Idaho Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Idaho has adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and enforces its provisions through Idaho Consumer Protection Act under the Idaho Code.  Section 48-603 of the Code prohibits false and fraudulent advertisements.  Under Section 48-606, Attorney General can bring an action in the name of the state against the violators of the provisions of this Act.  The Court may order a declaratory judgment, specific performance, a temporary restraining order or preliminary or permanent injunction.

Actual damages or restitution of money, property or other things may be recovered on behalf of the consumers in such actions.  The Court may impose civil penalties of up to five thousand dollars, per violation, on the alleged violator for violation of the provisions of this Act.  Reasonable expenses, investigative costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the Attorney General may also be recovered from the alleged violator.  The Court is also empowered, by the authority of Section 48-607, to revoke any license or certificate of the violator and prevent that person from engaging in business in Idaho.

An injured private person may also bring an action under Section 48-608 and can recover actual damages or one thousand dollars, whichever is the greater.  Class action is also permitted, wherein the class may bring an action for recovery of actual damages or a total for the class that may not exceed one thousand dollars, whichever is the greater.  In both these actions, the enforcing parties can seek restitution and an order prohibiting the use or employment of such unlawful practices.  In addition to the remedies available, an elderly or disabled person can also recover an enhanced penalty of fifteen thousand dollars or treble the actual damages, whichever is the greater.  The court has the discretion to award punitive damages in cases of repeated or flagrant violations.

Section 49-1629 of the Idaho Code makes it unlawful for any person to tamper with the odometer of any vehicle with the intent to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer gauge.  Section 49-1630 entitles the Purchaser Plaintiff of such vehicles to recover the costs and attorney fees of such suits.

Idaho Code § 48-603

Unfair methods and practices
The following unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared to be unlawful, where a person knows, or in the exercise of due care should know, that he has in the past, or is:

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(9) Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;

(10) Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;
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Idaho Code § 48-606

Proceedings by attorney general
(1) 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 this chapter to be unlawful, and that proceedings would be in the public interest, he may bring an action in the name of the state against such person:
(a) To obtain a declaratory judgment that a method, act or practice violates the provisions of this chapter;
(b) To enjoin any method, act or practice that violates the provisions of this chapter by issuance of a temporary restraining order or preliminary or permanent injunction, upon the giving of appropriate notice to that person as provided by the Idaho rules of civil procedure;
(c) To recover on behalf of consumers actual damages or restitution of money, property or other things received from such consumers in connection with a violation of the provisions of this chapter;
(d) To order specific performance by the violator;
(e) To recover from the alleged violator civil penalties of up to five thousand dollars ($ 5,000) per violation for violation of the provisions of this chapter; and
(f) To recover from the alleged violator reasonable expenses, investigative costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the attorney general.
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Idaho Code § 48-607

Additional relief by court authorized
In any action brought by the attorney general, wherein the state prevails, the court shall, in addition to the relief granted pursuant to section 48-606, Idaho Code, award reasonable costs, investigative expenses and attorney’s fees to the attorney general. These costs and fees shall be remitted to the consumer protection account created in section 48-606, Idaho Code, and shall be used for the furtherance of the attorney general’s duties and activities under this chapter. In addition, the court may:
(1) Make such orders or judgments as may be necessary to prevent the use or employment by a person of any method, act or practice declared to be a violation of the provisions of this chapter;
(2) Make such orders or judgments as may be necessary to compensate any consumers for actual damages sustained or to provide for restitution to any consumers of money, property or other things received from such consumers in connection with a violation of the provisions of this chapter;
(3) Make such orders or judgments as may be necessary to carry out a transaction in accordance with consumers’ reasonable expectations;
(4) Appoint a master, receiver or escrow agent to oversee assets or order sequestration of assets whenever it shall appear that the defendant threatens or is about to remove, conceal or dispose of property to the damage of persons to whom restoration would be made under this subsection and assess the expenses of a master, receiver or escrow agent against the defendant;
(5) Revoke any license or certificate authorizing that person to engage in business in this state;
(6) Enjoin any person from engaging in business in this state; and/or
(7) Grant other appropriate relief.

Idaho Code § 48-608

Loss from purchase or lease — Actual and punitive damages
(1) Any person who purchases or leases goods or services and thereby suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the use or employment by another person of a method, act or practice declared unlawful by this chapter, may treat any agreement incident thereto as voidable or, in the alternative, may bring an action to recover actual damages or one thousand dollars ($ 1,000), whichever is the greater; provided, however, that in the case of a class action, the class may bring an action for actual damages or a total for the class that may not exceed one thousand dollars ($ 1,000), whichever is the greater. Any such person or class may also seek restitution, an order enjoining the use or employment of methods, acts or practices declared unlawful under this chapter and any other appropriate relief which the court in its discretion may deem just and necessary. The court may, in its discretion, award punitive damages and may provide such equitable relief as it deems necessary or proper in cases of repeated or flagrant violations.
(2) An elderly person or a disabled person who brings an action under subsection (1) of this section shall, in addition to the remedies available under subsection (1) of this section, recover from the offending party an enhanced penalty of fifteen thousand dollars ($ 15,000) or treble the actual damages, whichever is greater.
(a) In order to recover the enhanced penalty, the court must find that the offending party knew or should have known that his conduct was perpetrated against an elderly or disabled person and that his conduct caused one (1) of the following:
(i) Loss or encumbrance of the elderly or disabled person’s primary residence;
(ii) Loss of more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the elderly or disabled person’s principal monthly income;
(iii) Loss of more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the funds belonging to the elderly or disabled person set aside by the elderly or disabled person for retirement or for personal or family care or maintenance;
(iv) Loss of more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the monthly payments that the elderly or disabled person receives under a pension or retirement plan; or
(v) Loss of assets essential to the health or welfare of the elderly or disabled person.
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Idaho Code § 49-1629

Odometers

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(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to:
(a) Disconnect, turn back, or reset the odometer of any vehicle with the intent to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer gauge.

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Idaho Code § 49-1630

Purchaser plaintiff to recover costs and attorney’s fees
In any suit brought by the purchaser of a vehicle against the seller of that vehicle, the purchaser shall be entitled to recover his court costs and a reasonable attorney’s fee fixed by the court, if:
(1) The suit or claim is based substantially upon the purchaser’s allegation that the odometer on the vehicle has been tampered with or replaced contrary to this chapter; and
(2) It is found in the suit that the seller of the vehicle or any of his employees or agents knew or had reason to know that the odometer on the vehicle had been tampered with or replaced, and failed to disclose that knowledge to the purchaser prior to the time of sale.


Inside Idaho Deceptive Trade Practices Laws