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Cothran v. Evans

Filed: March 16, 1982.

JAMES W. COTHRAN, H. LAWTON COTHRAN AND RISDEN A. LYON
v.
TILDON EVANS



Appeal by plaintiffs from DeRamus, Judge. Judgment entered 2 April 1981 in Superior Court, Moore County. Heard in the Court of Appeals 3 February 1982.

Vaughn, Judge. Chief Judge Morris and Judge Martin (Harry C.) concur.

Vaughn

Plaintiffs argue that the court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of defendant. We disagree.

Summary judgment is properly granted only if all the evidence before the court indicates that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Brenner v. School House, Ltd., 302 N.C. 207, 274 S.E.2d 206 (1981). In the present cause, the material facts concern the lease between Whispering Pines, Inc. and defendant, the Record of Transfer of Allotments, and plaintiffs' present position

as title owners of the land. There is no disagreement between the parties as to these facts.

Plaintiffs contend there is an issue of fact concerning their intent in signing the Record of Transfer form. Plaintiffs' complaint, however, does not allege misrepresentation or mistake. We conclude that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact.

We next decide whether defendant proved he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Plaintiffs contend that the lease is subject to the general rules regarding priority of deeds of trust over subsequent conveyances. Since the lease was recorded subsequently to plaintiffs' recorded mortgage and deed of trust, plaintiffs argue it was a junior lien extinguished by the sale on foreclosure.

Tobacco allotments, however, are not within the purview of North Carolina's registration statutes concerning prior encumbrances. Hart v. Hassell, 250 F. Supp. 893 (E.D.N.C. 1966). Transfers of the acreage allotments are governed by Part I, Section B, Subchapter II, of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1311-1316. 7 U.S.C. § 1313(d) (1976) explicitly states that "[f]arm marketing quotas may be transferred only in such manner and subject to such conditions as the Secretary [of Agriculture] may prescribe by regulations." The statute is a valid exercise of Congress' commerce powers. Whenever state and federal regulations seek to control the same subject matter, the Congression regulations are dominant. Currin v. Wallace, 306 U.S. 1, 11 59 S. Ct. 379, 385, 83 L. Ed. 441, 449 (1938).

7 U.S.C. § 1314b permits the owner of a farm for which a tobacco acreage allotment is established, to lease all or part of such allotment to any other owner or operator of a farm in the same county having a current tobacco allotment of the same kind. The lease may not exceeed five years and must comply with other regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

Pursuant to his authority, the Secretary has promulgated 7 C.F.R. § 725.72 (1981), a regulation concerning the transfer of acreage and farm marketing quotas of flue-cured tobacco. 7 C.F.R. § 725.72(c)(2) provides:

"No lease of any quota under this section shall become effective until a record of transfer, ...


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