2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 15. Contracts
§15-761.1. Liability under Consumer Protection Act.
A. The commission of any act or practice declared to be a violation of the Consumer Protection Act shall render the violator liable to the aggrieved consumer for the payment of actual damages sustained by the customer and costs of litigation including reasonable attorney's fees, and the aggrieved consumer shall have a private right of action for damages, including but not limited to, costs and attorney's fees. In any private action for damages for a violation of the Consumer Protection Act the court shall, subsequent to adjudication on the merits and upon motion of the prevailing party, determine whether a claim or defense asserted in the action by a nonprevailing party was asserted in bad faith, was not well grounded in fact, or was unwarranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law. Upon so finding, the court shall enter a judgment ordering such nonprevailing party to reimburse the prevailing party an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) for reasonable costs, including attorney's fees, incurred with respect to such claim or defense.
B. The commission of any act or practice declared to be a violation of the Consumer Protection Act, if such act or practice is also found to be unconscionable, shall render the violator liable to the aggrieved customer for the payment of a civil penalty, recoverable in an individual action only, in a sum set by the court of not more than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) for each violation. In determining whether an act or practice is unconscionable the following circumstances shall be taken into consideration by the court: (1) whether the violator knowingly or with reason to know, took advantage of a consumer reasonably unable to protect his or her interests because of his or her age, physical infirmity, ignorance, illiteracy, inability to understand the language of an agreement or similar factor; (2) whether, at the time the consumer transaction was entered into, the violator knew or had reason to know that price grossly exceeded the price at which similar property or services were readily obtainable in similar transactions by like consumers; (3) whether, at the time the consumer transaction was entered into, the violator knew or had reason to know that there was no reasonable probability of payment of the obligation in full by the consumer; (4) whether the violator knew or had reason to know that the transaction he or she induced the consumer to enter into was excessively one-sided in favor of the violator.
C. Any person who is found to be in violation of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act in a civil action or who willfully violates the terms of any injunction or court order issued pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) per violation, in addition to other penalties that may be imposed by the court, as the court shall deem necessary and proper. For the purposes of this section, the district court issuing an injunction shall retain jurisdiction, and in such cases, the Attorney General, acting in the name of the state, or a district attorney may petition for recovery of civil penalties.
D. In administering and pursuing actions under this act, the Attorney General and a district attorney are authorized to sue for and collect reasonable expenses, attorney's fees, and investigation fees as determined by the court. Civil penalties or contempt penalties sued for and recovered by the Attorney General or a district attorney shall be used for the furtherance of their duties and activities under the Consumer Protection Act.
E. In addition to other penalties imposed by the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act, any person convicted in a criminal proceeding of violating the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first offense and upon conviction thereof shall be subject to a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or both such fine and imprisonment. If the value of the money, property or valuable thing referred to in this section is Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or more or if the conviction is for a second or subsequent violation of the provisions of the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act, any person convicted pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed guilty of a felony and shall be subject to imprisonment in the State Penitentiary, for not more than ten (10) years, or a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment.
Added by Laws 1980, c. 192, § 4, eff. Oct. 1, 1980. Amended by Laws 1988, c. 161, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 1988; Laws 1994, c. 235, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Laws 1997, c. 133, § 134, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 1999, 1st Ex.Sess., c. 5, § 61, eff. July 1, 1999.
NOTE: Laws 1998, 1st Ex.Sess., c. 2, § 23 amended the effective date of Laws 1997, c. 133, § 134 from July 1, 1998, to July 1, 1999.
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