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Case Name Blessed Cajuns LLC v. Guzman PB-TX-0018
Docket / Court 4:21-cv-00677 ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Challenges to minority benefits in Biden Administration American Rescue Plan
Case Summary
This case is one of several brought challenging the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) prioritization of certain applications for emergency government assistance. Section 5003 appropriated $28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to be ... read more >
This case is one of several brought challenging the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) prioritization of certain applications for emergency government assistance. Section 5003 appropriated $28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA initially accepted all applications for emergency grants but was directed in the act to give priority during an initial 21-day period beginning on May 3, 2021, to small businesses “owned and controlled by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns.” The ARPA incorporated the definition of socially disadvantaged individuals found in the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. §637) as “those subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities.” SBA regulations further defined “socially disadvantaged individuals” and “economically disadvantaged individuals” as those people belonging to certain racial groups.

The plaintiffs filed suit on May 23, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth), with Judge Reed C. O'Connor presiding. The plaintiffs were two LLCs and their owners: the Blessed Cajuns LLC (operated out of Keller, TX) and PSBH LLC (operated out of Camp Hill, PA). The plaintiffs alleged that the above policies violated the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. They sought a temporary restraining order (TRO), a preliminary injunction, and a permanent injunction preventing SBA from implementing any race or sex preferences in SBA programs. Additionally, class certification was sought for “all restaurant owners and restaurants in the United States which had encountered or would encounter race or sex discrimination from the Small Business Administration on account of section 5003.”

The district court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction on May 28, 2021. They determined plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of the equal protection claim and that the government offered insufficient justification for making racial and sex classifications when distributing emergency funding.

Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on June 3, 2021. This added three other LLCs and their owners as plaintiffs.

The government filed a notice of supplemental declaration by the Deputy Associate Administrator of Capital Access at SBA on June 11, 2021. This stated that the agency had already begun processing non-priority applications, including those of the additional plaintiffs, and that no new priority applications would be reviewed until preceding non-priority applications had been reviewed. The plaintiffs voluntarily withdrew their motion to certify class on June 26, 2021. The case is ongoing.

John Duffield - 07/26/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Benefit Source
American Rescue Plan (ARP)
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Funding
Public assistance grants
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Race
White
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Small Business Administration
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are Blessed Cajuns LLC from Keller, TX, and its two co-owners, as well as the PSBH LLC from Camp Hill, PA, and its owner. The plaintiffs sought to represent a class of all restaurant owners and restaurants in the United States who were encountering or who would encounter race or sex discrimination from the Small Business Administration on account of section 5003 of ARPA.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Mooted before ruling
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 05/23/2021
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Tex.
06/26/2021
4:21-cv-00677-O
PB-TX-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Tex.
05/23/2021
Plaintiffs' Class-Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-TX-0018-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Tex.
05/25/2021
Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 11]
PB-TX-0018-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Tex.
05/28/2021
Order [ECF# 18]
PB-TX-0018-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Tex.
05/28/2021
Order [ECF# 18-1] (2021 WL 2092995)
PB-TX-0018-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Tex.
06/01/2021
Defendants' Response to May 29, 2021 (ECF NO. 19) [ECF# 20 & 20-1]
PB-TX-0018-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Tex.
06/03/2021
Plaintiffs' First Amended Class-Action Complaint [ECF# 21]
PB-TX-0018-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges O'Connor, Reed Charles (N.D. Tex.) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0001 | PB-TX-0018-0004 | PB-TX-0018-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Benbrook, Bradley A. (California) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-9000
Duvernay, Stephen M. (California) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-9000
Fillmore, Charles W (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0002 | PB-TX-0018-0006 | PB-TX-0018-9000
Fillmore, H Dustin III (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0002 | PB-TX-0018-0006 | PB-TX-0018-9000
Hamilton, Gene Patrick (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0002 | PB-TX-0018-0006 | PB-TX-0018-9000
Henneke, Robert (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0002 | PB-TX-0018-0006 | PB-TX-0018-9000
Mitchell, Jonathan F. (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0002 | PB-TX-0018-0006 | PB-TX-0018-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Boynton, Brian M (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0003 | PB-TX-0018-0005
Dodge, Christopher D (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0003 | PB-TX-0018-0005 | PB-TX-0018-9000
Farby, Lesley (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0018-0003 | PB-TX-0018-0005

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