Wisconsin: Zinniker Lawsuit against DATCP
Summary: FTCLDF has brought suit against the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on behalf of Fund members, dairy farmers Mark and Petra Zinniker, as well as individuals who are members of an LLC (Nourished by Nature) that owns cows boarded at the Zinnikers' farm. The suit claims that herdshares are legal in Wisconsin and that an LLC and its members are entitled to board the LLC's cows at the farm of an experienced dairy farmer.
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Oct 20, 2010
Most recently, on October 6, Dane County Judge Fiedler ruled that the GrassWay and Zinniker cases should be consolidated but granted the Fund's request for a six-month discovery period extending into April 2011. The Fund is now proceeding to use the discovery process to gather information through written interrogatories and depositions.
Sep 22, 2010
In this case, Fund members Mark and Petra Zinniker have sold interests in cows to Nourished by Nature, LLC and to individuals Gayle Loiselle and Robert Karp. These plaintiffs are claiming in their suit against the Wisconsin Department of Trade, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (DATCP) that they have the contractual right to sell interests in cows, the contractual right to tend to and manage those cows on behalf of the owners of the cows, and the right to enjoy the use of their property, including the use of the raw milk produced by the cows they own.
DATCP asked the Court to transfer the case to Dane County, Wisconsin, where the Fund has filed another separate yet different suit against DATCP. The Court transferred the case to Dane County and this case is now the subject of a DATCP motion to consolidate this case with another case that is currently pending before a court in Dane County, Wisconsin. (See the GrassWay Organics case). Thus, this case now resides in Dane County and it remains to be seen whether it will be consolidated with the GrassWay Organics case or whether it will remain separate from that case.
May 24, 2010
The State of Wisconsin has answered the complaint, denied all the allegations, and has asked the court to move the case to another county where a similar case brought by the Fund is pending (see the GrassWay Organics case). The Fund will soon be filing an opposition to the motion to change venue to the other county.