United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION RE DOCUMENT NO. 16
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion to
matter is before the Court on Defendant's motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. Robert Oneal Bean brought this action
against the Secretary of the United States Department of
Agriculture (“USDA”) because the USDA denied him
loan servicing and decided to foreclose on land that Mr. Bean
had purchased. Mr. Bean claims that these acts violated the
Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), Pub. L.
79-404, § 706, 60 Stat. 237 (codified at 5 U.S.C. §
500 et seq.), the Agricultural, Rural Development,
Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies
Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub. L. 105-277, § 741, 112
Stat. 2681 (codified at 7 U.S.C. § 2279)) (“1999
Agricultural Appropriations Act”), “and/or the
Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, ” Pub. L.
110-234, § 14011, 122 Stat. 923 (“2008 Farm
Bill”). See Am. Compl. at 5-6, ECF No. 3. For
the reasons stated below, the Court grants in part and denies
in part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND 
Oneal Bean, an African American farmer from Mississippi,
borrowed approximately $50, 000 from the Farm Service Agency
(“FSA”) to purchase a 120-acre tract of farm land
in 2001. Am. Compl. at 3, ECF No. 3. Mr. Bean made timely
payments to FSA until 2011, when he was diagnosed with
prostate cancer. Am. Compl. at 4. Thereafter, Mr. Bean fell
behind in his payments. See Id. Later that year, an
FSA Loan Officer accelerated Mr. Bean's loan and demanded
that Mr. Bean pay the full balance to avoid foreclosure.
See Am. Compl. at 4. In response, Mr. Bean submitted
medical records demonstrating that he had cancer, hoping that
the FSA would allow him the opportunity to recover. See
Bean alleges that in the Fall of 2016, the FSA Loan Officer
advised Mr. Bean that the FSA could divide his land and sell
a sufficient amount to satisfy the $40, 000 that Mr. Bean
still owed to the FSA. See Am. Compl. at 4. On
December 15, 2016, during a visit to an FSA Office, Mr. Bean
asked the FSA Loan Officer whether he could apply to
reschedule his outstanding debt. See Am. Compl. at
4-5. The FSA Loan Officer replied that Mr. Bean had forfeited
that opportunity for loan servicing because Mr. Bean had not
completed the necessary application in a timely manner (sixty
days from the receipt of the application materials).
See Am. Compl. at 5. Mr. Bean alleges that he was
not aware of any application and, in any event, he could not
have submitted any such application due to his prostate
cancer. See Id. Mr. Bean does not affirmatively
allege that he did not receive a loan servicing application.
Rather, he alleges that he “does not recall”
receiving an application, either in person or through the
January 23, 2017, Mr. Bean filed this action claiming that
the USDA acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in
violation of the APA, and discriminated against him on the
basis of his disability in violation of the 1999 Agricultural
Appropriations Act, and the 2008 Farm Bill.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a
complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the
claim” in order to give the defendant fair notice of
the claim and the grounds upon which it rests. Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2); accord Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93
(2007) (per curiam). A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)
does not test a plaintiff's ultimate likelihood of
success on the merits; rather, it tests whether a plaintiff
has properly stated a claim. See Scheuer v. Rhodes,
416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974). A court considering such a motion
presumes that the complaint's factual allegations are
true and construes them liberally in the plaintiff's
favor. See, e.g., United States v. Philip
Morris, Inc., 116 F.Supp.2d 131, 135 (D.D.C. 2000).
“[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). This means that a plaintiff's
factual allegations “must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that
all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007) (citations
omitted). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements,
” are therefore insufficient to withstand a motion to
dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A court need not
accept a plaintiff's legal conclusions as true, see
id., nor must a court presume the veracity of the legal
conclusions that are couched as factual allegations. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Pigford v. Glickman Consent Decree and the 2008 Farm
Mr. Bean's Amended Complaint and briefing is devoted to
his assertion that he is a claimant under Pigford v.
Glickman,185 F.R.D. 82 (D.D.C. 1999)
(“Pigford”) and that he is entitled to
relief pursuant to the consent decree entered in that case.
See Am. Compl. at 1-3; Pl.'s Opp'n Mot.
Dismiss (“Opp'n”) at 2-4, 5-6, ECF No.
18. Defendant argues that Mr. Bean's status as a
Pigford claimant is irrelevant. See
Def.'s Mot. Dismiss ...