U.S. District Court Issues Order in Ultima v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt PC

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt PC

On September 1, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee issued an order in Ultima Services Corp. v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, et. al., Case No. 2:20-cv-00041, as a result of the status hearing held in that case on August 31, 2023. The District Court in Ultima had previously issued an injunction prohibiting the Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) from using the rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage contained at 13 CFR 124.103(b) in connection with the SBA’s 8(a) program.

The District Court’s September 1st order states that only two issues remain the case:

  • Ultima Services Corporation’s request for an injunction precluding the federal government from reserving administrative and technical support contracts with the Natural Resources Conservation Service the SBA’s 8(a) program; and
  • The SBA’s compliance with the District Court’s prior injunction.

The Ultima case arose out of the government’s decision to place a follow-on procurement for a contract on which Ultima Services Corporation was the incumbent within the SBA’s 8(a) Program, which meant that Ultima Services Corporation could not compete for that new contract. Ultima Services Corporation’s complaint asked for an order barring the federal government from limiting competition for administrative and technical support contracts with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to participants in the SBA’s 8(a) Program.

The District Court set a briefing schedule to address these issues:

  • Ultima Services Corporation’s brief is due by September 15, 2023;
  • The government’s brief is due by September 29, 2023; and
  • Ultima Services Corporation’s reply brief is due October 5, 2o23.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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