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Consumers Legal Remedies Act in California

The Consumers Legal Remedies Act found in California Civil Code sections 1750 through 1784 is the topic of this blog post. This act is also known as the CLRA and is a very potent weapon that may be used by a California consumer against a business or service provider who is using unfair or deceptive trade practices. The CLRA provides remedies for unfair or deceptive trade practices and is very detailed. In fact there are more than 20 separate categories of illegal practices listed in Civil Code § 1770. These include passing off goods or services as those of another, using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services, and representing as original or new goods that have deteriorated unreasonably or are altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand

The CLRA does have some very specific requirements that must be followed. Before a lawsuit can be filed, the plaintiff must first give the defendant a chance to make things right.

At least 30 days before filing suit under the CLRA, the plaintiff must give the potential defendant notice of the alleged violation and demand that he or she “correct, repair, replace or otherwise rectify” the prohibited practices. The notice must be in writing and sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the place where the transaction occurred, or to the potential defendant’s principal place of business within California pursuant to Civil Code
§ 1782(a)(2).

Plaintiff must allege in the complaint that proper notice was given. If a plaintiff files an action without first sending the required notice, the claim can be dismissed. This defect cannot be cured by amendment. Failure to provide notice after litigation has started will not be effective, notice must be given in order to state a claim, failure to give notice before filing any complaint will result in a Court dismissing the case with prejudice.

Messages sent by email, fax, or standard mail do are not sufficient, and the notice must also be sent to the place where the transaction occurred, or to the potential defendant’s principal place of business within California pursuant to pursuant to Civil Code § 1782 (a)(2).

The notice is intended to give the manufacturer or vendor sufficient notice of alleged defects to permit appropriate corrections or replacements, and to facilitate settlements of consumer actions wherever possible before a complaint is filed.

A defendant may establish good faith by introducing evidence of their attempts to comply with a consumer’s demand pursuant to Civil Code section 1782(3).

A defendant may avoid liability under the CLRA they can prove that any alleged violation was not intentional; it resulted from a bona fide error; and they made an appropriate correction, repair, or replacement, or provided another remedy pursuant to Civil Code section 1784.

Future blog posts will discuss the CLRA in more detail. It is a very potent weapon that can be used by a California consumer against a business or service provider who is using unfair or deceptive trade practices.

Attorneys or parties in California who wish to view and download a sample demand letter to a business under the CLRA can see below.

The author of this blog post, Stan Burman, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.

If you enjoy this blog post, tell others about it. They can subscribe to the author’s weekly California legal newsletter by visiting the following link: http://www.legaldocspro.net/newsletter.htm

Copyright 2013 Stan Burman. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

These materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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