Florida Lime and Avocado Growers, Inc. v. Jacobsen

PETITIONER: Florida Lime and Avocado Growers, Inc.
LOCATION: Superior Court of Bibb County

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)

CITATION: 362 US 73 (1960)
ARGUED: Dec 09, 1959 / Dec 10, 1959
DECIDED: Mar 07, 1960

Facts of the case


Media for Florida Lime and Avocado Growers, Inc. v. Jacobsen

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 09, 1959 in Florida Lime and Avocado Growers, Inc. v. Jacobsen

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 10, 1959 in Florida Lime and Avocado Growers, Inc. v. Jacobsen

Earl Warren:

Number 49, Florida Lime & Avocado Growers, Inc., Appellants versus Jacobsen, Director of the Department of Agriculture of California.

Mr. Fourt, you may continue.

John Fourt:

Mr. Chief Justice and Honorable Associate Justices.

At the time of adjournment, we were discussing the precise acts or conduct of appellee with regard the appellant.

Specifically was the notice which is given by the appellee to the appellants upon the ascertainment that certain avocados do not comply with the state statute.

Plaintiff's exhibit 22 shows this type of notice.

1874 lots of avocados were inspected and 361 were found to be out of compliance.

Our position is that this notice is informational.

The results of the oil tests were given and the appellants were informed that they could recondition the non-complying avocados, that is cull them out.


Charles E. Whittaker:


John Fourt:


It's a record on 441 that the appellants could transship the non-complying avocados out of the State or that the avocados could be diverted to non-human food uses.

Two things then were present, appellant was informed that certain logs of avocados failed to comply with state law and the statute was substantially described to the appellant.

He was given notice of the contents of the state statute.

This then did not constitute the type of action required to show a trespass or personal misconduct by the appellee.

Nothing then existed except the statute itself plus the announcement by appellee that he stood ready to perform his duty.

The court below held --

Hugo L. Black:

So this was a violation notice, wasn't it?

Marked violation notice?

John Fourt:

That is correct.

Hugo L. Black:

What he had then was a notice that he had violated the law and he didn't do something, I assume that nothing that he does here, wasn't it?

John Fourt:

That is correct.

What would be done if he did nothing?

Would be that abetting proceedings would be filed forthwith in a Superior Court of the State of California.


Charles E. Whittaker:

Now, suppose the law is invalid and violates the Federal Constitution, would you say that -- that they made under those circumstances wouldn't -- couldn't be utilized on the basis of our suit against the officer?

John Fourt:

Our position is that something further would have to occur before a case or controversy would arise.

Hugo L. Black:

I suppose he let him come and get it?

John Fourt:

That if -- I take it that -- I further step the lot would be seized by the State.