Duarte Nursery v. Cal. Grape Rootstock Improvement Comm.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff Duarte Nursery, Inc. sold grape rootstock. It challenged mandatory assessments it had to pay to the California Grape Rootstock Improvement Commission to help fund research for pest-resistant and drought-resistant rootstock, arguing this “Commission Law” and the Commission’s operation as an unconstitutional exercise of the state’s police power in violation of plaintiff’s liberty interests and due process rights under the federal and state Constitutions. In this appeal, instead of claiming impairment of its rights to free speech or free association, plaintiff asserted a right to refuse to help fund research that benefitted the industry as a whole. Plaintiff sought injunctive and declaratory relief and refunds. After a bench trial, the trial court entered judgment in favor of defendants, the Commission and the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (Secretary). Finding no reversible error, the Court of Appeal affirmed.