Case: Reed v. Pitts Farms Partnership

4:21-cv-00113 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi

Filed Date: Sept. 8, 2021

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 8, 2021, six Black American farm workers sued their employer, Pitts Farms Partnership in the US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. Plaintiffs were represented by the Mississippi Center for Justice and Southern Migrant Legal Services. Pitts Farms hired white South African workers through a visa program sponsored by the U.S. federal government allowing foreign agricultural workers to be employed in the United States, so long as the employer treated foreign and d…

On September 8, 2021, six Black American farm workers sued their employer, Pitts Farms Partnership in the US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. Plaintiffs were represented by the Mississippi Center for Justice and Southern Migrant Legal Services. Pitts Farms hired white South African workers through a visa program sponsored by the U.S. federal government allowing foreign agricultural workers to be employed in the United States, so long as the employer treated foreign and domestic workers equally. The plaintiffs, represented by Mississippi Center for Justice, alleged that Pitts Farms failed to comply with the visa programs mandates because it paid the white South African workers more than the Black plaintiffs, and also provided the South African workers with better housing and other benefits. According to the plaintiffs, the pay disparity violated the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and state contract law. The plaintiffs sought compensatory damages, punitive damages, declaratory relief, and a permanent injunction ordering PFP to refrain from engaging in future race discrimination. The case was assigned to Judge Debra Marie Brown.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on November 8, 2021, which added additional plaintiffs to the case but maintained the same claims for relief.

This case is on-going as of December 17, 2021.

Summary Authors

Jordan Katz (12/17/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60746374/parties/reed-v-pitts-farms-partnership/

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

4:21-cv-00113

Complaint and Jury Demand

Sept. 8, 2021

Sept. 8, 2021

Complaint
15

4:21-cv-00113

Amended Complaint and Jury Demand

Nov. 8, 2021

Nov. 8, 2021

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60746374/reed-v-pitts-farms-partnership/

Last updated June 8, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT, Jury Demand, Filing fee $ 402, receipt number AMSNDC-1996223, filed by Gregory Strong, Wesley Reed, Richard Strong, James Simpson, Andrew Johnson, Stacy Griffin. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (jla)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Sept. 8, 2021

Sept. 8, 2021

Clearinghouse
2

Summons Issued as to Pitts Farms Partnership; emailed to Attorney for service. (jla)

Sept. 8, 2021

Sept. 8, 2021

RECAP

NOTICE OF ASSIGNMENT. Case assigned to Judge Brown and Magistrate Judge Virden. (jla)

Sept. 8, 2021

Sept. 8, 2021

PACER
3

MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice ; Attorney Melia Amal Bouhabib, by Stacy Griffin, Andrew Johnson, Wesley Reed, James Simpson, Gregory Strong, Richard Strong. (jwr)

Sept. 30, 2021

Sept. 30, 2021

PACER
4

MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice ; Attorney Gregory Scott Schell, by Stacy Griffin, Andrew Johnson, Wesley Reed, James Simpson, Gregory Strong, Richard Strong. (jwr)

Sept. 30, 2021

Sept. 30, 2021

PACER
5

MOTION to Waive Pro Hac Vice Fees re 3 MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice ; Attorney Melia Amal Bouhabib, by Stacy Griffin, Andrew Johnson, Wesley Reed, James Simpson, Gregory Strong, Richard Strong. (McDuff, Robert)

Oct. 1, 2021

Oct. 1, 2021

PACER
6

MOTION to Waive Pro Hac Vice Fees re 4 MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice ; Attorney Gregory Scott Schell, by Stacy Griffin, Andrew Johnson, Wesley Reed, James Simpson, Gregory Strong, Richard Strong. (McDuff, Robert)

Oct. 1, 2021

Oct. 1, 2021

PACER

Case reassigned to Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders. Magistrate Judge Jane M. Virden no longer assigned to the case. (jla)

Oct. 4, 2021

Oct. 4, 2021

PACER
7

ORDER granting 3 4 Motions to Appear Pro Hac Vice; Attorney Melia Amal Bouhabib and Gregory Scott admitted as counsel for the plaintiffs. Granting 5 6 Motions to waive phv fees. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 10/5/21. (def) Modified on 10/5/2021 (jla).

Oct. 5, 2021

Oct. 5, 2021

PACER
8

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint (Unopposed) by Pitts Farms Partnership. (Threadgill, Timothy)

Oct. 19, 2021

Oct. 19, 2021

PACER
9

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Melia Amal Bouhabib on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Bouhabib, Melia) (Main Document 9 replaced with flattened pdf version of same on 10/20/2021) (jla). Modified on 10/20/2021 (jla).

Oct. 19, 2021

Oct. 19, 2021

PACER
10

ORDER granting 8 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Pitts Farms Partnership answer due 10/26/2021. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 10/20/21. (def)

Oct. 20, 2021

Oct. 20, 2021

PACER
11

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Gregory Scott Schell on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Schell, Gregory)

Oct. 20, 2021

Oct. 20, 2021

PACER
12

Second MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint (Unopposed) by Pitts Farms Partnership. (Threadgill, Timothy)

Oct. 22, 2021

Oct. 22, 2021

PACER
13

TEXT ORDER granting 12 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Pitts Farms Partnership answer due 11/15/2021. No further order will be entered. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 10/22/21. No document attached. (def)

Oct. 22, 2021

Oct. 22, 2021

PACER
14

STIPULATION REGARDING AMENDING COMPLAINT by Gregory Strong, Wesley Reed, Richard Strong, James Simpson, Andrew Johnson, Stacy Griffin. (Bouhabib, Melia)

Nov. 8, 2021

Nov. 8, 2021

PACER
15

AMENDED COMPLAINT (Adding Plaintiffs) against All Defendants, Jury Demand, filed by Gregory Strong, Wesley Reed, Richard Strong, James Simpson, Andrew Johnson, Stacy Griffin. (Bouhabib, Melia)

Nov. 8, 2021

Nov. 8, 2021

Clearinghouse
16

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 15 Amended Complaint [Unopposed] by Pitts Farms Partnership. (Threadgill, Timothy)

Nov. 10, 2021

Nov. 10, 2021

PACER
17

TEXT ONLY ORDER granting 16 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Pitts Farms Partnership answer due 11/22/2021. No further written order shall issue from the court. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 11/12/21. (NO DOCUMENT ATTACHED.) (cs) Modified on 11/24/2021 (jla).

Nov. 12, 2021

Nov. 12, 2021

PACER
18

ANSWER to 15 Amended Complaint by Pitts Farms Partnership. (Threadgill, Timothy)

Nov. 22, 2021

Nov. 22, 2021

PACER
19

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney for Plaintiffs by Stacy Griffin, Walter Griffin, Andrew Johnson, Jimmie Lee Jones, Wesley Reed, James Simpson, Gregory Strong, Richard Strong. (Morse, Joseph)

Jan. 10, 2022

Jan. 10, 2022

PACER
20

ORDER granting 19 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Attorney Joseph Reilly Morse terminated. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 1/12/22. (def)

Jan. 12, 2022

Jan. 12, 2022

PACER
21

INITIAL ORDER - RULE 16.1 Telephonic Case Management Conference set for 2/22/2022 at 9:30 AM from Amory Tele-Conference before Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders. Proposed Case Management Order and Confidential Settlement Memos due no later than 2/14/2022. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 1/19/2022. (jf)

Jan. 19, 2022

Jan. 19, 2022

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Mississippi

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 8, 2021

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Six Black American farm workers

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Pitts Farms Partnership, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1981

Civil Rights Act of 1957/1960, 52 U.S.C. § 10101 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1971)

State law

Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1871

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination-area:

Pay / Benefits

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black