Louisiana Deceptive Trade Practices Laws


Deceptive Trade Practices Laws in Louisiana are dealt under Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law Section 51:1401 et seq, provided under Title 51, Chapter 13 of Louisiana Revised Statutes.  According to Section 51:1405, an unfair method of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are prohibited and declared unlawful.  Pursuant to Section 51:1404, an Attorney General can institute legal proceedings and other actions against any person who violates any of the provisions of this Act.  According to Section 51:1409, any private person, who suffers any ascertainable loss of money or movable property by persons who violates provisions of this Chapter declared to be unlawful, can bring an action individually to recover damages.  According to Section 51:1407, an Attorney General can seek to obtain temporary restraining order, preliminary, and permanent injunctions to restrain and enjoin violations of this Chapter.  In addition to this remedy, an Attorney General can request the court to impose a civil penalty against any person who violated the provisions of this Act.  Under Section 51:1408, Court may grant additional relief to compensate any aggrieved parties.  Furthermore, pursuant to Section 51:1409, any private person who brings a suit can recover reasonable attorney fees along with any permanent injunction.

According to Section 32:726.1 of Chapter 4 (Vehicle Certificate of Title Law) of Louisiana Revised Statutes, no person shall knowingly tamper with adjust, alter, change, set back, disconnect or fail to connect the odometer of any motor vehicle, so as to reflect a lower mileage than the true mileage of the motor vehicle.  Any violators of the provisions of this section will be fined with an amount not more than fifty thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars.

La. R.S. 51:1405

Unfair acts or practices; interpretation and rulemaking authority
A. Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.
B. The attorney general may make rules and regulations interpreting the provisions of this Chapter consistent with the provisions in R.S. 51:1 through 461.1. Such rules and regulations shall be adopted in the form and manner prescribed by R.S. 49:951 et seq. The validity or applicability of a rule may be determined in an action for declaratory judgment in the district court of the parish in which the division is located or in the parish in which the plaintiff resides or is domiciled. Appeals may be had from any ruling of a district court in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure, except that such appeals shall be given preference and heard in priority to other appeals.

La. R.S. 51:1404

Powers and duties
A. The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, Public Protection Division, Consumer Protection Section shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) (a) To investigate, conduct studies and research, to conduct public or private hearings into commercial and trade practices in the distribution, financing and furnishing of goods and services to or for the use of consumers.
(b) In the furtherance of the above, the attorney general shall notify said seller, distributor, packer, or manufacturer who shall have the right to put on the record any and all pertinent information that may substantiate the commercial or trade practice and shall have the right of cross examination.

La. R.S. 51:1409

Private actions
A. Any person who suffers any ascertainable loss of money or movable property, corporeal or incorporeal, as a result of the use or employment by another person of an unfair or deceptive method, act, or practice declared unlawful by R.S. 51:1405, may bring an action individually but not in a representative capacity to recover actual damages. If the court finds the unfair or deceptive method, act, or practice was knowingly used, after being put on notice by the attorney general, the court shall award three times the actual damages sustained. In the event that damages are awarded under this Section, the court shall award to the person bringing such action reasonable attorney fees and costs. Upon a finding by the court that an action under this Section was groundless and brought in bad faith or for purposes of harassment, the court may award to the defendant reasonable attorney fees and costs.
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La. R.S. 51:1407

Restraining prohibited acts

A. Whenever the attorney general has reason to believe that any person is using, has used, or is about to use any method, act, or practice declared by R.S. 51:1405 to be unlawful, he may bring an action for injunctive relief in the name of the state against such person to restrain and enjoin the use of such method, act, or practice. The action may be brought in the district court having civil jurisdiction in any parish in which such person resides, or is domiciled or has his principal place of business, or in any parish in which such person did business, or, with consent of the parties, may be brought in the district court of the parish where the state capitol is located. In the event these district courts are not operational due to a declared state of emergency, the action shall be brought in an operating judicial court located closest in geographic distance to the Nineteenth Judicial District Court in the parish of East Baton Rouge. In the event that such person was located outside of the state, but was soliciting in the state by mail, telephone, or any electronic communication, the action may be brought in the district court having civil jurisdiction in the parish in which the contact was made. It being against the public policy of the state of Louisiana to allow a contractual selection of venue or jurisdiction contrary to the provisions of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, no provision of any contract which purports to waive these provisions of venue, or to waive or select venue or jurisdiction in advance of the filing of any civil action, may be enforced against any plaintiff in an action brought in these courts. These courts are authorized to issue temporary restraining orders or preliminary and permanent injunctions to restrain and enjoin violations of this Chapter, and such restraining orders or injunctions shall be issued without bond.

La. R.S. 51:1408

Additional relief
A. The court may issue such additional orders or render judgments against any party, as may be necessary to compensate any aggrieved person for any property, movable or immovable, corporeal or incorporeal, which may have been acquired from such person by means of any method, act, or practice declared unlawful by R.S. 51:1405, whichever may be applicable to that party under R.S. 51:1418. Such orders shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) Revocation, forfeiture, or suspension of any license, charter, franchise, certificate, or other evidence of authority of any person to do business in the state.
(2) Appointment of a receiver.
(3) Dissolution of domestic corporations or associations.
(4) Suspension or termination of the right of foreign corporations or associations to do business in this state.
(5) Restitution.
B. Unless otherwise expressly provided, the remedies or penalties provided by this Chapter are cumulative to each other and to the remedies or penalties available under all other laws of this state.

La. R.S. 32:726.1

Tampering with or altering odometers prohibited; penalties.

A. No person shall knowingly tamper with, adjust, alter, change, set back, disconnect or fail to connect the odometer of any motor vehicle, or cause any of the foregoing to occur to an odometer of a motor vehicle, so as to reflect a lower mileage than the true mileage driven by the motor vehicle.
B. No person shall with intent to defraud operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway knowing that the odometer of the motor vehicle is disconnected or nonfunctional.
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