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Hawaii Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Hawaii has adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  The Act is provided under Chapter 481 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.  Section 481A-3 prohibits false and fraudulent advertisements and such advertisements are treated as deceptive trade practices.  False advertising is also prohibited under Section 708-871 under the Hawaii Penal Code.  Such advertising acts are considered to be misdemeanor under the Code.

A person, who suffered damages from deceptive trade practices listed in the Act, can claim for an injunction from the Court.  However, costs and reasonable attorney fees are awarded only by the Court’s discretion.

Tampering with an odometer of a vehicle is prohibited under Section 486-77 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

HRS § 481A-3

Deceptive trade practices.
(a) A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of the person’s business, vocation, or occupation, the person:

(9) Advertises goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
(10) Advertises goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;


HRS § 708-871

False advertising.
(1) A person commits the offense of false advertising if, in connection with the promotion of the sale of property or services, the person knowingly or recklessly 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.

(3) False advertising is a misdemeanor.

HRS § 481A-4

(a) A person likely to be damaged by a deceptive trade practice of another may be granted an injunction against it under the principles of equity and on terms that the court considers reasonable. Proof of monetary damage, loss of profits, or intent to deceive is not required. Relief granted for the copying of an article shall be limited to the prevention of confusion or misunderstanding as to source.
(b) Costs shall be allowed to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs. The court may award attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party if (1) the party complaining of a deceptive trade practice has brought an action which the party knew to be groundless, or (2) the party charged with a deceptive trade practice has wilfully engaged in the trade practice knowing it to be deceptive.
(c) The relief provided in this section is in addition to remedies otherwise available against the same conduct under the common law or other statutes of this State.

HRS § 486-77

Odometers; prohibitions; exemptions.
(a) It shall be unlawful to:
(1) Tamper with an odometer, installed in a passenger car, for any purpose. This paragraph shall not be construed to preclude legitimate repair, replacement, or adjustment of an odometer, provided that the administrator may require documentation of such repair, replacement, or adjustment;

(4) Disconnect, turn back, advance, or reset the odometer of any passenger car with intent to alter the distance indicated on the odometer;


Inside Hawaii Deceptive Trade Practices Laws