Oregon Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Oregon has adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“Act”) with some modifications.  The Act is stated in Oregon Revised Statutes, Titles 50, Chapter 646. 

Section 646.608 prohibits false advertising.  Under Section 646.618 the prosecuting attorney can bring an action upon knowing about a violation.  Section 646.638 permits private action by an injured person.

Remedies available for a civil action under Section 646.638 are:

  • actual damages or $200, whichever is greater,
  • punitive damages,
  • equitable relief,
  • injunction, and
  • attorney fees.

Under Section 815.410 of the Oregon Vehicle Code, tampering an odometer to misrepresent the number of miles in the meter is an offence amounting to Class C felony.  Liability for odometer tampering is a penalty of $1500 or treble damages, plus attorney fees. 

ORS § 646.607 reads in part:

“646.607. Unlawful business, trade practices.
   A person engages in an unlawful practice when in the course of the person’s business, vocation or occupation the person:
(1) Employs any unconscionable tactic in connection with the sale, rental or other disposition of real estate, goods or services, or collection or enforcement of an obligation;
(2) Fails to deliver all or any portion of real estate, goods or services as promised, and upon request of the customer, fails to refund any money that has been received from the customer that was for the purchase of the undelivered real estate, goods or services and that is not retained by the seller pursuant to any right, claim or defense asserted in good faith. This subsection does not create a warranty obligation and does not apply to a dispute over the quality of real estate, goods or services delivered to a customer;”

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ORS § 646.638 reads in part:
”646.638. Civil action by private party; damages; attorney fees; effect of prior injunction; time for commencing action; counterclaim.
   (1) Except as provided in subsection (8) of this section, any person who suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of willful use or employment by another person of a method, act or practice declared unlawful by ORS 646.608, may bring an individual action in an appropriate court to recover actual damages or $ 200, whichever is greater. The court or the jury, as the case may be, may award punitive damages and the court may provide the equitable relief the court considers necessary or proper.
(2) Upon commencement of any action brought under subsection (1) of this section the party bringing the action shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleading to the Attorney General and, upon entry of any judgment in the action, shall mail a copy of the judgment to the Attorney General. Failure to mail a copy of the complaint shall not be a jurisdictional defect, but a court may not enter judgment for the plaintiff until proof of mailing is filed with the court. Proof of mailing may be by affidavit or by return receipt of mailing.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in an action under this section.
(4) The court may not award attorney fees to a prevailing defendant under the provisions of subsection (3) of this section if the action under this section is maintained as a class action pursuant to ORCP 32.”
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Inside Oregon Deceptive Trade Practices Laws