2017 ORS 646.632¹
Enjoining unlawful trade practices
  • assurance of voluntary compliance
  • attorney fees

(1) Except as provided in ORS 646.633 (Action by prosecuting attorney prohibited without request of Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services), a prosecuting attorney who has probable cause to believe that a person is engaging in, has engaged in, or is about to engage in an unlawful trade practice may bring suit in the name of the State of Oregon in the appropriate court to restrain such person from engaging in the alleged unlawful trade practice.

(2) Except as provided in subsections (5) and (6) of this section, before filing a suit under subsection (1) of this section, the prosecuting attorney shall in writing notify the person charged of the alleged unlawful trade practice and the relief to be sought. Such notice shall be served in the manner set forth in ORS 646.622 (Method of serving investigative demand) for the service of investigative demands. The person charged thereupon shall have 10 days within which to execute and deliver to the prosecuting attorney an assurance of voluntary compliance. Such assurance shall set forth what actions, if any, the person charged intends to take with respect to the alleged unlawful trade practice. The assurance of voluntary compliance shall not be considered an admission of a violation for any purpose. If the prosecuting attorney is satisfied with the assurance of voluntary compliance, it may be submitted to an appropriate court for approval and if approved shall thereafter be filed with the clerk of the court. If an approved assurance of voluntary compliance provides for the payment of an amount of money, as restitution or otherwise, and if the amount is not paid within 90 days of the date the court approves the assurance, or, if the assurance of voluntary compliance requires periodic payments and if any periodic payment is not paid within 30 days of the date specified in the assurance of voluntary compliance for any periodic payment, then the prosecuting attorney may submit that portion of the assurance of voluntary compliance which provides for the payment of money to the court with a certificate stating the unpaid balance in a form which fully complies with the requirements of ORS 18.038 (Form of judgment document generally) and 18.042 (Judgment in civil action that includes money award). Upon submission of an assurance of voluntary compliance under this subsection, the court shall sign the assurance of voluntary compliance and it shall be entered in the register of the court and the clerk of the court shall note in the register that it creates a lien. The assurance of voluntary compliance shall thereupon constitute a judgment in favor of the State of Oregon and may be enforced as provided in ORS chapter 18. The notice of the prosecuting attorney under this subsection shall not be deemed a public record until the expiration of 10 days from the service of the notice.

(3) The prosecuting attorney may reject as unsatisfactory any assurance:

(a) Which does not contain a promise to make restitution in specific amounts or through arbitration for persons who suffered any ascertainable loss of money or property as a result of the alleged unlawful trade practice; or

(b) Which does not contain any provision, including but not limited to the keeping of records, which the prosecuting attorney reasonably believes to be necessary to ensure the continued cessation of the alleged unlawful trade practice, if such provision was included in a proposed assurance attached to the notice served pursuant to this section.

(4) Violation of any of the terms of an assurance of voluntary compliance which has been approved by and filed with the court shall constitute a contempt of court.

(5) The prosecuting attorney need not serve notice pursuant to subsection (2) of this section before filing a suit if, within two years of the filing of such suit, the person charged with the alleged unfair trade practice submitted to any prosecuting attorney an assurance of voluntary compliance which was accepted by and filed with an appropriate court. The prosecuting attorney shall in such case serve notice on the defendant in the manner set forth in ORS 646.622 (Method of serving investigative demand) for the service of investigative demands, on the 10th or earlier day previous to the filing of suit.

(6) If the prosecuting attorney alleges that the prosecuting attorney has reason to believe that the delay caused by complying with the provisions of subsection (2) or (5) of this section would cause immediate harm to the public health, safety or welfare, the prosecuting attorney may immediately institute a suit under subsection (1) of this section.

(7) A temporary restraining order may be granted without prior notice to the person if the court finds there is a threat of immediate harm to the public health, safety or welfare. Such a temporary restraining order shall expire by its terms within such time after entry, not to exceed 10 days, as the court fixes, unless within the time so fixed the order, for good cause shown, is extended for a like period or unless the person restrained consents that it may be extended for a longer period.

(8) The court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in an action under this section. If the defendant prevails in such suit and the court finds that the defendant had in good faith submitted to the prosecuting attorney a satisfactory assurance of voluntary compliance prior to the institution of the suit or that the prosecuting attorney, in a suit brought under subsections (5) and (6) of this section, did not have reasonable grounds to proceed under those subsections, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees at trial and on appeal to the defendant. [1971 c.744 §11; 1975 c.437 §3; 1981 c.897 §77; 1989 c.745 §1; 1995 c.618 §97; 2003 c.576 §215; 2010 c.94 §4]

Notes of Decisions

In ac­tion brought by state under this sec­tion for viola­tion of Unlawful Trade Practices Act, it was error for trial court to instruct jury that proof of wilful viola­tion of act must be “clear and convincing.” State ex rel Redden v. Discount Fabrics, 289 Or 375, 615 P2d 1034 (1980)

Law Review Cita­tions

54 OLR 123 (1975)

Notes of Decisions

A complaint which alleges in one count that defendants advertised automobile for sale with intent not to sell it as advertised, in a sec­ond count that there was a failure to disclose advertised price coupled with sale at greater amount sufficiently pleads ac­tion under Act. Sanders v. Francis, 277 Or 593, 561 P2d 1003 (1977)

Plaintiff’s purchase of truck to carry on business of hauling freight in order to provide family invest­ment and employ­ment for family member did not fall within pro­vi­sions of Act. Searle v. Exley Express, Inc., 278 Or 535, 564 P2d 1054 (1977)

Amend­ment of defini­tion of “trade” and “commerce” to include “advertising, offering or distributing, whether by sale, rental or otherwise, any real estate, goods or services” does not indicate legislative intent to extend applica­tion of Unfair Trade Practices Act to loans and extensions of credit. Lamm v. Amfac Mortgage Corp., 44 Or App 203, 605 P2d 730 (1980)

There is no require­ment that consumer prove all ele­ments of common law fraud in order to recover damages under Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Raudebaugh v. Ac­tion Pest Control, 59 Or App 166, 650 P2d 1006 (1982)

Plaintiff’s allega­tions that defendant escrow company represented that plaintiff would receive security interests on notes from sale of their business did not constitute misrepresenta­tions ac­tionable under Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Samuels v. Key Title Co., 63 Or App 627, 665 P2d 362 (1983), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Cita­tions

56 OLR 490 (1977); 13 WLJ 455 (1977)

Notes of Decisions

Where users of IUDs brought suit against manufacturer on variety of grounds, claiming damages for infertility, private en­force­­ment pro­vi­sion of Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) does not provide remedy for per­sonal injuries. Allen v. G.D. Searle and Co., 708 F Supp 1142 (D. Or. 1989)

For purposes of applying Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act, real estate, goods or services are obtained primarily for per­sonal, family or household purposes if (1) real estate, good or service is customarily purchased by substantial number of people for per­sonal, family or household use and (2) per­son actually purchases real estate, good or service for per­sonal, family or household use. Fowler v. Cooley, 239 Or App 338, 245 P3d 155 (2010)

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 335, 346, 408 (1972); 53 OLR 473-475 (1974); 94 OLR 589 (2016)

Chapter 646

Notes of Decisions

Subject matter regulated by this chapter is not “preempted” by Federal Robinson-Patman Act so as to render this chapter invalid. W. J. Seufert v. Nat. Restaurant Supply Co., 266 Or 92, 511 P2d 363 (1973)

Whether an injunc­tion should issue when a court finds a viola­tion of the Act is a matter of discre­tion. State ex rel Johnson v. Interna­tional Harvester Co., 25 Or App 9, 548 P2d 176 (1976)

This chapter imposes no af­firm­a­tive duty to inform customers of rates in absence of request, but prohibits making in­for­ma­­tion about prices available to some customers and not others. Wildish Sand & Gravel v. Northwest Natural Gas Co., 103 Or App 215, 796 P2d 1237 (1990), Sup Ct review denied

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 646—Trade Practices and Antitrust Regulation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors646.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 646, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano646.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.