California Pest Control Law

The purpose of the Pest Control Law is "to make available a procedure for the organization, operation, government, and dissolution of districts for the more effective control and eradication of citrus pests, whichever products the district is established to protect." ( 8402, italics added.) The italicized language highlights an obvious point. Different regions in the state produce different products and must contend with different citrus pests. While one citrus pest may create an imminent threat to one region of the state, it may be nonexistent in another region because of differing soil conditions, climate and agriculture. In addition, the conditions in a particular region may also influence the effectiveness of certain eradication strategies. The Pest Control Law creates a procedure for growers in individual counties to create districts for the effective control and eradication of citrus pests within each of those districts. It would be contrary to the purpose of the law to subject all districts in the state to the same pest control and eradication strategies. " 'Neither the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States nor the California Constitution precludes classification by the Legislature or requires uniform operation of the law with respect to persons who are different. . . . "The concept of equal protection of the laws compels recognition of the proposition that persons similarly situated with respect to the legitimate purpose of the law receive like treatment." Thus, 'The first prerequisite to a meritorious claim under the equal protection clause is a showing that the state has adopted a classification that affects two or more similarly situated groups in an unequal manner.' [Citations.]" ( People v. Applin, supra, 40 Cal. App. 4th at p. 409.)