendant participated as a farmer under the Agricultural Conservation Program for the years 1956, 1957 and 1958, and in such capacity made claims upon and received payment from the plaintiff as follows: $1,399.98 in 1956, $1,331.76 in 1957, and $1,209.74 in 1958, or a total amount of $3,941.48 for the three-year period for soil conservation practices allegedly performed by defendant on a farm operated and controlled by him.

That the State Committee determined that for the years 1956, 1957 and 1958 the defendant knowingly filed claims for payment of federal cost-shares under the program for practices not carried out, or for practices carried out in such a manner that they did not meet the required specifications therefor. Accordingly, claim is asserted against defendant for refund of the $3,941.48.

Plaintiff further alleged that defendant has exhausted his administrative remedies under the regulations for a review of such determinations, or the time authorized for such administrative remedies has been permitted by defendant to lapse.

Defendant filed his answer on August 2, 1961, in which he admitted the allegations in Count IV of the complaint to the extent that he participated as a farmer under the Agricultural Conservation Program for the years in question and that he made claims upon and received payment from plaintiff in the alleged sums.

He denied that he was not entitled to such payments; that the State Committee had basis for any conclusions to the contrary; that he failed to carry out the practices required of farmers participating in the program; and that he failed to meet the required specifications under the terms of the pertinent regulations.

Defendant further alleged, to the contrary, that he did receive proper payments, that he did properly apply the materials, that he was qualified to receive the materials, and that he met all required specifications under the terms of the applicable regulations.

On February 23, 1962, defendant filed his amended answer in which he alleged that plaintiff's action is barred by the statute of limitations, and that said action should be dismissed.

On February 27, 1962, plaintiff filed its request for admissions, but the defendant has not responded to said request, and therefore the request for admissions stands as admitted. Rule 36, Fed.R.Civ.P.

On March 22, 1962, the plaintiff filed its motion for summary judgment based upon the plaintiff's complaint, defendant's answer, plaintiff's request for admissions, and exhibits thereto.

Defendant, in a letter filed April 2, 1962, waived his right to respond to the above motion and to submit a brief in opposition to the motion, but did not concede that the motion should be sustained. Therefore, the court must determine the motion by a consideration of the record and the applicable law.

Title 28 U.S.C.A. § 1345, gives the court jurisdiction of this action.

The questions presented are whether there is any genuine issue as to any material fact, and if not, whether the plaintiff is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Rule 56, Fed.R.Civ.P.; Handley v. City of Hope, Ark., (W.D. Ark. 1956), 137 F. Supp. 442; Marion County Co-op Ass'n v. Carnation Co., (W.D.Ark. 1953), 114 F. Supp. 58, aff'd 8 Cir., 214 F.2d 557.

There is no genuine issue as to any material fact in the present case. The following undisputed facts appear in the record.

During the years 1956 through 1958 plaintiff, United States of America, conducted a program of soil conservation — the Agricultural Conservation Program — pursuant to which payments and grants of aid were made to farmers carrying out certain prescribed soil conservation practices. The program was conducted by the Department of Agriculture, under the supervision and direction of the Secretary of Agriculture, pursuant to the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C.A. §§ 590g-590q, and the regulations promulgated in connection therewith.

The defendant, Robert B. Carroll, Jr., participated as a farmer under the Agricultural Conservation Programs for the years 1956, 1957 and 1958, and in said capacity made claims upon and received payment from the plaintiff as follows: $1,399.98 in 1956, $1,331.76 in 1957, and $1,209.74 in 1958, or a total amount of $3,941.48 for the three-year period for soil ...


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