DiMaio bill shielding farmers from unjust legal challenges passes committee

DiMaio bill shielding farmers from unjust legal challenges passes committee

TRENTON, N.J. – The Assembly agriculture committee Thursday advanced Assemblyman John DiMaio’s legislation to allow farmers to recover costs for defending frivolous civil cases. This bill (A810) empowers farmers who prevail in court to collect reasonable costs and attorney fees from plaintiffs behind the allegations.

John DiMaio

“Survival is difficult enough for farmers in this expensive and congested state,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “Farmers following standard practices are protected by right to farm laws, but the legal costs of fighting meritless lawsuits can be devastating. The financial drain and distractions of a lengthy legal challenge can jeopardize the operation and force farmers out of business.”

The bill also strengthens protections for farmers, emphasizing it is not animal cruelty when farmers follow guidelines to control crop-damaging wildlife.

“With this measure, the financial risks will make anti-farm litigants think twice about taking action against farmers who are operating within the rules,” noted DiMaio. “Farms that are doing things the right way shouldn’t be jeopardized by unjustifiable legal challenges.”

A version (A4847) of the bill passed the Assembly 76-0 in the previous legislative session.