Its Time For New Leadership
October 8, 2018
In 2004, the CNWCOA filed a lawsuit in federal district court seeking to have Section 8555(g) of the Business and Professions Code declared to be unconstitutional. The named defendants in this case were all the members of the Structural Pest Control Board as they were responsible for enforcing this pernicious law against Wildlife Control Operators who did not use pesticides in structures for the control of vertebrate pests.
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit were Alan Merrifield an individual; Urban Wildlife Management, Inc. a Wildlife Control Company (UWM) owned and operated by Merrifield; and the California Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators Association (CNWCOA) a professional trade association representing the economic, political and professional interests of California's private Wildlife Control Operators.
Over the objections of the defendants' lawyers, the federal District Court Judge ruled that the CNWCOA “had standing” to bring this lawsuit because its members suffered the same civil rights abuses as did Merrifield and his business UWM. The Judge made it clear however that individual members of the CNWCOA were not required to participate in future legal proceedings since the CNWCOA represented all WCO members of the Association.
So this is the 2003 background for an issue of importance to today's CNWCOA. Alan Merrifield has announced his retirement and has already taken the necessary steps to dissolved his company Urban Wildlife Management. These are two of the three named plaintiffs in Merrifield v. Lockyer; therefore, the CNWCOA will be the only remaining plaintiff named in a Permanent Injunction that prohibits the defendants from enforcing the unconstitutional state regulation against the plaintiffs. Section 8555(g) prohibits persons without a Branch 2 Structural Pest Control License, from controlling rats, mice or pigeons in or on a structure. However, CNWCOA members have been exempted from this regulation provided they (1) maintain liability insurance and (2) they do not use pesticides to control these vertebrate pests in or on structures.
So who will represent the CNWCOA membership once Merrifield has departed? Who will monitor the defendants' performance under the Permanent Injunction? Who will initiate further legal action against the defendants if and when they violate the court order and resume their unlawful sanctions against California WCOs. New CNWCOA Board officers must be elected to assume this responsibility otherwise our past legal gains may be put in jeopardy. We cannot allow that to happen.
Now is the time for you to become actively involved in CNWCOA affairs and participate its upcoming election. Don't rely on others to protect your right to make an honest living. Get on the ballot and become a leader in crafting the future of our state's Wildlife Control Operators.
I hope to see you at our next Association meeting.