2010 California Code
Business and Professions Code
Chapter 5. Enforcement

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE
SECTION 17200-17210



17200.  As used in this chapter, unfair competition shall mean and
include any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice
and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising and any act
prohibited by Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17500) of Part 3 of
Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code.




17201.  As used in this chapter, the term person shall mean and
include natural persons, corporations, firms, partnerships, joint
stock companies, associations and other organizations of persons.



17201.5.  As used in this chapter:
   (a) "Board within the Department of Consumer Affairs" includes any
commission, bureau, division, or other similarly constituted agency
within the Department of Consumer Affairs.
   (b) "Local consumer affairs agency" means and includes any city or
county body which primarily provides consumer protection services.



17202.  Notwithstanding Section 3369 of the Civil Code, specific or
preventive relief may be granted to enforce a penalty, forfeiture, or
penal law in a case of unfair competition.



17203.  Injunctive Relief--Court Orders
   Any person who engages, has engaged, or proposes to engage in
unfair competition may be enjoined in any court of competent
jurisdiction. The court may make such orders or judgments, including
the appointment of a receiver, as may be necessary to prevent the use
or employment by any person of any practice which constitutes unfair
competition, as defined in this chapter, or as may be necessary to
restore to any person in interest any money or property, real or
personal, which may have been acquired by means of such unfair
competition. Any person may pursue representative claims or relief on
behalf of others only if the claimant meets the standing
requirements of Section 17204 and complies with Section 382 of the
Code of Civil Procedure, but these limitations do not apply to claims
brought under this chapter by the Attorney General, or any district
attorney, county counsel, city attorney, or city prosecutor in this
state.



17204.  Actions for Injunctions by Attorney General, District
Attorney, County Counsel, and City Attorneys
   Actions for relief pursuant to this chapter shall be prosecuted
exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction by the Attorney
General or a district attorney or by a county counsel authorized by
agreement with the district attorney in actions involving violation
of a county ordinance, or by a city attorney of a city having a
population in excess of 750,000, or by a city attorney in a city and
county or, with the consent of the district attorney, by a city
prosecutor in a city having a full-time city prosecutor in the name
of the people of the State of California upon their own complaint or
upon the complaint of a board, officer, person, corporation, or
association, or by a person who has suffered injury in fact and has
lost money or property as a result of the unfair competition.




17205.  Unless otherwise expressly provided, the remedies or
penalties provided by this chapter are cumulative to each other and
to the remedies or penalties available under all other laws of this
state.


17206.  Civil Penalty for Violation of Chapter
   (a) Any person who engages, has engaged, or proposes to engage in
unfair competition shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed
two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each violation, which
shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name
of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General, by
any district attorney, by any county counsel authorized by agreement
with the district attorney in actions involving violation of a
county ordinance, by any city attorney of a city having a population
in excess of 750,000, by any city attorney of any city and county,
or, with the consent of the district attorney, by a city prosecutor
in any city having a full-time city prosecutor, in any court of
competent jurisdiction.
   (b) The court shall impose a civil penalty for each violation of
this chapter. In assessing the amount of the civil penalty, the court
shall consider any one or more of the relevant circumstances
presented by any of the parties to the case, including, but not
limited to, the following: the nature and seriousness of the
misconduct, the number of violations, the persistence of the
misconduct, the length of time over which the misconduct occurred,
the willfulness of the defendant's misconduct, and the defendant's
assets, liabilities, and net worth.
   (c) If the action is brought by the Attorney General, one-half of
the penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in
which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the General Fund. If
the action is brought by a district attorney or county counsel, the
penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in
which the judgment was entered. Except as provided in subdivision
(e), if the action is brought by a city attorney or city prosecutor,
one-half of the penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of
the city in which the judgment was entered, and one-half to the
treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered. The
aforementioned funds shall be for the exclusive use by the Attorney
General, the district attorney, the county counsel, and the city
attorney for the enforcement of consumer protection laws.
   (d) The Unfair Competition Law Fund is hereby created as a special
account within the General Fund in the State Treasury. The portion
of penalties that is payable to the General Fund or to the Treasurer
recovered by the Attorney General from an action or settlement of a
claim made by the Attorney General pursuant to this chapter or
Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17500) of Part 3 shall be
deposited into this fund. Moneys in this fund, upon appropriation by
the Legislature, shall be used by the Attorney General to support
investigations and prosecutions of California's consumer protection
laws, including implementation of judgments obtained from such
prosecutions or investigations and other activities which are in
furtherance of this chapter or Chapter 1 (commencing with Section
17500) of Part 3.
   (e) If the action is brought at the request of a board within the
Department of Consumer Affairs or a local consumer affairs agency,
the court shall determine the reasonable expenses incurred by the
board or local agency in the investigation and prosecution of the
action.
   Before any penalty collected is paid out pursuant to subdivision
(c), the amount of any reasonable expenses incurred by the board
shall be paid to the Treasurer for deposit in the special fund of the
board described in Section 205. If the board has no such special
fund, the moneys shall be paid to the Treasurer. The amount of any
reasonable expenses incurred by a local consumer affairs agency shall
be paid to the general fund of the municipality or county that funds
the local agency.
   (f) If the action is brought by a city attorney of a city and
county, the entire amount of the penalty collected shall be paid to
the treasurer of the city and county in which the judgment was
entered for the exclusive use by the city attorney for the
enforcement of consumer protection laws. However, if the action is
brought by a city attorney of a city and county for the purposes of
civil enforcement pursuant to Section 17980 of the Health and Safety
Code or Article 3 (commencing with Section 11570) of Chapter 10 of
Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, either the penalty
collected shall be paid entirely to the treasurer of the city and
county in which the judgment was entered or, upon the request of the
city attorney, the court may order that up to one-half of the
penalty, under court supervision and approval, be paid for the
purpose of restoring, maintaining, or enhancing the premises that
were the subject of the action, and that the balance of the penalty
be paid to the treasurer of the city and county.



17206.1.  (a) (1) In addition to any liability for a civil penalty
pursuant to Section 17206, any person who violates this chapter, and
the act or acts of unfair competition are perpetrated against one or
more senior citizens or disabled persons, may be liable for a civil
penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for
each violation, which may be assessed and recovered in a civil action
as prescribed in Section 17206.
   (2) Subject to subdivision (d), any civil penalty shall be paid as
prescribed by subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 17206.
   (b) As used in this section, the following terms have the
following meanings:
   (1) "Senior citizen" means a person who is 65 years of age or
older.
   (2) "Disabled person" means any person who has a physical or
mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life
activities.
   (A) As used in this subdivision, "physical or mental impairment"
means any of the following:
   (i) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic
disfigurement, or anatomical loss substantially affecting one or more
of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal;
special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs;
cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and
lymphatic; skin; or endocrine.
   (ii) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental
retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and
specific learning disabilities.
   "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.
   (B) "Major life activities" means functions such as caring for one'
s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking,
breathing, learning, and working.
   (c) In determining whether to impose a civil penalty pursuant to
subdivision (a) and the amount thereof, the court shall consider, in
addition to any other appropriate factors, the extent to which one or
more of the following factors are present:
   (1) Whether the defendant knew or should have known that his or
her conduct was directed to one or more senior citizens or disabled
persons.
   (2) Whether the defendant's conduct caused one or more senior
citizens or disabled persons to suffer: loss or encumbrance of a
primary residence, principal employment, or source of income;
substantial loss of property set aside for retirement, or for
personal or family care and maintenance; or substantial loss of
payments received under a pension or retirement plan or a government
benefits program, or assets essential to the health or welfare of the
senior citizen or disabled person.
   (3) Whether one or more senior citizens or disabled persons are
substantially more vulnerable than other members of the public to the
defendant's conduct because of age, poor health or infirmity,
impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or disability, and
actually suffered substantial physical, emotional, or economic damage
resulting from the defendant's conduct.
   (d) Any court of competent jurisdiction hearing an action pursuant
to this section may make orders and judgments as may be necessary to
restore to any senior citizen or disabled person any money or
property, real or personal, which may have been acquired by means of
a violation of this chapter. Restitution ordered pursuant to this
subdivision shall be given priority over recovery of any civil
penalty designated by the court as imposed pursuant to subdivision
(a), but shall not be given priority over any civil penalty imposed
pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 17206. If the court determines
that full restitution cannot be made to those senior citizens or
disabled persons, either at the time of judgment or by a future date
determined by the court, then restitution under this subdivision
shall be made on a pro rata basis depending on the amount of loss.



17207.  (a) Any person who intentionally violates any injunction
prohibiting unfair competition issued pursuant to Section 17203 shall
be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed six thousand dollars
($6,000) for each violation. Where the conduct constituting a
violation is of a continuing nature, each day of that conduct is a
separate and distinct violation. In determining the amount of the
civil penalty, the court shall consider all relevant circumstances,
including, but not limited to, the extent of the harm caused by the
conduct constituting a violation, the nature and persistence of that
conduct, the length of time over which the conduct occurred, the
assets, liabilities, and net worth of the person, whether corporate
or individual, and any corrective action taken by the defendant.
   (b) The civil penalty prescribed by this section shall be assessed
and recovered in a civil action brought in any county in which the
violation occurs or where the injunction was issued in the name of
the people of the State of California by the Attorney General or by
any district attorney, any county counsel authorized by agreement
with the district attorney in actions involving violation of a county
ordinance, or any city attorney in any court of competent
jurisdiction within his or her jurisdiction without regard to the
county from which the original injunction was issued. An action
brought pursuant to this section to recover civil penalties shall
take precedence over all civil matters on the calendar of the court
except those matters to which equal precedence on the calendar is
granted by law.
   (c) If such an action is brought by the Attorney General, one-half
of the penalty collected pursuant to this section shall be paid to
the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered, and
one-half to the State Treasurer. If brought by a district attorney or
county counsel the entire amount of the penalty collected shall be
paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment is entered.
If brought by a city attorney or city prosecutor, one-half of the
penalty shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the
judgment was entered and one-half to the city, except that if the
action was brought by a city attorney of a city and county the entire
amount of the penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of
the city and county in which the judgment is entered.
   (d) If the action is brought at the request of a board within the
Department of Consumer Affairs or a local consumer affairs agency,
the court shall determine the reasonable expenses incurred by the
board or local agency in the investigation and prosecution of the
action.
   Before any penalty collected is paid out pursuant to subdivision
(c), the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred by the board
shall be paid to the State Treasurer for deposit in the special fund
of the board described in Section 205. If the board has no such
special fund, the moneys shall be paid to the State Treasurer. The
amount of the reasonable expenses incurred by a local consumer
affairs agency shall be paid to the general fund of the municipality
or county which funds the local agency.



17208.  Any action to enforce any cause of action pursuant to this
chapter shall be commenced within four years after the cause of
action accrued. No cause of action barred under existing law on the
effective date of this section shall be revived by its enactment.




17209.  If a violation of this chapter is alleged or the application
or construction of this chapter is in issue in any proceeding in the
Supreme Court of California, a state court of appeal, or the
appellate division of a superior court, each person filing any brief
or petition with the court in that proceeding shall serve, within
three days of filing with the court, a copy of that brief or petition
on the Attorney General, directed to the attention of the Consumer
Law Section at a service address designated on the Attorney General's
official Web site for service of papers under this section or, if no
service address is designated, at the Attorney General's office in
San Francisco, California, and on the district attorney of the county
in which the lower court action or proceeding was originally filed.
Upon the Attorney General's or district attorney's request, each
person who has filed any other document, including all or a portion
of the appellate record, with the court in addition to a brief or
petition shall provide a copy of that document without charge to the
Attorney General or the district attorney within five days of the
request. The time for service may be extended by the Chief Justice or
presiding justice or judge for good cause shown. No judgment or
relief, temporary or permanent, shall be granted or opinion issued
until proof of service of the brief or petition on the Attorney
General and district attorney is filed with the court.



17210.  (a) For purposes of this section, "hotel" means any hotel,
motel, bed and breakfast inn, or other similar transient lodging
establishment, but it does not include any residential hotel as
defined in Section 50519 of the Health and Safety Code. "Innkeeper"
means the owner or operator of a hotel, or the duly authorized agent
or employee of the owner or operator.
   (b) For purposes of this section, "handbill" means, and is
specifically limited to, any tangible commercial solicitation to
guests of the hotel urging that they patronize any commercial
enterprise.
   (c) Every person (hereinafter "distributor") engages in unfair
competition for purposes of this chapter who deposits, places,
throws, scatters, casts, or otherwise distributes any handbill to any
individual guest rooms in any hotel, including, but not limited to,
placing, throwing, leaving, or attaching any handbill adjacent to,
upon, or underneath any guest room door, doorknob, or guest room
entryway, where either the innkeeper has expressed objection to
handbill distribution, either orally to the distributor or by the
posting of a sign or other notice in a conspicuous place within the
lobby area and at all points of access from the exterior of the
premises to guest room areas indicating that handbill distribution is
prohibited, or the distributor has received written notice pursuant
to subdivision (e) that the innkeeper has expressed objection to the
distribution of handbills to guest rooms in the hotel.
   (d) Every person (hereinafter "contractor") engages in unfair
competition for purposes of this chapter who causes or directs any
other person, firm, business, or entity to distribute, or cause the
distribution of, any handbill to any individual guest rooms in any
hotel in violation of subdivision (c) of this section, if the
contractor has received written notice from the innkeeper objecting
to the distribution of handbills to individual guest rooms in the
hotel.
   (e) Every contractor who causes or directs any distributor to
distribute, or cause the distribution of, any handbills to any
individual guest rooms in any hotel, if the contractor has received
written notice from the innkeeper or from any other contractor or
intermediary pursuant to this subdivision, objecting to the
distribution of handbills to individual guest rooms in the hotel has
failed to provide a written copy of that notice to each distributor
prior to the commencement of distribution of handbills by the
distributor or by any person hired or retained by the distributor for
that purpose, or, within 24 hours following the receipt of the
notice by the contractor if received after the commencement of
distribution, and has failed to instruct and demand any distributor
to not distribute, or to cease the distribution of, the handbills to
individual guest rooms in any hotel for which such a notice has been
received is in violation of this section.
   (f) Any written notice given, or caused to be given, by the
innkeeper pursuant to or required by any provision of this section
shall be deemed to be in full force and effect until such time as the
notice is revoked in writing.
   (g) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the
distribution of a handbill to guest rooms in any hotel where the
distribution has been requested or approved in writing by the
innkeeper, or to any individual guest room when the occupant thereof
has affirmatively requested or approved the distribution of the
handbill during the duration of the guest's occupancy.


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