Blog: Raw Milk: The Whole Truth
by chef jem

Legal Charges & A Farmer Who Honors God And Respects Milk!

The "legal impossibility" of the charges against this farmer!

Date:   1/22/2013 3:17:44 AM   ( 10 y ) ... viewed 10477 times

Vernon Hershberger is a dedicated family farmer who is farming on his own private land in Wisconsin (known as the Dairy State). Thirteen months ago Vernon was charged with four misdemeanor counts for alleged violations of the Wisconsin food and dairy code. "On December 5, 2011, the state of Wisconsin filed criminal charges against ... Vernon Hershberger on four misdemeanor counts for violations of the state food and dairy code. Hershberger was charged with operating a retail food establishment without a license, operating a dairy farm as a milk producer without a license, operating a dairy plant without a license and violating a holding order issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).":

I just discovered this evening that these "criminal charges" are a "legal impossibility".:

Black's (Fifth) shows:
"legal impossibility. As defense to criminal charge, this defense occurs when actions which defendant performs ... would not constitute crime."

Crimes are categorized in numerous ways. I think anyone who has the most basic understanding of this would agree that the legal charges (that have been presented against Vernon by the above State agency) are for "statutory crimes". According to the Bouvier Law Dictionary: "The statutes of a state define crimes in that state." If it is not defined in the state statutes as a crime then it is not a crime in that state. Again from Bouvier's - "Statutes declaring certain behavior criminal must accord with the constitution governing their enacting legislature." Is there a Wisconsin statute in accord with it's constitution that essentially criminalizes farming on one's own private land? If so I very much would like to see that statute!

Another critical consideration is that the full understanding of the (apparently simple) sentence concerning "that state" (quoted form Bouvier) requires certain knowledge of the Law that reveals exactly what "that state" consists of. Does the State of Wisconsin consist of land that includes that which is privately owned by Vernon Hershberger? There should be no assumptions ever made about what a state is, what a state has jurisdiction over and what the tangible reality is upon which a state's jurisdiction is based on and especially when we read the above line quoted from Bouvier's!

If a state DE CLAREs in it's state constitution that the officers of that state are required to subscribe an oath or declaration in support of the Constitution of The United States (as the supreme law of the land in that state) then that is the most significant clue as to what the state consists of. The only way to have the United States Constitution as "the supreme law of the land" within a state is for that state to have land that is owed by or under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the United States. Is all of Wisconsin land owned by the United States or subject to the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the United States? All the people living in Wisconsin need to know this! (Article IX in the Wisconsin Constitution addresses Property of the State.) It will be people who are living in Wisconsin who will make up the jury, if there is a trail against Vernon.

I was inspired to search the term: "impossibility" in two of my law dictionaries and glad I did! After reading both Black's and Bouvier's I am convinced that the charges against Vernon Hershberger are a legal impossibility and that on that basis alone they should be dismissed.

This defense appears to be the most directly pertinent to the charges. IMO this defense squarely responds to the charge (without any evasion) and tells the truth about the impossible nature of the charge against the accused. In Vernon's case there is also the issue of the fact that there is no contract with the state to perform anything at all! The lack of a contract also makes the charge a legal impossibility, IMO.

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