Citrus Pest Control California Law

California has enacted specific laws to address the control of all types of citrus pests. the Citrus Pest District Control Law (Pest Control Law), codified at section 8401 et seq., provides a procedure "for the organization, operation, government, and dissolution of districts for the more effective control and eradication of citrus pests." ( 8402.) A citrus pest is defined to include "any infectious, transmissible, or contagious disease, any form of animal life, or any form of vegetable life infesting citrus trees or citrus fruits." ( 8406.) Since the Pest Control Law is not widely known, we now devote space to the review of sections generally relevant to resolution of this case. Pest control districts are formed by a petition, which must be signed by landowners that hold at least 51 percent of the citrus acreage in the district. ( 8451.) The county board of supervisors then declares the district to be duly organized after notice and hearing, finding "the project is feasible and in the interest of the citrus growers of the county." ( 8463; see also 8455-8460.) the district is governed by a five-person board of directors, appointed by the board of supervisors for the county in which the district is located. ( 8501.) In order to serve as a district director, a person must own lands within the district which are devoted to growing the product for which the district is established. ( 8502.) Pest control districts have numerous powers. They include the power to sue and be sued; to hold and dispose of real and personal property; to cause assessments to be levied to pay district obligations; to enter into contracts; and to employ persons necessary to carry out the purposes and powers of the district. ( 8551.) Additionally, districts can "eradicate, remove, or prevent the spread of any and all citrus pests"; "enter into or upon any land included within the boundaries of the district for the purpose of inspecting and treating the citrus trees and other host plants and fruit grown on them;" and "perform any and all acts either within or outside the district necessary or proper to fully and completely carry out the purposes for which the district was organized." (Ibid.) Pest control districts are permitted to compensate for the removal of any citrus tree infected with CTV. the maximum amount of compensation is $ 25 per tree, with a $ 3,000 cap per geographical acre. ( 8553, 8555.) The board of directors is required to "formulate an effective plan based on the best known and accepted methods for the control and eradication of the citrus pests within the district." ( 8557.) It must also estimate the costs of operating the plan for the next fiscal year, and adopt a preliminary budget of expenditures for that year. ( 8558-8559.) A hearing must be held by the board on its annual budget. ( 8560, 8568.) Further, the board must file its final budget for each fiscal year with the board of supervisors, which then levies an assessment upon all the citrus trees in the district. ( 8604.) Landowners can dissolve the district by petition. It must be signed by landowners that hold at least 60 percent of the citrus acreage in the district. ( 8751.) The board of supervisors for the county in which the pest control district is located dissolves the district after notice and hearing, and must find that "dissolution of the district will benefit the citrus industry of the county." ( 8756; see also 8752-8755.)