Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Minnesota has adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and enforces its provisions through Sections 325 D, E and F of the Minnesota Statutes (Trade Regulations, Consumer Protection).

Sections 325D.44 and 325F.67 prohibit false and fraudulent advertisements.  Such advertising practices are treated as deceptive trade practices.  By the authority of Section 325D.45, any person likely to be damaged by a deceptive trade practice of another may be granted an injunction against the practice.  Costs and attorney fees may also be awarded upon the discretion of the Court.  Pursuant to Section 325F.70, the Attorney General or any county attorney may also institute a civil action in the name of the state in the district court for an injunction prohibiting any violation.

Section 325E.14 prohibits persons who knowingly tampers with, adjusts, changes, sets back, or disconnects the odometer of a motor vehicle in order to reflect a lower mileage than the actual.  Persons found violating this provision shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.  Persons who are injured of such acts can recover the actual damages sustained together with costs and disbursements, including a reasonable attorney’s fee.  The court in its discretion may increase the award of damages to an amount not exceeding three times the actual damages sustained or $1,500, whichever is greater.

Minn. Stat. § 325D.44

DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES
Subdivision 1. Acts constituting.
A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of business, vocation, or occupation, the person:

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(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;

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Minn. Stat. § 325F.67

FALSE STATEMENT IN ADVERTISEMENT
Any person, firm, corporation, or association who, with intent to sell or in anywise dispose of merchandise, securities, service, or anything offered by such person, firm, corporation, or association, directly or indirectly, to the public, for sale or distribution, or with intent to increase the consumption thereof, or to induce the public in any manner to enter into any obligation relating thereto, or to acquire title thereto, or any interest therein, makes, publishes, disseminates, circulates, or places before the public, or causes, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before the public, in this state, in a newspaper or other publication, or in the form of a book, notice, handbill, poster, bill, label, price tag, circular, pamphlet, program, or letter, or over any radio or television station, or in any other way, an advertisement of any sort regarding merchandise, securities, service, or anything so offered to the public, for use, consumption, purchase, or sale, which advertisement contains any material assertion, representation, or statement of fact which is untrue, deceptive, or misleading, shall, whether or not pecuniary or other specific damage to any person occurs as a direct result thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and any such act is declared to be a public nuisance and may be enjoined as such.
The duty of a strict observance and enforcement of this law and prosecution for any violation thereof is hereby expressly imposed upon the attorney general, and it shall be the duty of the county attorney of any county wherein a violation of this section shall have occurred, upon complaint being made, to prosecute any person violating any of the provisions of this section.

Minn. Stat. § 325D.45

REMEDIES
Subdivision 1. Injunctive relief.
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.
Subd. 2. Costs and attorney fees.
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 knowing it to be groundless, or (2) the party charged with a deceptive trade practice has willfully engaged in the trade practice knowing it to be deceptive.
Subd. 3. Remedies cumulative.
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.

Minn. Stat. § 325F.70

REMEDIES
Subdivision 1. Injunction.
The attorney general or any county attorney may institute a civil action in the name of the state in the district court for an injunction prohibiting any violation of sections 325F.68 to 325F.70. The court, upon proper proof that defendant has engaged in a practice made enjoinable by section 325F.69, may enjoin the future commission of such practice. It shall be no defense to such an action that the state may have adequate remedies at law.
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Minn. Stat. § 325E.14

PROHIBITED ACTS
Subdivision 1. Tampering.
No person shall knowingly tamper with, adjust, alter, change, set back, disconnect or, with intent to defraud, 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 has actually been driven by the motor vehicle.
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Minn. Stat. § 325E.16

PENALTIES; REMEDIES
Subdivision 1. Criminal penalty.
Any person who is found to have violated sections 325E.13 to 325E.16 shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Subd. 2. Civil penalty.
In addition to the penalties provided in subdivision 1, any person who is found to have violated sections 325E.13 to 325E.16 shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 8.31.
Subd. 3. Civil action.
Any person injured by a violation of sections 325E.13 to 325E.16 shall recover the actual damages sustained together with costs and disbursements, including a reasonable attorney’s fee, provided that the court in its discretion may increase the award of damages to an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages sustained or $1,500, whichever is greater.


Inside Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Laws