Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Court orders state of Florida to pay former pig farmer

TALLAHASSEE — An appeals court Wednesday sided with a North Florida farmer who was awarded more than $500,000 in a lawsuit against the state because a 2002 "pregnant pig" constitutional amendment caused losses to his business.

The 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, upheld a Jackson County circuit judge's ruling in favor of Stephen D. Basford, who reportedly was one of only two Florida farmers who used a controversial pig-farming technique that was banned by the constitutional amendment.

Basford in 2010 filed what is known as an "inverse condemnation" lawsuit, seeking compensation for improvements he had made to his farm for the pork operation.

Wednesday's opinion said Basford's operation "depended on raising a high volume of pigs for market, and his improvements were designed for that purpose." Basford shut down the operation in 2003 after voters approved the constitutional amendment to ban the use of gestation crates, which prevent pregnant pigs from turning around freely and have been targeted nationally by animal-rights groups.

Jackson County Circuit Judge John L. Fishel awarded $505,000 and interest to Basford, whose improvements for the pork operation included barns that could not be used for other purposes, a feed mill and water wells. The state appealed, at least in part arguing that pig production was only a part of Basford's farm, which also grows crops.

Appeals court Chief Judge Joseph Lewis and Judge James Wolf, who were in the majority Wednesday, emphasized that the decision was narrowly tailored to the issues in the Basford case.

Lewis wrote that the trial judge accepted Basford's "testimony that his barns could not be used for any purpose other than raising pigs and that the wells and feed mill had no other practical purpose or use. The state offered no evidence below to refute (Basford's) testimony on alternative uses of the improvements."

Court orders state of Florida to pay former pig farmer 07/24/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation

    Politics

    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  2. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead

    Crime

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  3. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  4. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  5. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.