Agricultural Law


The experienced attorneys of Germino, Amaral & Jordan understand the complexity of many issues involving Ag Law and farming. If you have an issue that has arisen that deals with farming rights, land tenure, tenancy, worker injury, water rights, bank loans, foreclosures, animal rights issues, or other agricultural related litigation, we may be able to help.


The breadth and depth of agricultural law as well as the high-dollar figures that arise out of litigation involving agricultural issues make it imperative that you obtain a good attorney to help you if you are involved in farming or agriculture litigations or contracts in Merced County.


Our lawyers may be able to help with all kinds of contracts or disputes that may arise from agricultural concerns. Whether your needs stem from issues surrounding animals, cropland, orchards, grazing areas, or even fish farming, we are here to help.


Some of the agricultural litigation which we deal with includes, but is not limited to, the following:


Farming Rights - Farmers face a tremendous number of challenges in the 21st century. As stewards of the land, farmers realize that what they provide is critical to the needs of thousands if not millions of people. Sadly encroachments of all kinds can adversely impact a farmer's ability to continue to provide food to our nation. Legal challenges can come in the form of noise complaints from homeowners in encroaching subdivisions, dust and odor issues, as well as easements, water use and distribution issues, and much more. We can help with these concerns.


Land Tenure - Owners and lessees of agricultural lands have unique legal needs because of their symbiotic and interdependent relationship. We can help hammer out agreements which are fair to both sides and meet the needs of all concerned. When disputes arise we are able to help our clients with any number of issues which arise out of the unique relationships between those who own the land and those who work it. We may be able to broker a mutually acceptable agreement or, if need be, we can take on the roll of legal advocate for one of the parties in court.


Tenancy - Tenant farming is a symbiotic system of agricultural production which consists of a landowner who contributes the space (and sometimes funding) to a tenant farmer who will contribute knowledge and labor to bring forth crops or raise animals for the financial benefit of both parties. Sometimes tenant farmers will also live on the land. If you are looking to enter into a tenancy agreement or if a dispute has arisen from your tenant farming situation that requires legal intervention please feel free to give us a call to explore your case.


Farming Injuries - Protecting the rights of landowners and farmers as well as those who work on their land is imperative. We can help clients who have been injured through the negligence of others while doing their jobs correctly. We can also help defend landowners, contractors, and farm management from suits brought wrongly by those who might try to abuse the legal system because of their own failure to protect themselves through the use of correct personal protective equipment, obtaining correct training or other irresponsible actions. If you have been injured or are being sued for contributing to the injury or death of another, please give us a call to explore your case.


Water Rights - One of the most complex and highly charged areas of Central Valley Law is the issue of water rights. 'Water rights' are entitlements granting the holder the right to divert water from a specified source and put it to beneficial use that is not wasteful. Water rights are, in fact, a form of complex property rights that often require permitting, licenses, interaction with state and local agencies, and a myriad of other complex legal and bureaucratic interactions. Proper water usage, distribution, pumping, containment, as well as a plethora of State rules and regulations make this an area where having an attorney is critical. If you are a farmer trying to protect your water allotment, or are a landowner who is in need of assistance in drafting or defending legal agreements, fight an eminent domain issue, or otherwise protect yourself, please contact us.


Taxation - Agricultural companies as well as individual farmers face complex tax laws and regulations. Our law firm works closely with certified public accountants and financial planners to help our clients stay within the law and make use of all of the rights that they have to keep their taxes to a minimum. In addition, we can help if a client has inadvertently gone askew and received a notice from the IRS or the California Franchise Tax Board concerning taxation issues.


Bank Loans and Financial Document Review - We provide agricultural clients with advice and interpretation of financial instruments. Ag companies may have fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders or others that need to be taken into consideration when entering into financial agreements. Having an attorney look these items over is always a good idea. We help our clients with advice on, and negotiation of, the language of proposed or contested loan agreements. We can also provide a full legal review of other legal or financial documents.


Foreclosures - Foreclosure is a legal process that banks and other lenders use to retrieve some of the money they loaned to someone. Foreclosures can occur when an agricultural borrower is deemed unable to repay the loan. In some cases we may be able to help negotiate with lenders to help our clients get a better deal or perhaps even find a way to refinance the agricultural property in question. We may also be able to discover other creative legal solutions that can keep you farming - a win-win situation for both you and the bank/lender. Call us as early as possible if foreclosure or missed payments are a potential outcome of your situation.


Animal Rights Activist Activities - While we recognize that there is a need for humane treatment of animals there are some groups who through legal as well as ILLEGAL means have abused those who make animal husbandry or processing their source of income. We can help clients who are experiencing challenges involving people or groups who have either abused the system or have committed illegal acts toward our clients, their employees, or their property.


Other Agricultural Litigation or Agreements - The above list is by no means comprehensive.
If you are in need of any other sort of ag-related contract or legal document, or if you are involved in or considering any form of agricultural litigation we may be able to help. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.