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Cebe Farms, Inc. v. United States

United States Court of Federal Claims

May 28, 2014, Filed

No. 05-965 C

Opinion

 [*184]  OPINION AND ORDER

SWEENEY, Judge

Plaintiffs seek damages for breach of contract or, alternatively, just compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution following the destruction by the United States Department of Agriculture ("USDA") of their "uninfected, genetically unique, and irreplaceable breeder chickens and eggs," as part of the USDA's effort to stop the spread of and eradicate Exotic Newcastle Disease ("END") after an outbreak in Southern California in 2002. Am. Compl. ¶ 1. The USDA, plaintiffs allege, failed to adequately compensate them for the destruction of three breeds of colored broiler chickens and eggs that are no longer extant. Id. ¶ 2. Previously, this court granted in part and denied in part defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings. See Cebe Farms, Ind. v. United States, 83 Fed. Cl. 491 (2008).1 In a second ruling, the court also denied defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings with respect to plaintiffs' first cause of action. See Cebe Farms, Inc. v. United States, 103 Fed Cl. 174 (2012).

Now before the court are defendant's two motions for summary judgment upon (1) plaintiffs' second cause of action (breach of contract to pay per egg and per bird values agreed upon by USDA counsel) and (2) plaintiffs' fourth cause of action (Fifth Amendment Taking), as well as plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment upon plaintiffs' first (breach of contract to pay the appraised value as indemnity) and second causes of action. Because genuine issues of material fact remain for all three of these causes of action, the court denies the three motions.

I. BACKGROUND2

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116 Fed. Cl. 179 *; 2014 U.S. Claims LEXIS 439 **

CEBE FARMS, INC., and JOSEPH CEBE, Plaintiffs, v. THE UNITED STATES, Defendant.

Prior History: Cebe Farms, Inc. v. United States, 2012 U.S. Claims LEXIS 896 (Fed. Cl., July 26, 2012)

CORE TERMS

plaintiffs', eggs, appraisal, flock, chickens, summary judgment, cause of action, valuation, destruction, depopulation, Farms, regulation, poultry, genuine issue of material fact, breeder, disease, parties, regulatory taking, defense motion, compensate, destroyed, broiler, colored, just compensation, property right, Fifth Amendment, great-grandparent, rights, bind, breach of contract

Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appropriateness, Materiality of Facts, Genuine Disputes, Burdens of Proof, Movant Persuasion & Proof, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Supporting Materials, General Overview, Opposing Materials, Judgments, Evidentiary Considerations, Evidence, Testimony, Credibility of Witnesses, Inferences & Presumptions, Inferences, Weight & Sufficiency, Evidentiary Considerations, Absence of Essential Element, Motions for Summary Judgment, Cross Motions, Administrative Law, Sovereign Immunity, Governments, Federal Government, Claims By & Against, Contracts Law, Types of Damages, Compensatory Damages, Courts, Courts of Claims, Breach, Breach of Contract Actions, Contract Formation, Public Contracts Law, Bids & Formation, Business & Corporate Compliance, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Contracts Implied in Fact, Authority of Government Officers, Actual Authority, Employees & Officials, Constitutional Law, Bill of Rights, Fundamental Rights, Eminent Domain & Takings, Real Property Law, Eminent Domain Proceedings, Constitutional Limits & Rights, Elements, Involuntary Acquisition & Diminution of Value, Takings, Just Compensation, Takings, Title Acquired, Trials, Jury Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Allocation, Elements of Contract Claims