FORT WORTH V. ROSEY RIDGE FARM
OR “FORT WORTH REGULATORS VS. RAW MILK”
This is the story of a dairy farmer who sells milk, and an overreaching city government that is dedicated to eliminating that source of milk to anyone who can’t actually go to the farmer’s farm to buy the milk.
This is Mr. Hooley, his family, and Rosey Ridge Farm.
Not pictured above is Fort Worth, the city that wants to stop him from selling his milk. If you are familiar with Mr. Hooley and his farm, you might think, “Why does Fort Worth care about Mr. Hooley, whose farm is in Hill County, more than a half-hour drive from Fort Worth?” And that would be a good question.
On May 7, 2014, Fort Worth’s code compliance officers raided a porch of one of its residents and found four gallons with Rosey Ridge Farm’s labels on them. Mr. Hooley was not there, but Fort Worth’s prosecutors convinced a jury to convict Hooley of operating an Unauthorized Food Establishment.
If you are asking yourself if you are operating an Unauthorized Food Establishment by sending chicken soup to a a sick neighbor, the answer is yes, and according to Fort Worth, you are breaking the law.
Reading the documentation in this case reveals just how eager and self-righteous these regulators are; the City’s records show that no fewer than SEVEN people participated in one visit to a Fort Worth resident’s home to badger her about the nefarious ice chests on her porch. They include Martin Essary and Dana Jernigan from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Food Group North, Don Hoffpauir and Claire Bellott from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Milk Group, Melea Fisher of the Consumer Health Division of the City of Fort Worth, Aaron Neal of the City of Fort Worth Code Compliance, and Officer Martinez from the Fort Worth Police Department.
On another day, the City’s documents recount that surveillance began at 8am and lasted until 7pm, with another eight people involved in what amounts to a stake-out to stop the unlawful trafficking of food that humans have been consuming for thousands of years.
With all those resources deployed, the City was successful. After a two-day trial in December 2015, the jury convicted Mr. Hooley and fined him $1500.
Norred Law, PLLC is handling his appeal and considering a potential civil process to stop the over-the-top policing by the city, which clearly has too much time on its hands if it’s so worried about “milk trafficking”.
Norred Law, PLLC has taken this as one of our White Hat Institute cases, where we have determined that we will perform the work at a reduced cost up front and seek to obtain a permanent judicial fix, giving the Texas State Legislature time to pass a state law which will protect Mr. Hooley and all those who prefer milk to be in a more natural state, but we cannot do it without your help. Please consider donating to this worthy cause.
We’ve put a campaign budget to address this and other similar issues. Our goals include:
- Fighting for justice in this particular citation against Mr. Hooley and Rosey Ridge;
- Defending raw milk users against the overreach by use of “Unauthorized Food Establishment” citations; and
- Establishing a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of liberty-minded legal processes so people can earn a living without undue interference by regulators who produce nothing.
We estimate that the full cost of these tasks to be $25,000. If we are successful, Fort Worth will have to cease its arbitrary enforcement, and other cities will follow suit or recognize that they are in the wrong and vulnerable to a challenge. We hope you will join us in this worthy cause.
P.S. I know…the phrase “overreaching city government” is usually redundant.
P.P.S. To contribute, you can send a check to us at Norred Law, PLLC (be sure to put “Rosey Ridge” on the memo field), or contribute to the GoFundMe site and donate there.
P.P.P.S. You can visit Rosey Ridge Farm. See them HERE.