California Consumers Legal Remedies Act

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The California Consumers Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA") is the name for California Civil Code §§ 1750 et seq.[1] The CLRA declare unlawful several "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".[2] Forbidden practices include misrepresenting the source of the good and services, representing reconditioned goods as new, advertising goods without having the expected demand in stock, representing a repair is needed when it is not, representing rebates that have hidden conditions, and misrepresenting the authority of a salesman to close a deal.

The CLRA claim is attractive to potential plaintiffs because Cal. Civ. Code § 1780 allows consumers who suffer damage as a result of a practice declared unlawful by § 1770 to obtain actual damages (the total award of damages in a class action shall be more than $1,000); an order enjoining the methods, acts, or practices; restitution of property; punitive damages; court costs and attorney's fees; and any other relief that the court deems proper. A prevailing plaintiff gets to recover his attorney's fees, but a prevailing defendant usually may not recover his attorney's fees.[3]


  1. ^ Cal. Civ. Code § 1750
  2. ^ Cal. Civ. Code § 1770
  3. ^ Civil Code § 1780(e) only awards the defendant attorney's fees if the action was not in good faith.

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