Bishop v. Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Wichita, No. 88-1787

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore TACHA, BALDOCK, and BRORBY; TACHA
Citation908 F.2d 658
Parties, 116 Lab.Cas. P 56,351, 5 Indiv.Empl.Rts.Cas. 870 Troy O. BISHOP, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FEDERAL INTERMEDIATE CREDIT BANK OF WICHITA; and B.L. Hauenstein, Defendants-Appellees.
Decision Date17 July 1990
Docket NumberNo. 88-1787

Page 658

908 F.2d 658
59 USLW 2073, 116 Lab.Cas. P 56,351,
5 Indiv.Empl.Rts.Cas. 870
Troy O. BISHOP, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
FEDERAL INTERMEDIATE CREDIT BANK OF WICHITA; and B.L.
Hauenstein, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 88-1787.
United States Court of Appeals,
Tenth Circuit.
July 17, 1990.

Page 659

Submitted on the briefs: *

Ben A. Goff & Mary Ellen Lee of Ben A. Goff, P.C., Oklahoma City, Okl., for plaintiff-appellant.

D. Kent Meyers & Denise Cotter Villani of Crowe & Dunlevy, Oklahoma City, Okl., for defendants-appellees.

Before TACHA, BALDOCK, and BRORBY, Circuit Judges.

TACHA, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff Troy Bishop commenced this action April 12, 1985, alleging that defendants Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Wichita ("FICB") and its president, B.L. Hauenstein, had wrongfully discharged him from his position as president of the Chandler Production Credit Association ("Chandler") in violation of Oklahoma law and the first amendment of the United States Constitution. Bishop appeals from three district court orders: (1) an order, filed September 12, 1986, granting defendants partial summary judgment and dismissing plaintiff's state wrongful discharge claims as preempted by the Farm Credit Act; (2) an order, filed November 9, 1987, denying plaintiff's motion to reconsider the dismissal of the wrongful discharge claims; and (3) an order, filed April 13, 1988, granting defendants judgment on the pleadings on plaintiff's first amendment claims. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

I.

In the September 12 order, the district court ruled that Bishop's wrongful discharge tort claim under Oklahoma law was preempted by the Farm Credit Act ("FCA"), 12 U.S.C. Secs. 2001-2279aa. The district court ruled that Congress had intended to fully occupy the farm credit field, including the regulation of employer/employee relations in farm credit agencies.

Page 660

We review the September 12 order granting defendants partial summary judgment de novo, viewing the record in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. See Ewing v. Amoco Oil Co., 823 F.2d 1432, 1437 (10th Cir.1987). Summary judgment is appropriate where there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).

"[W]e start with the assumption that the historic police powers of the States were not to be superseded by the Federal Act unless that was the clear and manifest purpose of Congress." Rice v. Santa Fe Elevator Corp., 331 U.S. 218, 230, 67 S.Ct. 1146, 1152, 91 L.Ed. 1447 (1947). Nevertheless, preemption may be found "when the federal legislation is 'sufficiently comprehensive to make reasonable the inference that Congress "left no room" for supplementary state regulation.' " International Paper Co. v. Ouellette, 479 U.S. 481, 491, 107 S.Ct. 805, 811, 93 L.Ed.2d 883 (1987) (quoting Hillsborough County v. Automated Medical Laboratories, Inc., 471 U.S. 707, 713, 105 S.Ct. 2371, 2375, 85 L.Ed.2d 714 (1985) and Santa Fe, 331 U.S. at 230, 67 S.Ct. at 1152). A state law is also invalid to the extent that it "actually conflicts with a ... federal statute," Ray v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 435 U.S. 151, 158, 98 S.Ct. 988, 994, 55 L.Ed.2d 179 (1978), or when the state law " 'stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes of Congress,' " Hillsborough County, 471 U.S. at 713, 105 S.Ct. at 2375 (quoting Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52, 67, 61 S.Ct. 399, 404, 85 L.Ed. 581 (1941)). See also Ouellette, 479 U.S. at 492, 107 S.Ct. at 811. We turn to consider whether: (1) Congress has fully occupied the field; or (2) a state wrongful discharge action blocks execution of the congressional purpose.

A.

We disagree with the district court's conclusion that Congress has preempted the entire field of farm credit, including employment relations. While Congress may well have preempted state interest laws and other state policies that would interfere in the financial operations of the farm credit system, see, e.g., Federal Land Bank of St. Louis v. Wilson, 719 F.2d 1367 (8th Cir.1983) (FCA preempts state usury laws), we do not find that Congress has clearly expressed an intent to preempt general state employment law. As the Supreme Court stated in English v. General Electric Co., --- U.S. ----, 110 S.Ct. 2270, 110 L.Ed.2d 65 (1990), the "real issue" in determining whether a state wrongful discharge tort claim was preempted by Congress's occupation of the field of nuclear safety was whether the state law would "have some direct and substantial effect on the decisions made by those who build or operate nuclear facilities concerning radiological safety levels." Id. at 2278. While wrongful discharge suits would undoubtedly have some effect on decisions in the farm credit field, we conclude that they do not have the "direct and substantial effect" on decisions granting credit that would justify federal preemption of the state law wrongful discharge claims. Moreover, the Farm Credit Administration itself has ruled that state laws governing employment relations are to be respected. See Farm Credit Administration, Personnel Administration, 12 C.F.R. Sec. 612.2000 (1989) ("[E]ach bank and association is subject to and required to comply with other Federal, state and local laws and regulations related to the employment process.") (emphasis added). We therefore hold that the district court erred in holding that Congress's passage of the FCA preempted the entire field of credit operations to the point of barring state employment law tort claims.

B.

The determination that the Farm Credit Act does not so fully occupy the field as to preclude state employment law torts does not end our inquiry. The state tort action may still conflict with particular aspects of the Farm Credit Act. If this conflict rises to the level of an actual conflict with the federal statute, see Ray, 435 U.S. at 158, 98 S.Ct. at 994, or if the state law " 'stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution

Page 661

of the full purposes of Congress,' " Hillsborough County, 471 U.S. at 713, 105 S.Ct. at 2375 (quoting Hines, 312 U.S. at 67, 61 S.Ct. at 404), the state law claim will be preempted.

FICB contends that recognizing a state wrongful discharge claim interferes with Congress's execution of the farm credit system because FICB is charged with supervising Chandler and needs the power to remove Chandler officers. FICB cites two statutory...

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24 practice notes
  • Mock v. T.G. & Y. Stores Co., Nos. 90-6344
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • July 24, 1992
    ...cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 112 S.Ct. 263, 116 L.Ed.2d 217 (1991) (quoting Bishop v. Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Wichita, 908 F.2d 658, 663 (10th Cir.1990)), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 112 S.Ct. 263, 116 L.Ed.2d 217 (1991). We review the sufficiency of a complaint de novo, and wi......
  • CARL v. CHILDREN'S HOSP., No. 93-CV-1476
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • April 10, 1995
    ...to the clear mandate of public policy implicitly recognized in D.C.Code § 1-224. In Bishop v. Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Wichita, 908 F.2d 658 (10th Cir. 1990), the court allowed a suit when the plaintiff alleged discharge from employment for testifying before a congressional commi......
  • Carl v. Children's Hosp., No. 93-CV-1476.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • September 23, 1997
    ...bodies." Id. (emphasis added). The court therefore remanded the case for trial. In Bishop v. Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, 908 F.2d 658 (10th Cir.1990), the plaintiff, a bank employee, claimed that his employer (FICB) had discharged him in retaliation for testifying at a Congressio......
  • In re Porter McLeod, Inc., No. Civ. A 97-B-1133
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • March 17, 1999
    ...apply to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) motions for judgment on the pleadings. O. Bishop v. Federal 231 BR 791 Intermediate Credit Bank of Wichita, 908 F.2d 658 (10th Cir.1990); see Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil 2d § 1368. A district court may grant judgment on the pleading......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Mock v. T.G. & Y. Stores Co., Nos. 90-6344
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • July 24, 1992
    ...cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 112 S.Ct. 263, 116 L.Ed.2d 217 (1991) (quoting Bishop v. Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Wichita, 908 F.2d 658, 663 (10th Cir.1990)), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 112 S.Ct. 263, 116 L.Ed.2d 217 (1991). We review the sufficiency of a complaint de novo, and wi......
  • CARL v. CHILDREN'S HOSP., No. 93-CV-1476
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • April 10, 1995
    ...to the clear mandate of public policy implicitly recognized in D.C.Code § 1-224. In Bishop v. Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Wichita, 908 F.2d 658 (10th Cir. 1990), the court allowed a suit when the plaintiff alleged discharge from employment for testifying before a congressional commi......
  • Carl v. Children's Hosp., No. 93-CV-1476.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • September 23, 1997
    ...bodies." Id. (emphasis added). The court therefore remanded the case for trial. In Bishop v. Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, 908 F.2d 658 (10th Cir.1990), the plaintiff, a bank employee, claimed that his employer (FICB) had discharged him in retaliation for testifying at a Congressio......
  • In re Porter McLeod, Inc., No. Civ. A 97-B-1133
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. United States District Court of Colorado
    • March 17, 1999
    ...apply to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) motions for judgment on the pleadings. O. Bishop v. Federal 231 BR 791 Intermediate Credit Bank of Wichita, 908 F.2d 658 (10th Cir.1990); see Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil 2d § 1368. A district court may grant judgment on the pleading......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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