Citrus Pest Control Law
Scope and Purpose of Statute
“California has enacted specific laws to address the control of all types of citrus pests.” (People ex rel Lockyer v. Sun Pacific Farming Co.(2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 619, 627.) “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.’” (Id., citing Sec. 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.’” (Id., citing Sec. 8406.)
“[T]he purpose of the Citrus Pest Control Law [is] the control and eradication of citrus pests.” (Wallich's Ranch Co. v. Kern County Citrus (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 878, 884.) “The Pest Control Law provides a specific mechanism for levying and assessing taxes for district purposes.” (Id. at 880.) “The county assessor, in making the annual assessment of property, is required to assess any parcel of real property with 25 or more citrus trees on it.” (Id.) “The assessor enters the value of all citrus trees on the assessment roll for each parcel of real property included in the district.” (Id.) “Upon completing the assessment roll of the county, the assessor computes and certifies to the board of supervisors the total assessed value, as shown by the assessment roll, of all the citrus trees in the district.” (Id. at 881 citing Sec. 8601.)
Procedure for Formation of Pest Control Districts
“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.” (People ex rel Lockyer v. Sun Pacific Farming Co. (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 619, 627 citing Sec. 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[.]’” (Id., citing Sec. 8463; see also Secs. 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.” (Id., citing 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.” (Id., citing Sec. 8502.)
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Requirement
In Wallich’s Ranch Co. v. Kern County Citrus Pest Control District (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 878, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s finding that the plaintiff’s action was barred based on its failure to exhaust administrative remedies under the Citrus Pest District Control Law. The Wallich’s court cited extensively to the decision in People ex rel. Lockyer v. Sun Pacific Farming Co. (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 619, where the appellate court held that due to “the public health and safety issues inherent in the Pest Control Law, in addition to the policy of resolving disputes expeditiously”, a general exhaustion rule applied. This particular exhaustion rule required a challenger to an agency’s plan under the Citrus Pest District Control Law to first follow the Pest Control District’s protest procedures prior to adoption of its final budget. The appellate court rejected the argument that exhaustion of remedies under the Citrus Pest District Control Law should not be required because the complaint related to constitutional arguments, including an alleged violation of Proposition 218.
Notice and Opportunity to Protest
“As explained in Irvine v. Citrus Pest District Number Two of San Bernardino (1944) 62 Cal.App.2d 378, at 383:
‘While the [Citrus Pest District Control] [A]ct does not provide for notice to the property owners of the making of the proposed assessment and affords them no opportunity to protest, it does provide for notice, opportunity to protest, and hearing on the question of the adoption of the proposed budget. As the amount of the budget is the variable figure involved in fixing the amount of the assessment, notice, the right to protest, and a hearing on the amount of the budget should satisfy the requirements of due process for after the budget is fixed the computation of the assessments is a simple matter of division and amounts to no more than the performance of a ministerial act. The right to protest an assessment after the budget is fixed would be an idle act and could accomplish nothing. The performance of an idle act need not be required.’”
(Wallich's Ranch Co. v. Kern County Citrus (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 878, 884-85.)
1-3 of 3 results
Petitioner Miner’s Camp has filed a petition for writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory relief and restitution, challenging the water rate structure adopted by respondent Foresthill Public Utility District (“the District”) on June 25, 2014. Petitioner seeks a declaration that the District’s water rate structure violates Proposition 218, California Constitution, Article XIID, restitution of...
..n augmentation to the evidentiary record on May 30, 2018, to which the District objects. The District generally objects to the augmentation in its entirety on the grounds that petitioner did not move to augment the record, the submission contains material outside of the scope of a proper admini...
Sep 25, 2018
- Judge MICHAEL A. JACQUES
Placer County, CA
SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO DATE/TIME April 5, 2019, 11:00 a.m. DEPT. NO 25 JUDGE HON. LAURIE M. EARL CLERK D. BEAROR HORIZON CAPITAL INVESTMENTS, LLC, et al., Case No.: 34-2017-80002661 Petitioners, v. CITY OF SACRAME...
.. INTRODUCTION Petitioners challenge the City of Sacramento’s imposition of a special tax on property in a district formed pursuant to the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 (Gov. Code § 53311 et seq.) 1 (“Mello-Roos Act”). The tax was approved via an election in which only district landowners were allowed to vote. The California Constitut...
Apr 05, 2019
- Judge LAURIE M. EARL
Sacramento County, CA