Competence     •    Integrity     •     Service

The losing defendants in Merrifield v. Lockyer have regrouped and are now trying to change the law found to be unconstitutional by
​the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008.

Read our 'Final Report' to see how the defendants' use of economic protectionism is still threatening our industry today.

Your Right to Earn a Living as a Wildlife Control Operator
is Under Attack Again

The CNWCOA has submitted a less onerous, less restrictive and more narrowly tailored alternative to the revised version submitted by the Structural Pest Control Board. It reads as follows:                                                                                                                                         section 5555(g)  This chapter does not apply to:

g) Persons engaged in the live capture and removal or exclusion of vertebrate pests, bees, or wasps from a structure without the use of pesticides, provided those persons maintain insurance coverage as described in Section 8692. “Vertebrate pests” include, but are not limited to, pigeons, rats, mice, bats, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels.                                                                                                        This section does not exempt a person from the provisions of Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Wildlife Code of Regulations.”

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VERSION (FOUND TO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL)
We are not imposing our view of a well-functioning market on the people of California. Instead,  we invalidate only the
​State legislature’s naked attempt to raise a fortress protecting Branch 2 Structural Pest Control Licensees at the expense of
​California's private Wildlife Control Operators who are similarly situated, but who do not use pesticides for the control
​of vertebrate pests in structures․"

OPINION,  Merrifield v. Lockyer, 547 F. 3d 978-992 (9th Cir. 2008)


In 2004, the CNWCOA filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of a structural pest control occupational licensing regulation. It ultimately won that case in 2008 at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court's OPINION & ORDER in that case affirmed the plaintiffs' constitutional right to earn an honest living as Wildlife Control Operators without being subjected to arbitrary or unreasonable governmental interference.


In 2009, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco issued a PERMANENT INJUNCTION against members of the California Structural Pest Control Board prohibiting each of them, their successors, their employees and their associates from making any attempt to enforce this unconstitutional law against the prevailing plaintiffs.

​This website contains a variety of subsequent issues and commentary related to that landmark legal case commonly known as Merrifield v. Lockyer.


Securing for all Americans
a foundation of freedom
​in the courts, and to confront the myriad threats imposed by heavy handed government.

Latest News

U.S. Supreme Court vindicates WCOs' legal victory at 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals


In the wake of Justice Scalia’s death, the remaining eight Justices of the United States Supreme Court met in conference on February 29, 2016 to consider weather or not to review a case whose result disagreed with the 2008 Merrifield v. Lockyer decision.


readmore »

                                                                                                                                                                                section 8555(g) Persons engaged in the live capture and removal or exclusion of vertebrate pests, bees, bees or wasps from a structure without the use of pesticides, provided those persons maintain insurance coverage as described in Section 8692. “Vertebrate pests” include, but are not limited to, bats, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels, but do not include mice, rats, or pigeons.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This section does not exempt a person from the provisions of Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code.

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WCO Alert