What is the Unfair Practices Act (UPA)?

The Unfair Practices Act (UPA) is codified at Business & Professions Code sections 17000, et seq. The purpose of the UPA “is to safeguard the public against the creation or perpetuation of monopolies and to foster and encourage competition, by prohibiting unfair, dishonest, deceptive, destructive, fraudulent and discriminatory practices by which fair and honest competition is destroyed or prevented.” (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17001.)

It prohibits specific “practices which the legislature has determined constitute unfair trade practices.” (Wholesale T. Dealers v. National etc. Co., 11 Cal.2d 639, 643.) “This chapter shall be liberally construed that its beneficial purposes may be subserved.” (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17002.)

A complaint under the Unfair Practices Act must state facts supporting the statutory elements of the alleged violation. (See G.H.I.I. v. MTS (1983) 147 Cal.App.3d 256, (allegations of secret rebates, locality discrimination, sale below cost, and loss leaders; complaint was sufficient); Khoury v. Maly’s of Calif. (1993) 14 Cal.App.4th 612, 619 (demurrer properly sustained where complaint identified no particular statutory section that was violated and failed to describe with reasonable particularity facts supporting violation).)

"It is unlawful for any manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, jobber, contractor, broker, retailer, or other vendor, or any agent of any such person, jointly to participate or collude with any other such person in the violation of this chapter." (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17048).

Remedies

The consequences of violating the Unfair Practices Act can be quite severe.

A prevailing plaintiff may receive treble damages and attorney fees. (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17082).

The act even provides criminal sanctions. Any person who violates the act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and six months' imprisonment. (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17100.)

Contexts

Breach of fiduciary duty has been applied in many contexts. Here are a few.

  • The prohibition against purposeful below-cost sales. (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17043.) "‘Article or product' includes any article, product, commodity, thing of value, service or output of a service trade.’ (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17024.)
  • The prohibition against loss leaders. (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17044.)
  • Secret rebates. (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17045; G.H.I.I. v. MTS (1983) 147 C.A.3d 256, 271; ABC Internat. Traders, Inc. v. Matsushita Electric Corp. (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1247.)
  • Locality discrimination. (Bus. & Prof. Code § 17040; G.H.I.I. v. MTS (1983) 147 C.A.3d 256, 271.)

Useful Resources for Unfair Practices Act

Recent Rulings on Unfair Practices Act

101-113 of 113 results

THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA VS. ANN EDWARDS, ET AL.

Regents seek reimbursement for medical indigent care under Welfare & Institutions Code § 17000 et seq. They pray for an order approving the use of statistical sampling methodology as evidence of the extent of the County of Sacramento defendants' ("County") payment obligations with respect to the approximately 57,000 reimbursement claims for medical care rendered by the UC Davis Medical Center under the County Medical Indigent Services Program.

  • Hearing

    Jul 25, 2013

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA VS. ANN EDWARDS, ET AL.

Regents seek reimbursement for medical indigent care under Welfare & Institutions Code § 17000 et seq. They pray for an order approving the use of statistical sampling methodology as evidence of the extent of the County of Sacramento defendants' ("County") payment obligations with respect to the approximately 57,000 reimbursement claims for medical care rendered by the UC Davis Medical Center under the County Medical Indigent Services Program.

  • Hearing

    Jul 25, 2013

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA VS. ANN EDWARDS, ET AL.

Regents seek reimbursement for medical indigent care under Welfare & Institutions Code § 17000 et seq. They pray for an order approving the use of statistical sampling methodology as evidence of the extent of the County of Sacramento defendants' ("County") payment obligations with respect to the approximately 57,000 reimbursement claims for medical care rendered by the UC Davis Medical Center under the County Medical Indigent Services Program.

  • Hearing

    Jul 25, 2013

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Breach

AMSS LLC VS LOS MEGANOS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION

Code §17000 et seq.), which only allows duly licensed limited liability companies to do business in California. The sixth affirmative defense alleges that plaintiff is estopped from obtaining judgment because of unclean hands. The seventh affirmative defense alleges that defendant has acted in good faith and under a claim of right to title to the real property at issue in the case. The eighth affirmative defense alleges that the complaint was filed in bad faith.

  • Hearing

    Jul 22, 2013

MATTER OF THE HAROLD JOHN ECKES TRUST

Code, section 17000(b)(1) [court has jurisdiction over actions and proceedings to determine the existence of trusts].)

  • Hearing

    May 21, 2013

FIRST PRIVATE BANK & TRUST, A CALIFORNIA BANKING CORPORATION VS. J.C. INDUSTRIES, INC., A NEVADA CORPORATION

The 3rd cause of action does not allege a claim under B and P §17000 et seq (for under-cost selling), it alleges a claim under B and P §17200 et seq. Damages, treble damages and attorneys fees are not available to private litigants under B and P §17200 et seq. Private litigants can seek restitution of any monies paid to moving party, but cross-plaintiffs alleged damage is from discontinued business not payment of funds to moving party.

  • Hearing

    Aug 09, 2012

JOYCE CHABOT VS. JOHN Y CHABOT

. §17000(a). The matter needs to go to mediation for resolution, initially at trust expense subject to reallocation at a later date. Once the parties have mediated Joyce's allegations, then any residual trust issues can be dealt with here. If the siblings resolve their issues and only the professional negligence issue remains, the matter can be returned to the civil court. gmr

  • Hearing

    Jul 11, 2012

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

JOYCE CHABOT VS. JOHN Y CHABOT

. §17000(a). The matter needs to go to mediation for resolution, initially at trust expense subject to reallocation at a later date. Once the parties have mediated Joyce's allegations, then any residual trust issues can be dealt with here. If the siblings resolve their issues and only the professional negligence issue remains, the matter can be returned to the civil court. gmr

  • Hearing

    Jul 11, 2012

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

JOYCE CHABOT VS. JOHN Y CHABOT

. §17000(a). The matter needs to go to mediation for resolution, initially at trust expense subject to reallocation at a later date. Once the parties have mediated Joyce's allegations, then any residual trust issues can be dealt with here. If the siblings resolve their issues and only the professional negligence issue remains, the matter can be returned to the civil court. gmr

  • Hearing

    Jul 11, 2012

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

IN THE MATTER OF SHARIF

Code §3612(b), §17000(a), §17200(b)(13)) or (b) by the court that ordered the property put into the blocked account in the 1st place (Prob. Code §3612(a)) if it isn't truly a trust and is just being held in a blocked acct, unless (2) it is a custodial acct under Prob. Code §3900 et seq and then it can be heard in Ventura County in J6. (Prob. Code §3921

  • Hearing

    Jun 19, 2012

STACI MELTON VS. AURORA LOAN SERVICES LLC

Code 17000 on the grounds that the allegations are specific enough to apprise the defendant of the issues to be met. (See Kurtz, Richards, Wilson & Co. v. Insurance Communicators Mktg. Corp. (1993) 12 Cal.App.4th 1249). Plaintiffs shall file a 1st amended complaint no later than March 15, 2010.

  • Hearing

    Mar 02, 2010

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

ROBERT FRANK THOMAS VS. COUNTY OF VENTURA

(b) Nothing in this section affects the liability of a public entity under Article 1 (commencing with Section 17000) of Chapter 1 of Division 9 of the Vehicle Code. (c) Except for an injury to a prisoner, nothing in this section prevents recovery from the public entity for an injury resulting from the dangerous condition of public property under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 830) of this part.

  • Hearing

    Mar 05, 2009

MATTER OF ALRBERT E NUGENT TRUST

Code § 17000(a) ?the superior court having jurisdiction over the trust? has exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings concerning the internal affairs of trusts. A petition to remove and/or appoint a trustee is a proceeding concerning the internal affairs of a trust. Prob. Code § 17200(b)(10). The proper county for commencement of this action relating to a testamentary trust is either the county where the decedent?s estate is administered or the principal place of administration ?

  • Hearing

    Oct 04, 2007

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