Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Laws
Under Code of Ala. § 8-19-1, Alabama has adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“Act”). Under § 8-19-8, the Attorney General or the district attorney may bring a suit against a violator of the Act. Under § 8-19-12, a continuous and willful violation of the Act is considered as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Various remedies available under the Act are:
- temporary restraining order,
- temporary or permanent injunctions,
- compensation for the actual damages sustained, or $100 whichever is greater,
- triple damages upon courts discretion.
Under § 8-19-11, if a person violates a court order passed against him under the Act, the court shall impose a penalty on the violator which is not more than $25,000. Such a violation will also be treated as a contempt of court. Under § 8-19-5(15), readjusting or resetting a vehicle’s odometer to show less miles in the odometer with an intent to deceive is forbidden. Under § 13A-9-42, it is a crime to make a false and misleading statement in an advertisement addressed to the public.
Code of Ala. § 8-19-8
“§ 8-19-8. Temporary restraining order; temporary or permanent injunctions.
(a) Whenever the office of the Attorney General or the office of the district attorney has reason to believe that any person is engaging in, has engaged in or is about to engage in any act or practice declared to be unlawful by this chapter, the Attorney General or the district attorney may bring an action in the name of the state against such person to restrain by temporary restraining order, temporary or permanent injunction such acts or practices. However, unless the Attorney General or district attorney determines that a person subject to the provisions of this chapter designs quickly to depart from this state or to remove his property therefrom, or to conceal himself or his property therein, or to continue practices unlawful under this chapter, he shall, before initiating any legal proceedings is contemplated, allow such person a reasonable opportunity to appear before the Attorney General or district attorney and solve the dispute to the parties’ satisfaction.”
Code of Ala. § 8-19-10
“§ 8-19-10. Violation of chapter; penalties.
(a) Any person who commits one or more of the acts or practices declared unlawful under this chapter and thereby causes monetary damage to a consumer, and any person who commits one or more of the acts or practices declared unlawful in subdivisions (19) and (20) of Section 8-19-5 and thereby causes monetary damage to another person, shall be liable to each consumer or other person for:
(1) Any actual damages sustained by such consumer or person, or the sum of $100, whichever is greater; or
(2) Up to three times any actual damages, in the court’s discretion. In making its determination under this subsection, the court shall consider, among other relevant factors, the amount of actual damages awarded, the frequency of the unlawful acts or practices, the number of persons adversely affected thereby and the extent to which the unlawful acts or practices were committed intentionally; and
(3) In the case of any successful action or counterclaim to enforce the foregoing liability or in which injunctive relief is obtained, the costs of the action or counterclaim, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee. On a finding by the court that an action or counterclaim under this section was frivolous or brought in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment, the court shall award to the defendant (or counterclaim-defendant) reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.”
Code of Ala. § 13A-9-42
“§ 13A-9-42. False advertising; generally.
(a) A person commits the crime of false advertising if, in connection with the promotion of a sale, transfer, consumption or use of property or services, he makes or causes to be made a false or misleading statement in any advertisement addressed to the public or to a substantial number of persons.”