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North Dakota Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Most advertisements or commercials contains some element of deception: the vague suggestion that a certain car will make you more adventurous or that a breakfast cereal will help you become more healthy. Think Mad Men's Don Draper. But in legal terms, deceptive trade practices include more blatant acts of fraud, tampering, or outright lies. For instance, virtually all state deceptive trade practice laws prohibit the tampering of a used car's odometer or bait-and-switch advertising tactics.

North Dakota Deceptive Trade Practice Laws at a Glance

The North Dakota Attorney General's Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division (CPAT) enforces the state’s deceptive trade practices laws in connection with the sale or advertisement of merchandise. The division investigates and prosecutes consumer fraud cases, mediates individual consumer complaints, and educates the public on how to avoid becoming victims of fraud. CPAT enforces the state’s Do-Not-Call laws and is the state’s clearinghouse for identity theft prevention, complaints, and victim assistance.

Additional provisions of North Dakota's laws prohibiting deceptive trade practices are listed in the table below, with links to related resources.

Explanation of Chart and More Information on Deceptive Trade Practices

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act Adopted No; Unfair Trade Practices Law (§51-10-01 et seq.)
Unfair Advertising, Offer to Sell, or Sale Any advertising, offer to sell, or sale of any merchandise, either by retailers or wholesalers, at less than cost as defined in this chapter, which has the intent or the effect of inducing the purchase of other merchandise or of unfairly diverting trade from a competitor or otherwise injuring a competitor, impairs and prevents fair competition, injures public welfare, and is unfair competition and contrary to public policy and the policy of this chapter, if the result of such advertising, offer, or sale is to tend to deceive any purchaser or prospective purchaser, or substantially to lessen competition, or unreasonably to restrain trade, or to tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce (Class A misdemeanor)
Injunctional Relief In addition to the penalties provided in this chapter, the courts of this state are invested with the jurisdiction to prevent and restrain violations of this chapter by injunctional proceedings. The attorney general and the several state's attorneys shall institute suits in behalf of this state, to prevent and restrain violations of the provisions of this chapter. Any person damaged, or who is threatened with loss or injury, by reason of a violation of the provisions of this chapter, is entitled to sue for and have injunctive relief in the district court against any damage or threatened loss or injury by reason of a violation hereof.  
Who May Bring Suit Attorney general, state's attorney (§§51-10-05.1, 51-12-14) any person damaged (§51-10-6)
Remedies Available False advertising is a Class B misdemeanor (§51-12-13); injunction (§§51-10-06, 51-12-14)
Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden Yes; violation is a Class C felony if prior conviction; otherwise Class B misdemeanor (§39-21-51)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through a number of means, including decisions from higher courts and the enactment of newly signed legislation. You should contact a North Dakota consumer protection attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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