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How to file suit against a business for deceptive pricing under the Unfair Business Practices in California. 17200

San Diego, CA |

I entered into agreement with a warehouse provider in California after I agreed with the owner the rates for processing orders (fulfillment). Once I received my first invoice I have found that he had charged me totally different to what was agreed (it's complicated) He claimed I was confused about the pricing structure but I have been over charged $1200 in only 10 days work. Now I have to pay to ship my goods elsewhere but the owner will not release goods that belong to me until he gets 100% of what he is charging (extortion?) He does not have POA of my stock but I cannot operate my business without it. I have sent him a wire for the funds he is demanding but he has yet to release them. How can I file suit for deceptive business practice and $1000 worth of additional costs incured

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Unfair business practices (Business and Professions Code Section 17200 and following) provide for injunctive relief but not damages. It appears from your facts that you have a breach of contract case and perhaps, and difficult to prove, a fraud case for intentional misrepresentation.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

  2. This is a great deal more complicated than is practical to handle as a pro per. You will need an attorney for any realistic possibility of success in this dispute.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

  3. The process for filing a lawsuit under B&PC Section 17200 is the same for any other type of lawsuit. It involves the preparation of a summons and complaint, the filing of the complaint and issuance of the summons, and the payment of the filing fee. The complaint is a document that must be drafted by hand -- it is not simply a form to be filled out.

    I strongly suggest you meet with a lawyer to help you with this process, to make sure you indeed have a viable claim under that statute, and to see whatever other claims you may have. There are many fine business litigators on AVVO that can help you.

  4. You will need to prepare and file a summons and complaint for violation of 17200, breach of contract and potentially other theories such as fraud by way of a false promise. I don't recommend representing yourself for claims like that...while you might save a little money up front it will likely cost you dearly as the case progresses. Give me a call if you'd like to schedule a free consultation.


    William Blasser

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