Consumer Law

Consumer Law

California consumer protection laws consist of the California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and unfair competition law (UCL). CLRA is contained in California Civil Code §§ 1750-1784. UCL is codified in Business & Professions Code § 1720 et seq.

Consumers are protected from unfair, unlawful, fraudulent and deceptive business practices. Proper written notice of the alleged violation and a demand that the problem be corrected is the first step to protecting your consumer rights.

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Overview

Justice Kennedy covers the history and purpose of DOMA legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 in United States v. Windsor 570 U.S ___ (2013).

Congress sought to prevent what it perceived as pending recognition of same-sex marriages being considered by a few states, particularly Hawaii, from having any federal recognition. The Windsor case involved $363,053 estate taxes paid by Edith Windsor, which would not have been assessed but for her same-sex marriage recognized by the State of New York, but not recognized by the federal government (IRS) because of DOMA.  The Windsor case only decided Section 3 of DOMA.

CA Domestic Partners Act

California Domestic Partners Act and Same-Sex Marriages Overview

July 20, 2023 Update:

On July 17, 2023, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion, Erik Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc. addressing a recent 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Because “[t]he highest court of each State . . . remains ‘the final arbiter of what is state law’ ” (Montana v. Wyoming (2011) 563 U.S. 368, 378, fn. 5), we are not bound by the high court’s interpretation of California law.

This case could set the stage for any litigation about ACA-5 ballot proposition in California scheduled for November 2024.  ACA-5 would repeal the unenforceable constitutional provision (Prop. 8), only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California, and would instead provide that the right to marry is a fundamental right, as specified.

Background History:

AB 26 was signed into law by Governor Gray Davis in October 1999, and became effective January 1, 2000.  This legislation established a registry of domestic partners, and granted them specific rights, including the right to hospital visits.  In March 2000, voters in California passed Proposition 22, which stated “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”  The proposition amended the Family Code sections defining marriage. In October 2000, Governor Gray Davis signed AB 25, which expanded some additional rights for domestic partners.