2016 Arkansas Code
Title 2 - Agriculture
Subtitle 2 - Agronomy
Chapter 23 - Arbitration of Defective Seed Claims
§ 2-23-102. Prerequisite to legal action -- Notice -- Arbitration committee
(a) (1) When any buyer believes that he or she has been damaged by the failure of agricultural seed to produce or perform as represented by the labeling of the agricultural seed, as a prerequisite to the buyer's right to maintain a legal action against the dealer or labeler and within a reasonable time after the alleged defect or violation becomes apparent, the buyer shall file a written notice of intent to seek arbitration to permit inspection of the crops or plants during the growing season.
(2) A meeting shall be scheduled by the Director of the State Plant Board between the buyer and labeler for the purpose of resolving the dispute, or if the dispute is not resolved, for officially filing the complaint.
(3) The buyer shall make a sworn complaint against the dealer or labeler alleging the damages sustained or to be sustained and file the complaint with the director.
(4) The buyer shall send a copy of the complaint to the labeler by United States registered mail.
(b) (1) A filing fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) plus one dollar ($1.00) per acre filed on, not to exceed a total of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750), shall be paid to the director with each complaint filed, and complaints shall be filed on forms provided by the State Plant Board.
(2) This fee shall be deposited in the Plant Board Fund in the State Treasury and may be used by the director to offset expenses of the investigation.
(c) Within ten (10) days after receipt of a copy of the complaint, the labeler shall file with the director the labeler's answer to the complaint and send a copy of the answer to the buyer by United States registered mail.
(d) (1) However, unless notice of this section is legibly printed or typed on the seed container or on a label affixed to the seed container or printed on the invoice covering bulk seed, the buyer shall not be required to comply with this section as a prerequisite to maintaining a legal action against the dealer or labeler.
(2) A notice in the following form, or some reasonably equivalent language, is sufficient:
"Notice of Mandatory Arbitration
NOTICE: As a prerequisite to maintaining a legal action based upon the failure of seed to which this label is attached to produce as represented, a consumer shall file a sworn complaint with the Director of the State Plant Board within such time as to permit inspection of the crops or plants during the growing season."
(3) If language setting forth the requirement is not so placed on the seed package, analysis label, or invoice covering bulk seed shipments, the filing and serving of a complaint under this section are not required.
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