Indiana Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Indiana has not adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  Deceptive practices in the state are dealt with in Indiana Code under Sections 24-5-0.5-1 et seq.  False and fraudulent advertisements are prohibited under Sections 24-5-0.5-3 and 35-43-5-3 of the Indiana Code.  A person who disseminates a false, misleading or deceptive advertisement commits deception, pursuant to Section 35-43-5-3, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

Pursuant to Section 24-5-0.5-4, any individual person or consumer may bring an action to recover actual damages suffered or five hundred dollars, whichever is greater.  The Court awards increased damages for willful deceptive acts in an amount of three (3) times the actual damages of the consumer’s loss; or one thousand dollars, whichever is greater.  The Court may also award reasonable attorney fees in such actions.  Section 24-5-0.5-4 permits class action and action by Attorney General.  The Court may issue an injunction, order the supplier to distribute unlawfully received money to aggrieved customers, and pay Attorney General’s reasonable investigation and prosecution costs to the state.
Any person who violates the terms of an injunction must pay a civil penalty of not more than fifteen thousand dollars, per violation, to the state.  Intentional violation of the provisions of this Code is punishable with civil penalty of a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars per violation.  Pursuant to Section 24-5-0.5-8, only an Attorney General may bring an action against a person who commits an incurable deceptive act and such acts are subject to a civil penalty of a fine of not more than five hundred dollars for each violation.
Under Sections 9-19-9-2 and 9-19-9-5, any person who intentionally disconnects, resets or alters the odometer of any motor vehicle, commits a Class D felony.  Pursuant to Section 9-19-9-7, only an Attorney General may bring an action against the violator of this provision.  Each violation will be punishable with a civil penalty of not more than one thousand five hundred dollars. 

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 24-5-0.5-3

Deceptive acts.
(a) The following acts, and the following representations as to the subject matter of a consumer transaction, made orally, in writing, or by electronic communication, by a supplier, are deceptive acts:

(11) That the consumer will be able to purchase the subject of the consumer transaction as advertised by the supplier, if the supplier does not intend to sell it.

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(19) The violation by a supplier of 47 U.S.C. 227, including any rules or regulations issued under 47 U.S.C. 227.
(b) Any representations on or within a product or its packaging or in advertising or promotional materials which would constitute a deceptive act shall be the deceptive act both of the supplier who places such representation thereon or therein, or who authored such materials, and such other suppliers who shall state orally or in writing that such representation is true if such other supplier shall know or have reason to know that such representation was false.
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Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 35-43-5-3

Deception.
(a) A person who:
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(9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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commits deception, a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) In determining whether an advertisement is false, misleading, or deceptive under subsection (a) (9), there shall be considered, among other things, not only representations contained or suggested in the advertisement, by whatever means, including device or sound, but also the extent to which the advertisement fails to reveal material facts in the light of the representations.

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 24-5-0.5-4

Action by parties.
(a) A person relying upon an uncured or incurable deceptive act may bring an action for the damages actually suffered as a consumer as a result of the deceptive act or five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is greater. The court may increase damages for a willful deceptive act in an amount that does not exceed the greater of:
(1) three (3) times the actual damages of the consumer suffering the loss; or
(2) one thousand dollars ($1,000).
Except as provided in subsection (j), the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the party that prevails in an action under this subsection….Actual damages awarded to a person under this section have priority over any civil penalty imposed under this chapter.
(b) Any person who is entitled to bring an action under subsection (a) on the person’s own behalf against a supplier for damages for a deceptive act may bring a class action against such supplier on behalf of any class of persons of which that person is a member and which has been damaged by such deceptive act, subject to and under the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure governing class actions, except as herein expressly provided. Except as provided in subsection (j), the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the party that prevails in a class action under this subsection, provided that such fee shall be determined by the amount of time reasonably expended by the attorney and not by the amount of the judgment, although the contingency of the fee may be considered. Any money or other property recovered in a class action under this subsection which cannot, with due diligence, be restored to consumers within one (1) year after the judgment becomes final shall be returned to the party depositing the same. This subsection does not apply to a consumer transaction in real property, except for purchases of time shares and camping club memberships. Actual damages awarded to a class have priority over any civil penalty imposed under this chapter.
(c) The attorney general may bring an action to enjoin a deceptive act. However, the attorney general may seek to enjoin patterns of incurable deceptive acts with respect to consumer transactions in real property. In addition, the court may:
(1) issue an injunction;
(2) order the supplier to make payment of the money unlawfully received from the aggrieved consumers to be held in escrow for distribution to aggrieved consumers;
(3) order the supplier to pay to the state the reasonable costs of the attorney general’s investigation and prosecution related to the action; and
(4) provide for the appointment of a receiver.
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(f) Any person who violates the terms of an injunction issued under subsection (c) shall forfeit and pay to the state a civil penalty of not more than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) per violation. For the purposes of this section, the court issuing an injunction shall retain jurisdiction, the cause shall be continued, and the attorney general acting in the name of the state may petition for recovery of civil penalties. Whenever the court determines that an injunction issued under subsection (c) has been violated, the court shall award reasonable costs to the state.
(g) If a court finds any person has knowingly violated section 3 or 10 [IC 24-5-0.5-3 or IC 24-5-0.5-10] of this chapter, other than section 3(a)(19) [IC 24-5-0.5-3(a)(19)] of this chapter, the attorney general, in an action pursuant to subsection (c), may recover from the person on behalf of the state a civil penalty of a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation.
(h) If a court finds that a person has violated section 3(a)(19) of this chapter, the attorney general, in an action under subsection (c), may recover from the person on behalf of the state a civil penalty as follows:
(1) For a knowing or intentional violation, one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500).
(2) For a violation other than a knowing or intentional violation, five hundred dollars ($500).
A civil penalty recovered under this subsection shall be deposited in the consumer protection division telephone solicitation fund established by IC 24-4.7-3-6 to be used for the administration and enforcement of section 3(a)(19) of this chapter.
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Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 24-5-0.5-8

Penalty for committing incurable deceptive act.
A person who commits an incurable deceptive act is subject to a civil penalty of a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation. The attorney general, acting in the name of the state, has the exclusive right to petition for recovery of such a fine, and this fine may be recovered only in an action brought under section 4(c) [IC 24-5-0.5-4(c)] of this chapter.

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 9-19-9-2

Disconnection, reset, or alteration prohibited.
A person may not:
(1) Disconnect;
(2) Reset; or
(3) Alter;
the odometer of any motor vehicle with intent to change the number of miles indicated on the odometer.

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 9-19-9-5

Penalty for violation with intent to defraud.
A person who, with intent to defraud:
(1) Violates this chapter; or
(2) Omits to do any act that is required by this chapter;
commits a Class D felony.

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 9-19-9-7

Civil penalty for violation of chapter.
A person who:
(1) violates this chapter; or
(2) violates 49 U.S.C. 32709 (as in effect January 1, 1995);
commits a deceptive act and is subject to a civil penalty of not more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for each violation in addition to other remedies available under this chapter and IC 24-5-0.5. The attorney general, acting in the name of the state, has the exclusive right to petition for recovery of such a penalty, and the penalty may be recovered only in an action brought under IC 24-5-0.5-4(c).


Inside Indiana Deceptive Trade Practices Laws