Civil Prosecution


We are all consumers, and each of us should expect honesty and fair dealing from the companies we do business with.  However, some companies fall short of this expectation. 

The Consumer Protection Unit investigates and prosecutes, through civil actions, individuals and/or business who engage in unfair, unlawful, fraudulent, and dishonest business practices. We file civil lawsuits on behalf of the People of the State of California to obtain injunctions to stop unlawful practices, restitution for victims, and civil penalties to punish and deter wrongdoers.  We work with a variety of state and local agencies to investigate and prosecute these cases. In addition to local consumer cases, our unit is part of a statewide network of consumer and environmental prosecutors throughout California and are referral sources for issues or complaints which may be handled cooperatively in other jurisdictions. Examples of civil consumer fraud include: false advertising, misleading drug/healthcare claims, unlicensed professionals, retail overcharging at the register, and many other types of cases involving unfair business practices.

Unit’s Mission

1.   Educate consumers

2.   Protect honest businesses

3.   Prosecute consumer and environmental offenses

4.  Ensure consumers have a remedy when businesses profit by breaking the rules.

5.  Deter unlawful activity and correct marketplace problems.

Ensuring Fair Competition

By enforcing consumer laws, the Unit protects consumers from unfair and illegal business practices. The Unit also protects the honest businesses in our community from unfair competition by unscrupulous and illegal business practices.

Educating Our Community

Often victims of consumer fraud feel there is no help available.  Our Consumer Protection Unit sends speakers out to the community to teach residents about consumer fraud.  Our speakers explain how to spot and prevent consumer fraud, and how to report it.

To request a speaker for your group, contact us at: 530-245-6300 or

Submitting A Complaint

If you are aware of a business violating the law, please let us know and submit a consumer complaint form to the Unit.  We will review your complaint and may investigate.  Depending on the nature of the violation, we could file a civil lawsuit against the offender, even if it is a non-local or out-of-state business.  Some matters may involve problems that are more appropriately handled by another state or federal agency that has specific jurisdiction relating to the particular problem experienced by the consumer. In these cases, the Unit will specifically refer the consumer to the appropriate state, local or federal agency. 

Please be advised, we are prohibited by law from giving you legal advice, legal opinions, or acting as your private attorney.  If you have suffered a monetary loss, you may also want contact a private attorney to discuss your legal rights and remedies.