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Pigford v. Glickman

April 4, 2000

TIMOTHY PIGFORD, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
DAN GLICKMAN, SECRETARY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, DEFENDANT.
CECIL BREWINGTON, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
DAN GLICKMAN, SECRETARY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, DEFENDANT.



ORDER OF REFERENCE

The Consent Decree entered in this case on April 14, 1999, provided for the appointment of an Independent Monitor to carry out certain enumerated duties. Those duties are listed in paragraph 12 of the Consent Decree. The Consent Decree, negotiated by the parties, provides a limited, clearly-defined role for the Monitor. On January 4, 2000, this Court issued an Order appointing Randi Ilyse Roth as the Independent Monitor in this case.

In accordance with the terms of the Consent Decree and its remedial purposes, this Court's Opinion of April 14, 1999, Pigford v. Glickman, 185 F.R.D. 82 (D.D.C. 1999), and the Court's Order of January 4, 2000, and pursuant to the Court's inherent power, it is hereby

ORDERED that the Monitor, as an agent and officer of the Court, shall have the responsibilities, powers, and protections as set forth in the Consent Decree and in this Order of Reference; it is

FURTHER ORDERED that the Monitor shall have the full cooperation of the parties, their counsel, and the Facilitator, Adjudicator and Arbitrator, who shall promptly provide any and all documentation and information requested by the Monitor, whether requested orally or in writing, and in whatever form requested, provided that the Monitor is authorized to request only non-privileged materials that are not otherwise prohibited from disclosure and that are necessary to enable her to perform her duties; and it is

FURTHER ORDERED that:

1. The Monitor shall have ex parte access to this Court without prior notice to or consultation with the parties.

2. The Monitor shall have the right to confer and conduct confidential working sessions informally and on an ex parte basis with the parties and with the Facilitator, Adjudicator and Arbitrator on matters affecting the discharge of the Monitor's duties and the implementation of the Consent Decree.

3. The Monitor shall have authority to make informal suggestions to the parties in whatever form the Monitor deems appropriate in order to facilitate and aid implementation of the Consent Decree and compliance with Orders of the Court and shall have the authority to make recommendations to the Court.

4. As an agent and officer of the Court, the Monitor shall enjoy the same protections from being compelled to give testimony and from liability for damages as those enjoyed by other federal judicial adjuncts performing similar functions.

5. In addition to the power and authority granted elsewhere in this Order, the Monitor shall have all the responsibilities and powers enumerated in the Consent Decree. Specifically, as set forth in paragraph 12 of the Consent Decree, the Monitor shall:

(a) Make periodic written reports (not less than every six months) to the Court, the Secretary of Agriculture, Class Counsel, and Government Counsel on the good faith implementation of the Consent Decree;

(b) Attempt to resolve any problems that any class member may have with respect to any aspect of the Consent Decree;

(c) Direct the Facilitator, Adjudicator, or Arbitrator to re-examine a claim where the Monitor determines that a clear and manifest error has occurred in the screening, adjudication, or arbitration of the claim and has resulted or is likely to result in a fundamental miscarriage of justice; and

(d) Be available to class members and the public through a toll-free telephone number in order to facilitate the lodging of any Consent Decree ...


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