THE CONSUMERS LEGAL REMEDIES ACT

CIVIL CODE 1750-1784 (as of 07/01/05)

 

1750. This title may be cited as the Consumers Legal Remedies Act.
 
1751. Any waiver by a consumer of the provisions of this title is
contrary to public policy and shall be unenforceable and void.
 
1752. The provisions of this title are not exclusive. The remedies
provided herein for violation of any section of this title or for
conduct proscribed by any section of this title shall be in addition
to any other procedures or remedies for any violation or conduct
provided for in any other law.
 Nothing in this title shall limit any other statutory or any
common law rights of the Attorney General or any other person to
bring class actions. Class actions by consumers brought under the
specific provisions of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1770) of
this title shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of Chapter
4 (commencing with Section 1780); however, this shall not be
construed so as to deprive a consumer of any statutory or common law
right to bring a class action without resort to this title. If any
act or practice proscribed under this title also constitutes a cause
of action in common law or a violation of another statute, the
consumer may assert such common law or statutory cause of action
under the procedures and with the remedies provided for in such law.
 
1753. If any provision of this title or the application thereof to
any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the
remainder of the title and the application of such provision to other
persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
 
1754. The provisions of this title shall not apply to any
transaction which provides for the construction, sale, or
construction and sale of an entire residence or all or part of a
structure designed for commercial or industrial occupancy, with or
without a parcel of real property or an interest therein, or for the
sale of a lot or parcel of real property, including any site
preparation incidental to such sale.
 
1755. Nothing in this title shall apply to the owners or employees
of any advertising medium, including, but not limited to, newspapers,
magazines, broadcast stations, billboards and transit ads, by whom
any advertisement in violation of this title is published or
disseminated, unless it is established that such owners or employees
had knowledge of the deceptive methods, acts or practices declared to
be unlawful by Section 1770.
 
1756. The substantive and procedural provisions of this title shall
only apply to actions filed on or after January 1, 1971.

 

1760. This title shall be liberally construed and applied to
promote its underlying purposes, which are to protect consumers
against unfair and deceptive business practices and to provide
efficient and economical procedures to secure such protection.
 
 
1761. As used in this title:
 (a) "Goods" means tangible chattels bought or leased for use
primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, including
certificates or coupons exchangeable for these goods, and including
goods which, at the time of the sale or subsequently, are to be so
affixed to real property as to become a part of real property,
whether or not severable therefrom.
 (b) "Services" means work, labor, and services for other than a
commercial or business use, including services furnished in
connection with the sale or repair of goods.
 (c) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation,
limited liability company, association, or other group, however
organized.
 (d) "Consumer" means an individual who seeks or acquires, by
purchase or lease, any goods or services for personal, family, or
household purposes.
 (e) "Transaction" means an agreement between a consumer and any
other person, whether or not the agreement is a contract enforceable
by action, and includes the making of, and the performance pursuant
to, that agreement.
 (f) "Senior citizen" means a person who is 65 years of age or
older.
 (g) "Disabled person" means any person who has a physical or
mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life
activities.
 (1) As used in this subdivision, "physical or mental impairment"
means any of the following:
 (A) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic
disfigurement, or anatomical loss substantially affecting one or more
of the following body systems: neurological; muscoloskeletal;
special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs;
cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and
lymphatic; skin; or endocrine.
 (B) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental
retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and
specific learning disabilities. The term "physical or mental
impairment" includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and
conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairment,
cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis,
cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, and emotional
illness.
 (2) "Major life activities" means functions such as caring for one'
s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking,
breathing, learning, and working.
 (h) "Home solicitation" means any transaction made at the consumer'
s primary residence, except those transactions initiated by the
consumer. A consumer response to an advertisement is not a home
solicitation.

 

1770. (a) The following unfair methods of competition and unfair or
deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a
transaction intended to result or which results in the sale or lease
of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful:
 (1) Passing off goods or services as those of another.
 (2) Misrepresenting the source, sponsorship, approval, or
certification of goods or services.
 (3) Misrepresenting the affiliation, connection, or association
with, or certification by, another.
 (4) Using deceptive representations or designations of geographic
origin in connection with goods or services.
 (5) Representing that goods or services have sponsorship,
approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities
which they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval,
status, affiliation, or connection which he or she does not have.
 (6) Representing that goods are original or new if they have
deteriorated unreasonably or are altered, reconditioned, reclaimed,
used, or secondhand.
 (7) Representing that goods or services are of a particular
standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style
or model, if they are of another.
 (8) Disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by
false or misleading representation of fact.
 (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 demand, unless the advertisement discloses a
limitation of quantity.
 (11) Advertising furniture without clearly indicating that it is
unassembled if that is the case.
 (12) Advertising the price of unassembled furniture without
clearly indicating the assembled price of that furniture if the same
furniture is available assembled from the seller.
 (13) Making false or misleading statements of fact concerning
reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions.
 (14) Representing that a transaction confers or involves rights,
remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which
are prohibited by law.
 (15) Representing that a part, replacement, or repair service is
needed when it is not.
 (16) Representing that the subject of a transaction has been
supplied in accordance with a previous representation when it has
not.
 (17) Representing that the consumer will receive a rebate,
discount, or other economic benefit, if the earning of the benefit is
contingent on an event to occur subsequent to the consummation of
the transaction.
 (18) Misrepresenting the authority of a salesperson,
representative, or agent to negotiate the final terms of a
transaction with a consumer.
 (19) Inserting an unconscionable provision in the contract.
 (20) Advertising that a product is being offered at a specific
price plus a specific percentage of that price unless (1) the total
price is set forth in the advertisement, which may include, but is
not limited to, shelf tags, displays, and media advertising, in a
size larger than any other price in that advertisement, and (2) the
specific price plus a specific percentage of that price represents a
markup from the seller's costs or from the wholesale price of the
product. This subdivision shall not apply to in-store advertising by
businesses which are open only to members or cooperative
organizations organized pursuant to Division 3 (commencing with
Section 12000) of Title 1 of the Corporations Code where more than 50
percent of purchases are made at the specific price set forth in the
advertisement.
 (21) Selling or leasing goods in violation of Chapter 4
(commencing with Section 1797.8) of Title 1.7.
 (22) (A) Disseminating an unsolicited prerecorded message by
telephone without an unrecorded, natural voice first informing the
person answering the telephone of the name of the caller or the
organization being represented, and either the address or the
telephone number of the caller, and without obtaining the consent of
that person to listen to the prerecorded message.
 (B) This subdivision does not apply to a message disseminated to a
business associate, customer, or other person having an established
relationship with the person or organization making the call, to a
call for the purpose of collecting an existing obligation, or to any
call generated at the request of the recipient.
 (23) The home solicitation, as defined in subdivision (h) of
Section 1761, of a consumer who is a senior citizen where a loan is
made encumbering the primary residence of that consumer for the
purposes of paying for home improvements and where the transaction is
part of a pattern or practice in violation of either subsection (h)
or (i) of Section 1639 of Title 15 of the United States Code or
subsection (e) of Section 226.32 of Title 12 of the Code of Federal
Regulations.
 A third party shall not be liable under this subdivision unless
(1) there was an agency relationship between the party who engaged in
home solicitation and the third party or (2) the third party had
actual knowledge of, or participated in, the unfair or deceptive
transaction. A third party who is a holder in due course under a
home solicitation transaction shall not be liable under this
subdivision.
 (b) (1) It is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for a
mortgage broker or lender, directly or indirectly, to use a home
improvement contractor to negotiate the terms of any loan that is
secured, whether in whole or in part, by the residence of the
borrower and which is used to finance a home improvement contract or
any portion thereof. For purposes of this subdivision, "mortgage
broker or lender" includes a finance lender licensed pursuant to the
California Finance Lenders Law (Division 9 (commencing with Section
22000) of the Financial Code), a residential mortgage lender licensed
pursuant to the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act
(Division 20 (commencing with Section 50000) of the Financial Code),
or a real estate broker licensed under the Real Estate Law (Division
4 (commencing with Section 10000) of the Business and Professions
Code).
 (2) This section shall not be construed to either authorize or
prohibit a home improvement contractor from referring a consumer to a
mortgage broker or lender by this subdivision. However, a home
improvement contractor may refer a consumer to a mortgage lender or
broker if that referral does not violate Section 7157 of the Business
and Professions Code or any other provision of law. A mortgage
lender or broker may purchase an executed home improvement contract
if that purchase does not violate Section 7157 of the Business and
Professions Code or any other provision of law. Nothing in this
paragraph shall have any effect on the application of Chapter 1
(commencing with Section 1801) of Title 2 to a home improvement
transaction or the financing thereof.
 
1780. (a) Any consumer who suffers any damage as a result of the
use or employment by any person of a method, act, or practice
declared to be unlawful by Section 1770 may bring an action against
that person to recover or obtain any of the following:
 (1) Actual damages, but in no case shall the total award of
damages in a class action be less than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
 (2) An order enjoining the methods, acts, or practices.
 (3) Restitution of property.
 (4) Punitive damages.
 (5) Any other relief that the court deems proper.
 (b) (1) Any consumer who is a senior citizen or a disabled
person, as defined in subdivisions (f) and (g) of Section 1761, as
part of an action under subdivision (a), may seek and be awarded, in
addition to the remedies specified therein, up to five thousand
dollars ($5,000) where the trier of fact does all of the following:
 (A) Finds that the consumer has suffered substantial physical,
emotional, or economic damage resulting from the defendant's conduct.
 
 (B) Makes an affirmative finding in regard to one or more of the
factors set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 3345.
 (C) Finds that an additional award is appropriate.
 (2) Judgment in a class action by senior citizens or disabled
persons under Section 1781 may award each class member that
additional award if the trier of fact has made the foregoing
findings.
 (c) An action under subdivision (a) or (b) may be commenced in the
county in which the person against whom it is brought resides, has
his or her principal place of business, or is doing business, or in
the county where the transaction or any substantial portion thereof
occurred.
 In any action subject to the provisions of this section,
concurrently with the filing of the complaint, the plaintiff shall
file an affidavit stating facts showing that the action has been
commenced in a county described in this section as a proper place for
the trial of the action. If a plaintiff fails to file the affidavit
required by this section, the court shall, upon its own motion or
upon motion of any party, dismiss the action without prejudice.
 (d) The court shall award court costs and attorney's fees to a
prevailing plaintiff in litigation filed pursuant to this section.
Reasonable attorney's fees may be awarded to a prevailing defendant
upon a finding by the court that the plaintiff's prosecution of the
action was not in good faith.
 
1781. (a) Any consumer entitled to bring an action under Section
1780 may, if the unlawful method, act, or practice has caused damage
to other consumers similarly situated, bring an action on behalf of
himself and such other consumers to recover damages or obtain other
relief as provided for in Section 1780.
 (b) The court shall permit the suit to be maintained on behalf of
all members of the represented class if all of the following
conditions exist:
 (1) It is impracticable to bring all members of the class before
the court.
 (2) The questions of law or fact common to the class are
substantially similar and predominate over the questions affecting
the individual members.
 (3) The claims or defenses of the representative plaintiffs are
typical of the claims or defenses of the class.
 (4) The representative plaintiffs will fairly and adequately
protect the interests of the class.
 (c) If notice of the time and place of the hearing is served upon
the other parties at least 10 days prior thereto, the court shall
hold a hearing, upon motion of any party to the action which is
supported by affidavit of any person or persons having knowledge of
the facts, to determine if any of the following apply to the action:
 
 (1) A class action pursuant to subdivision (b) is proper.
 (2) Published notice pursuant to subdivision (d) is necessary to
adjudicate the claims of the class.
 (3) The action is without merit or there is no defense to the
action.
 A motion based upon Section 437c of the Code of Civil Procedure
shall not be granted in any action commenced as a class action
pursuant to subdivision (a).
 (d) If the action is permitted as a class action, the court may
direct either party to notify each member of the class of the action.
 The party required to serve notice may, with the consent of the
court, if personal notification is unreasonably expensive or it
appears that all members of the class cannot be notified personally,
give notice as prescribed herein by publication in accordance with
Section 6064 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general
circulation in the county in which the transaction occurred.
 (e) The notice required by subdivision (d) shall include the
following:
 (1) The court will exclude the member notified from the class if
he so requests by a specified date.
 (2) The judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all
members who do not request exclusion.
 (3) Any member who does not request exclusion, may, if he desires,
enter an appearance through counsel.
 (f) A class action shall not be dismissed, settled, or compromised
without the approval of the court, and notice of the proposed
dismissal, settlement, or compromise shall be given in such manner as
the court directs to each member who was given notice pursuant to
subdivision (d) and did not request exclusion.
 (g) The judgment in a class action shall describe those to whom
the notice was directed and who have not requested exclusion and
those the court finds to be members of the class. The best possible
notice of the judgment shall be given in such manner as the court
directs to each member who was personally served with notice pursuant
to subdivision (d) and did not request exclusion.
 
1782. (a) Thirty days or more prior to the commencement of an
action for damages pursuant to this title, the consumer shall do the
following:
 (1) Notify the person alleged to have employed or committed
methods, acts, or practices declared unlawful by Section 1770 of the
particular alleged violations of Section 1770.
 (2) Demand that the person correct, repair, replace, or otherwise
rectify the goods or services alleged to be in violation of Section
1770.
 The notice shall be in writing and shall be sent by certified or
registered mail, return receipt requested, to the place where the
transaction occurred or to the person's principal place of business
within California.
 (b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), no action for damages
may be maintained under Section 1780 if an appropriate correction,
repair, replacement, or other remedy is given, or agreed to be given
within a reasonable time, to the consumer within 30 days after
receipt of the notice.
 (c) No action for damages may be maintained under Section 1781
upon a showing by a person alleged to have employed or committed
methods, acts, or practices declared unlawful by Section 1770 that
all of the following exist:
 (1) All consumers similarly situated have been identified, or a
reasonable effort to identify such other consumers has been made.
 (2) All consumers so identified have been notified that upon their
request the person shall make the appropriate correction, repair,
replacement, or other remedy of the goods and services.
 (3) The correction, repair, replacement, or other remedy requested
by the consumers has been, or, in a reasonable time, shall be,
given.
 (4) The person has ceased from engaging, or if immediate cessation
is impossible or unreasonably expensive under the circumstances, the
person will, within a reasonable time, cease to engage, in the
methods, act, or practices.
 (d) An action for injunctive relief brought under the specific
provisions of Section 1770 may be commenced without compliance with
subdivision (a). Not less than 30 days after the commencement of an
action for injunctive relief, and after compliance with subdivision
(a), the consumer may amend his or her complaint without leave of
court to include a request for damages. The appropriate provisions
of subdivision (b) or (c) shall be applicable if the complaint for
injunctive relief is amended to request damages.
 (e) Attempts to comply with this section by a person receiving a
demand shall be construed to be an offer to compromise and shall be
inadmissible as evidence pursuant to Section 1152 of the Evidence
Code. Furthermore, these attempts to comply with a demand shall not
be considered an admission of engaging in an act or practice declared
unlawful by Section 1770. Evidence of compliance or attempts to
comply with this section may be introduced by a defendant for the
purpose of establishing good faith or to show compliance with this
section.
 
1783. Any action brought under the specific provisions of Section
1770 shall be commenced not more than three years from the date of
the commission of such method, act, or practice.
 
1784. No award of damages may be given in any action based on a
method, act, or practice declared to be unlawful by Section 1770 if
the person alleged to have employed or committed such method, act, or
practice (a) proves that such violation was not intentional and
resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the use of reasonable
procedures adopted to avoid any such error and (b) makes an
appropriate correction, repair or replacement or other remedy of the
goods and services according to the provisions of subdivisions (b)
and (c) of Section 1782.