Understanding California’s Deceptive Trade Practices May be Trickier Than You Think

Many people may not be aware that California has yet to pass the Uniform Deceptive Practices Act. As a result, the State handles deceptive practices regarding Commercial trade through the California Business and Professions Code. More specifically, § 17500 et seq. Articles 17500, 17500.5 and 17505 are applicable in prohibiting false advertisements. In accordance with Section 17500, these violations can be punishable as a misdemeanor by a maximum fine of $2500, and/or up to six months of county jail time.

What Constitutes a Deceptive Practice?

According to section 17500 of the California Business and Professions Code, false or misleading statements Designed to induce the public into an obligation by any advertising device or public proclamation. Although there specific areas within the code that clearly define violations like car odometer tampering, much of the terminology is broad, to say the least. This is why the application of a deceptive practice for any campaign promoting a product or service should be reviewed by a Palm Springs litigation law firm if there is the slightest doubt regarding violations.

Who Can Take Action?

Under section 17535, an Attorney General, County Counsel, District Attorneys, or City Prosecutors can take action based upon their own complaint. Additionally, they can act upon the complaint of any individual, board, association, or corporation who alleges injury or damage enumerated within the Code. Additionally, under Sections 17203 and 17535 any person may take representative claims on the behalf of others, provided they meet certain standing requirements. 

Deceptive Trade Practices in California is serious business. Understanding what can and can’t be permitted on your own can have consequences, so contact a Palm Springs litigation law firm today.