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Snap Judicial Appeals Lawyers

Every year, merchants across the United States obtain notification letters that they are in violation of the laws and regulations associated with the Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Should you receive a charging letter, you can appeal for the disqualification through a SNAP Judicial Appeal under 7 CFR Part 279 (Administrative and Judicial Review –food retailers and wholesalers) and 7 code 2023 (Administrative and Judicial review- restoration of rights). A SNAP judicial appeal is a litigation that a food store in the United States can file against the United States Department of Agriculture appealing for the Administrative Review Division’s Final Determination should your store be permanently disqualified from SNAP.

 

The judicial appeal operates in a similar manner as a normal civil litigation with the additional of having the United States as the defendant. The storeowner usually has 30 days to file for a judicial appeal after the Administration reviewer issues their judgement. The litigation process for a judicial appeal comprises of three main phase;

 

  • Pleading phase: At this stage, the plaintiff submits their allegations against the United States in the district court in the state where the business operates. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, the defendant (USA) responds to the allegations within 60 days with a rejoinder or Motion of Dismissal. The litigation process at this phase takes up to 80 days to complete allowing time for service and other procedural deferrals that may occur
  • Discovery phase: This is the second phase where relevant evidence relating to the case is gathered and submissions put together to help resolve the case faster. The two main motions used in this phase include the Motion to Abate Disqualification and the Motion for Summary Judgement. The former aims at ending the disqualification for the pendency of litigation while the latter aims at requesting the court to review the undisputed evidence in favor of the plaintiff.
  • Trial phase: It is the final stage of the litigation process where the lawsuit is presented before a judge and not a jury. Based on the evidence produced by the plaintiff (your store) and the accusations presented by the USDA, the judge decides the verdict stating whether or not your store desecrated the SNAP regulations.

In the event the judicial appeal effects an uncomplimentary judgement, your store may appeal for a review in the US Circuit Court. The appellant judge analyses the evidence, the verdict issued by the district judge and the procedure by which your store was deprived of its retail status. If the judges of the circuit court are not contented with the evidence provided by the store or decides not to inverse the entire disqualification, the US Supreme Court decides the case. The outcome of the case does not guarantee you compensation from the government while the administrative decision is in effect.

 

Before filing a SNAP judicial appeal, it is important to seek help from an experienced SNAP judicial Attorney in your district to help you prepare a strong case and file it properly. The attorney will look through the details surrounding your probable Administrative appeal. For the trial, the attorney builds your case with an eye towards the rules of evidence and admissible evidence in full extent of the law.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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