Mississippi Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Deceptive Trade Practices are dealt under Title 75, Chapter 24 of the Mississippi Code.  False and fraudulent advertisements are prohibited in Mississippi, pursuant to Section 75-24-5.

By virtue of Section 75-24-9, an Attorney General may bring an action in the name of the State against any violator of the provisions of the Chapter.  Upon such actions, the Court may issue temporary or permanent injunctions to restrain and prevent acts prohibited under the Chapter.  Under Section 75-24-19, any person who violates the terms of an injunction will be punishable with a civil penalty in a sum not exceeding $10,000 per violation.  If the Court has clear and convincing evidence that a person has willfully used or engaged in deceptive practices, s/he will be punishable with a civil penalty in a sum not exceeding $10,000 per violation.  The Attorney General may recover investigative costs and a reasonable attorney fees also.

Additionally, by the authority of Section 75-24-11, the Court may also pass orders or judgments, including restitution, appointment of a receiver or revoke license or certificate for carrying out business in Mississippi.  Pursuant to Section 75-24-15, private individuals may also bring an action against deceptive practices of another and can recover actual damages.  Class action is not permitted under the Chapter.  The Court has the discretion to grant the prevailing Defendant costs and reasonable attorney fees.

Persons engaged in or using deceptive practices prohibited under the Chapter will also call for criminal penalties prescribed under Section 75-24-20.  Such violators shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined up to $ 1,000.00.  Second conviction, guilty of misdemeanor, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one (1) year or fine up to $ 1,000 or both.  Third or subsequent conviction, guilty of felony, is punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year and not more than five (5) years or fine between $ 1,000 and $ 5,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Section 63-7-203 makes it unlawful for any person to disconnect, turn back, reset or alter, or cause to be disconnected, reset or altered, the odometer of any motor vehicle with the intent to reduce the number of miles indicated in the odometer gauge.  Under Section 63-7-209, such acts are deemed to be a misdemeanor and upon conviction punishable by a fine not exceeding $ 500 or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Miss. Code Ann. § 75-24-5

Prohibited acts or practices
(1) Unfair methods of competition affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive trade practices in or affecting commerce are prohibited. Action may be brought under Section 75-24-5(1) only under the provisions of Section 75-24-9.
(2) Without limiting the scope of subsection (1) of this section, the following unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive trade practices or acts in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby prohibited:

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(i) Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
(j) 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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Miss. Code Ann. § 75-24-9

Injunction to restrain or prevent violation
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 prohibited by Section 75-24-5, and that proceedings would be in the public interest, he may bring an action in the name of the state against such person to restrain by temporary or permanent injunction the use of such method, act or practice. The action shall be brought in the chancery or county court of the county in which such person resides or has his principal place of business, or, with consent of the parties, may be brought in the chancery or county court of the county in which the State Capitol is located. The said courts are authorized to issue temporary or permanent injunctions to restrain and prevent violations of this chapter, and such injunctions shall be issued without bond.

Miss. Code Ann. § 75-24-11

Additional orders or judgments; appointment of receiver; revocation of license or certificate to do business
The court may make such additional orders or judgments, including restitution, as may be necessary to restore to any person in interest any monies or property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of any practice prohibited by this chapter, including the appointment of a receiver or the revocation of a license or certificate authorizing that person to engage in business in this state, or both.

Miss. Code Ann. § 75-24-15

Action or counterclaim by individual suffering loss; class actions prohibited
(1) In addition to all other statutory and common law rights, remedies and defenses, any person who purchases or leases goods or services primarily for personal, family or household purposes and thereby suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the use or employment by the seller, lessor, manufacturer or producer of a method, act or practice prohibited by Section 75-24-5 may bring an action at law in the court having jurisdiction in the county in which the seller, lessor, manufacturer or producer resides, or has his principal place of business or, where the act or practice prohibited by Section 75-24-5 allegedly occurred, to recover such loss of money or damages for the loss of such property, or may assert, by way of setoff or counterclaim, the fact of such loss in a proceeding against him for the recovery of the purchase price or rental, or any portion thereof, of the goods or services.
(2) In any private action brought under this chapter, the plaintiff must have first made a reasonable attempt to resolve any claim through an informal dispute settlement program approved by the Attorney General.
(3) In any action or counterclaim under this section of this chapter, a prevailing defendant may recover in addition to any other relief that may be provided in this section costs and a reasonable attorney’s fee, if in the opinion of the court, said action or counterclaim was frivolous or filed for the purpose of harassment or delay.
(4) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit any class action or suit, but every private action must be maintained in the name of and for the sole use and benefit of the individual person.

Miss. Code Ann. § 75-24-19

Civil penalties; imposition and recovery
(1) Civil remedies.
(a) Any person who violated the terms of an injunction issued under Section 75-24-9 shall forfeit and pay to the state a civil penalty in a sum not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00) per violation which shall be payable to the General Fund of the State of Mississippi. For the purposes of this section, the chancery or county court issuing an injunction shall retain jurisdiction, and the cause shall be continued, and in such cases the Attorney General acting in the name of the state may petition for recovery of civil penalties.
(b) In any action brought under Section 75-24-9, if the court finds from clear and convincing evidence, that a person knowingly and willfully used any unfair or deceptive trade practice, method or act prohibited by Section 75-24-5, the Attorney General, upon petition to the court, may recover on behalf of the state a civil penalty in a sum not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00) per violation. One-half ( 1/2) of said penalty shall be payable to the Office of Consumer Protection to be deposited into the Attorney General’s special fund. All monies collected under this section shall be used by the Attorney General for consumer fraud education and investigative and enforcement operations of the Office of Consumer Protection. The other one-half ( 1/2) shall be payable to the General Fund of the State of Mississippi. The Attorney General may also recover, in addition to any other relief that may be provided in this section, investigative costs and a reasonable attorney’s fee.
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Miss. Code Ann. § 75-24-20

Criminal penalties; effect of multiple convictions
(a) Any person who, knowingly and willfully, violates any provision of Section 75-24-5, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined up to One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00).
(b) Upon a second conviction of any person for a violation of any provision of Section 75-24-5, the offense being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one (1) year or fined up to One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00) or both.
(c) Upon a third or subsequent conviction of any person for a violation of any provision of Section 75-24-5, the offense being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years or fined not less than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00) or both.
(d) Criminal convictions from other states for violations of substantially similar provisions to those prohibited by this chapter shall be counted for the purposes of determining if a violation of this section is a first, second or third or subsequent offense.

Miss. Code Ann. § 75-24-21

District and county attorneys to assist attorney general; educational programs
It shall be the duty of the district and county attorneys to lend to the attorney general such assistance as the attorney general may request in the commencement and prosecution of actions pursuant to this chapter. The district attorney and county attorney shall, within their respective jurisdictions, have the same duty and responsibility under this chapter as that of the attorney general statewide in the enforcement thereof, and they shall prosecute actions hereunder in the same manner as provided for the attorney general. When any action is prosecuted by such district or county attorney alone or in concert, he or they shall make a full report thereon to the attorney general, including the final disposition of the matter.
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Miss. Code Ann. § 63-7-203

Offenses
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(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to disconnect, turn back, reset or alter, or cause to be disconnected, reset or altered, the odometer of any motor vehicle with the intent to reduce the number of miles indicated thereon.

Miss. Code Ann. § 63-7-209

Penalties
Violation of the provisions of Sections 63-7-201 through 63-7-209 shall be deemed a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($ 500.00) or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or by both such fine and imprisonment.


Inside Mississippi Deceptive Trade Practices Laws