Agro Dynamics Opposes Dismissal in Hemp Seizure Suit

On Monday in the Southern District of California, Agro Dynamics opposed a motion to dismiss filed by some of the defendants in a lawsuit where the company alleged that its hemp was illegally destroyed by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other parties. 

The motion to dismiss that Monday’s filing responded to was filed by the County of San Diego and individual defendants including a sergeant and detectives with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. These defendants argued that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim in their first amended complaint.  Specifically, the accompanying memorandum purported that the plaintiff did not allege a specific policy or practice as part of their claims or a direct claim for its allegations that the defendants violated the United States Constitution. These defendants also said that the county defendants are not liable for the state law claims. 

In the present opposition, Agro Dynamics reiterated its claims that growing hemp is legal, both in the United States and in California, and that it was issued a permit from the defendants to grow the hemp. It claimed that the warrant for the seizure, and the raid of the hemp crop was unconstitutional and caused at least $3.4 million in losses to the plaintiffs. Specifically they said that the defendants exceeded the warrant by not notifying the plaintiff or testing the crop before it was destroyed. 

The plaintiff purported that it was a “victim of the knowing and willful abuse of Government power,” since it was issued a license to grow the hemp and then had it destroyed by the DEA.  “Plaintiff complied with the law. Defendants must do the same,” the opposition stated. Agro Dynamics said that it did state a claim under United States Code, California code, and for violations of the California Constitution. 

The opposition also purported that the defendants are not immune under the Constitution for their violations, and that qualified immunity would only apply if the violations could have “reasonably have been thought consistent with the rights they are alleged to have violated.” They claim the defendants’ arguments did not support this standard. Agro Dynamics said that if a motion to dismiss is granted, it should have permission to amend its complaint to fix any deficiencies in claims which led to the dismissal. 

Agro Dynamics is represented by Papaethimiou APC, E. Wicker Law Office, and Gregory M. Garrison APC. The defendants who filed the motion to dismiss are represented by San Diego County Counsel.