TITLE 3

Agriculture

Marketing of Agricultural Products

CHAPTER 31. MILK, CREAM AND OTHER MILK PRODUCTS; CONTAINERS

Subchapter V. Dealers' and Handlers' Bonds


(a) No milk dealer or handler shall purchase, acquire or receive on consignment or otherwise milk from producers unless the milk dealer or handler has filed with the Department of Agriculture a corporate surety, individual surety, or collateral bond, approved by such Department.

(b) Except as otherwise herein provided, the bond required by subsection (a) of this section shall be in a sum equal to the value of the highest aggregate amount of milk purchased, acquired or received by the dealer or handler from producers in any 1 month during the preceding calendar year, which value shall be computed according to such milk dealer's or handler's posted prices for such month, and shall not in any event exceed $100,000.

(c) The bond required by subsection (a) of this section shall be upon a form prescribed by the Department of Agriculture, conditioned for the payment by the milk dealer or handler of all amounts due, including amounts due under this subchapter and the orders of such Department, for milk purchased or otherwise acquired from producers by the milk dealer or handler during the license year, upon such terms and conditions as the Department may prescribe.

(d) In the case of a milk dealer or handler who pays producers in full each week for milk purchased, acquired or received by him from such producers, the bond required by subsection (a) of this section shall be in a sum equal to 50 percent of the value of the highest aggregate amount of milk purchased, acquired or received by the dealer or handler from producers in any 1 month during the preceding calendar year, which value shall be computed according to such milk dealer's or handler's posted prices for such month, and shall not in any event exceed $50,000.

Code 1935, § 654A; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3161; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

Milk purchased, acquired or received by a milk dealer or handler from producers outside the State and sold or distributed by such dealers or handlers as fluid milk within the State, shall be included in computing the amount of such dealer's or handler's bond, except where such dealer or handler has filed a bond for the protection of such producers within the state wherein the milk is purchased, acquired or received or with such producers. In such computation, the amount due for such milk shall be determined according to any applicable official prices or any lawful contract price.

Code 1935, § 654B; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3162.;

A milk dealer or handler purchasing or acquiring or receiving or intending to purchase, acquire or receive milk from producers, but not so engaged during any month of the preceding calendar year, shall file a bond in a reasonable sum to be fixed by the Department of Agriculture, and within the time for filing his or her application such dealer or handler shall request the Department to fix such sum.

Code 1935, § 654B; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3163; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The bond required in this subchapter shall be filed with the dealer's or handler's application for a license, and shall be filed within the time for filing such application.

(b) The bond shall become effective upon its being filed with the Department of Agriculture for the entire license year, or for that part of the license year in which the milk dealer or handler became engaged in the milk business. Any bond filed with the Department shall become effective upon being filed, whether or not it is approved by the Department, and shall no longer be of effect during the license year only when it has been replaced by a bond approved by the Department to be substituted therefor. The bond required in this subchapter shall be an obligation independent of the granting of a license and shall remain in full force and effect for and during the license year designated, as long as the dealer or handler purchases or receives milk from producers or is indebted to pay producers for any milk delivered during said license year, whether or not a license is granted the milk dealer or handler or a license granted the milk dealer or handler remains in force.

(c) The Department of Agriculture shall determine within a reasonable time after the close of a license year which milk dealers or handlers have paid all amounts protected by their bonds filed with the Department, and if the Department finds that all amounts protected by the bond of a milk dealer or handler have been paid, it shall thereafter return the bond for said past license year to each such milk dealer or handler.

Code 1935, § 654C; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3164; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

(a) A corporate surety bond shall be executed to the State by the milk dealer, as principal, and by a corporate surety company. The Department of Agriculture shall have no power to reject any corporate surety bond which is so executed by a corporate surety company authorized to do business in this State as surety.

(b) An individual surety bond shall be executed to the State by the milk dealer, as principal, and by 1 or more individuals, as surety or sureties, who shall have sole title to real estate, the fair valuation of which, free and clear, or in excess of all encumbrances, shall be at least equal to the amount of the bond.

(c) A collateral bond shall be executed to the State by the milk dealer, as principal, shall set forth therein the collateral posted with such bond, and shall have attached thereto the collateral properly assigned and transferred to the State. The collateral posted with such bond shall be cash in an amount equal to the amount of the bond; or such bond shall be secured by an actual deposit with the Department of Agriculture, or with a bank, bank and trust company, or national bank within the State, of money to the full amount of the bond; or by securities to such amount, consisting of interest-bearing obligations of the United States government, of this State, or of any political subdivision of this State, or by any other security or securities approved by the Department of Agriculture. The security or securities deposited therewith shall constitute a trust fund for producers from whom the dealer purchases milk.

Code 1935, § 654D; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3165; 57 Del. Laws, c. 763, § 12.;

The Department of Agriculture may grant to any milk dealer or handler the authority to substitute for any bond, surety or any collateral, another bond, surety or other collateral, provided that such other bond, surety, or collateral meets all the requirements of this subchapter.

Code 1935, § 654D; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3166; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

(a) A milk dealer or handler shall, from time to time, when required by the Department of Agriculture, make and file with such Department a verified statement of his or her disbursements, or of any other facts in connection with his or her business, during a period to be prescribed by the Department, which financial statement shall contain the names of the producers from whom milk was purchased, acquired, received or handled on consignment or otherwise, the amount due to the producers, and any other relevant facts required by the Department pertinent to the dealer or handler or the dealer's or handler's surety or sureties.

(b) In lieu of, and notwithstanding any and all provisions contained in this subchapter to the contrary, and in particular any and all provisions requiring a milk dealer or handler to file a corporate surety, or individual surety, or collateral bond, the Department of Agriculture may accept of and from any milk dealer or handler who has been continuously engaged in such business in this State for a period of 7 years prior thereto a complete current financial statement of all the assets and liabilities of such dealer or handler, verified under oath by such dealer or handler or an authorized agent thereof; which financial statement shall be in such form and in such detail as the Department prescribes from time to time.

(c) Whoever wilfully falsifies any such financial statement, in whole or in part, is guilty of making a false written statement in violation of § 1233 of Title 11 and shall be punished accordingly.

(d) If the Department of Agriculture determines from the financial statement that the fair net worth of the milk dealer or handler is at least equal to the amount of corporate surety, or individual surety, or collateral bond which such milk dealer or handler would otherwise be required to file, the Department may accept such milk dealer's or handler's bond and financial statement without requiring any corporate or individual surety thereon or collateral to be posted therewith.

Code 1935, § 654E; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3167; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

If it appears from the dealer's or handler's financial statement, or from facts otherwise ascertained by the Department of Agriculture, that the bond afforded to producers selling, supplying or making available on consignment or otherwise milk to such milk dealer or handler does not adequately protect such producers, the Department may require such milk dealer or handler to procure an additional surety, or to give an additional bond or additional security for the collateral bond, in a sum to be determined by the Department, which (1) shall not exceed more than 50 percent of the value of the highest aggregate amount of milk purchased, acquired or received on consignment or otherwise by the dealer or handler from producers in any 1 month during the preceding or current year, which value shall be computed according to the prices applicable, or which (2) shall be a sum not exceeding by more than 50 percent the amount found to be due and owing producers by such dealer on a particular date determined by the Department, whichever sum is greater, but the total increase shall not in any event exceed $50,000. In the case of a milk dealer or handler who pays producers in full each week for milk purchased, acquired or received or handled on consignment or otherwise by him from such producers, any increase required hereunder shall not exceed more than 25 percent of such value or amount, but the total increase in any event shall not exceed $25,000.

Code 1935, § 654F; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3168; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

The Department of Agriculture may grant a reduction of the bond or the collateral, or release an additional surety, if it appears that owing to a decrease in the milk purchased, received or handled by the dealer or handler, or to other causes, a bond in a lesser amount or with fewer sureties will protect producers selling, supplying or making available milk to such milk dealer or handler.

Code 1935, § 654F; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3169; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

All bonds, together with any moneys, or securities given as collateral therefor, received by the Department of Agriculture from milk dealers pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter, shall be transmitted by the Department to the State Treasurer for safekeeping subject to withdrawal in whole or in part at any time by the Department.

Code 1935, § 654G; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3170; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

The milk dealer or handler shall be entitled to all moneys received by the State Treasurer as interest or dividends upon any security or securities deposited by such milk dealer or handler with the Department of Agriculture and transmitted by the Department to the State Treasurer for safekeeping, in accordance with this subchapter. The milk dealer or handler shall not be entitled to interest or dividends if there is on file with the Department a valid unpaid claim of a producer against the milk dealer or handler, based on milk sold, supplied or made available by such producer to the milk dealer or handler.

Code 1935, § 654H; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3171; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

The Department of Agriculture may sue on the bond on behalf of producers. Suit may be brought in the name of the State upon relation of the Department of Agriculture or of the Attorney General, in such manner as debts are by law recoverable.

Code 1935, § 654I; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3172; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

If, by valid formal order refusing, suspending or revoking a license, after hearing with due notice to all those liable on the bond, the Department of Agriculture has found a milk dealer or handler to be indebted thereunder, such order and the findings of fact in support thereof shall be conclusive evidence of the amount due under such bond in a suit thereon by the Department, unless an appeal therefrom is pending and a supersedeas granted.

Code 1935, § 654J; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3173; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;

The Department of Agriculture shall prescribe the procedure for the payment, out of the proceeds of any bond or collateral required by this subchapter, of the amounts found due to producers or handlers or dealers, based on sales or deliveries of milk by them to a milk dealer or handler who has posted a bond or collateral. If the proceeds of a bond or of collateral which has been posted by a milk dealer or handler shall be insufficient to pay in full the amounts due to producers who have sold or supplied milk to such milk dealer or handler, the moneys available shall be divided pro rata among such producers.

Code 1935, § 654K; 48 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 1; 3 Del. C. 1953, § 3174; 57 Del. Laws, c. 764, § 12.;