California Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

California has not adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  Deceptive trade practices in the state are dealt under California Business and Professions Code § 17500 et seq.  Sections 17500, 17500.5 and 17505 prohibit false advertisements.  Pursuant to Section 17500, violation by false advertisement is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by both.

Pursuant to Section 17535, an Attorney General or any district attorney, county counsel, city attorney, or city prosecutor in California may bring an action upon their own complaint or upon the complaint of any board, officer, person, corporation or association or by any person, injured or damaged as a result of the violation of this Chapter.

By the authority of Section 17203 and 17535, any person may pursue representative claims or relief on behalf of others, provided the claimant meets certain standing requirements.  The court may pass orders or judgments in the effect of restoring damages incurred, including the appointment of a receiver, and providing injunctions.

Sections 28050 and § 28051.5 of the California Vehicle Code makes it unlawful for any person to turn back or reset the odometer of any motor vehicle in order to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer gauge.

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 17500

False or misleading statements generally
It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association, or any employee thereof with intent directly or indirectly to dispose of real or personal property or to perform services, professional or otherwise, or anything of any nature whatsoever or to induce the public to enter into any obligation relating thereto, to make or disseminate or cause to be made or disseminated before the public in this state, or to make or disseminate or cause to be made or disseminated from this state before the public in any state, in any newspaper or other publication, or any advertising device, or by public outcry or proclamation, or in any other manner or means whatever, including over the Internet, any statement, concerning that real or personal property or those services, professional or otherwise, or concerning any circumstance or matter of fact connected with the proposed performance or disposition thereof, which is untrue or misleading, and which is known, or which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known, to be untrue or misleading, or for any person, firm, or corporation to so make or disseminate or cause to be so made or disseminated any such statement as part of a plan or scheme with the intent not to sell that personal property or those services, professional or otherwise, so advertised at the price stated therein, or as so advertised. Any violation of the provisions of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 17500.5

Advertisements as to quantity of article to be sold to single customer
(a) It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association to falsely represent by advertisement the quantity of any article so advertised that will be sold to any one customer on his demand in a single transaction, and willfully or negligently to fail to include in such advertisement a statement that any restriction that is in fact put upon the quantity of any article so advertised that is sold or offered for sale to any one customer on his demand in a single transaction.
(b) Any person, firm, corporation, or association who, by means of such false or negligent advertisement or publicity, induces any individual retail purchaser and consumer to enter any place of business designated therein seeking to buy any article so advertised or publicized, and then refuses to sell to such person the article at the price advertised in any quantity then available for sale on said premises, shall be liable to each person so induced and refused, for the losses and expenses thereby incurred, and the sum of fifty dollars ($50) in addition thereto.

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 17505

Misrepresentation as to nature of business
No person shall state, in an advertisement of his goods, that he is a producer, manufacturer, processor, wholesaler, or importer, or that he owns or controls a factory or other source of supply of goods, when such is not the fact, and no person shall in any other manner misrepresent the character, extent, volume, or type of his business.

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 17535

Obtaining injunctive relief
Any person, corporation, firm, partnership, joint stock company, or any other association or organization which violates or proposes to violate this chapter may be enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may make such orders or judgments, including the appointment of a receiver, as may be necessary to prevent the use or employment by any person, corporation, firm, partnership, joint stock company, or any other association or organization of any practices which violate this chapter, or which may be necessary to restore to any person in interest any money or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of any practice in this chapter declared to be unlawful.
Actions for injunction under this section may be prosecuted by the Attorney General or any district attorney, county counsel, city attorney, or city prosecutor in this state in the name of the people of the State of California upon their own complaint or upon the complaint of any board, officer, person, corporation or association or by any person who has suffered injury in fact and has lost money or property as a result of a violation of this chapter. Any person may pursue representative claims or relief on behalf of others only if the claimant meets the standing requirements of this section and complies with Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure, but these limitations do not apply to claims brought under this chapter by the Attorney General, or any district attorney, county counsel, city attorney, or city prosecutor in this state.

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 17203

Injunctive relief; Court orders
Any person who engages, has engaged, or proposes to engage in unfair competition may be enjoined in any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may make such orders or judgments, including the appointment of a receiver, as may be necessary to prevent the use or employment by any person of any practice which constitutes unfair competition, as defined in this chapter, or as may be necessary to restore to any person in interest any money or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of such unfair competition. Any person may pursue representative claims or relief on behalf of others only if the claimant meets the standing requirements of Section 17204 and complies with Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure, but these limitations do not apply to claims brought under this chapter by the Attorney General, or any district attorney, county counsel, city attorney, or city prosecutor in this state.

Cal Veh Code § 28050

True mileage driven; Unlawful acts
It is unlawful for any person to advertise for sale, to sell, to use, or to install on any part of a motor vehicle or on an odometer in a motor vehicle any device which causes the odometer to register any mileage other than the true mileage driven. For the purposes of this section the true mileage driven is that mileage driven by the car as registered by the odometer within the manufacturer’s designed tolerance.

Cal Veh Code § 28051.5

Devices to turn back or reset odometer
It is unlawful for any person to advertise for sale, to sell, or to use, any device designed primarily for the purpose of turning back or resetting the odometer of any motor vehicle to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer gauge.


Inside California Deceptive Trade Practices Laws