2016 Maryland Code
Title 14 - Miscellaneous Consumer Protection Provisions
Subtitle 13 - Miscellaneous Provisions
§ 14-1325. Nondisparagement clauses in consumer contracts
(a) Definitions. --
(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) "Consumer" means an actual or a prospective purchaser, lessee, or recipient of consumer goods or services.
(3) "Consumer goods or services" means goods or services that are primarily for personal, household, or family purposes.
(b) Prohibition. -- A contract or a proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services may not include a provision waiving the consumer's right to make any statement concerning:
(1) The seller or lessor;
(2) Employees or agents of the seller or lessor; or
(3) The consumer goods or services.
(c) Additional prohibitions. -- A person may not:
(1) Threaten or seek enforcement of a contract provision prohibited under subsection (b) of this section; or
(2) Penalize a consumer for making any statement protected under subsection (b) of this section.
(d) Waiver is void and unenforceable. -- A waiver of any provision of this section is contrary to public policy and is void and unenforceable.
(e) Construction of section. -- This section may not be construed to prohibit or limit a person:
(1) That hosts online consumer reviews or comments from removing a statement that is otherwise lawful to remove;
(2) From including in a contract or a proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services a provision prohibiting a consumer from disclosing proprietary information, techniques, or processes; or
(3) From bringing an action alleging that a statement made by a consumer is defamatory.
(f) Violations. -- A violation of this section is:
(1) An unfair and deceptive trade practice within the meaning of Title 13 of this article; and
(2) Subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions contained in Title 13 of this article.
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