Johnson v. Perdue, No. 15-3962 (8th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, an African American farmer, filed suit against the USDA and others, alleging racial discrimination, retaliation, and conspiracy regarding his loan applications, servicing requests, and the application of administrative offsets to collect on a defaulted loan. The district court dismissed the complaint with prejudice. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's conclusions that plaintiff's Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq., claims were barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel because the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights could not bar subsequent federal litigation; the individual defendants have not demonstrated that plaintiff failed to state an ECOA claim against them where the complaint included sufficient allegations from which one could plausibly infer that the individual defendants qualified as creditors under the ECOA; the district court erred in dismissing plaintiff's Bivens claims against the individual defendants in their individual capacities because his constitutional claims were not barred by a comprehensive remedial scheme; and plaintiff failed to state a claim for conspiracy against the individual defendants. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.