Part 3. Obligations Imposed by Law - California Civil Code Section 1716
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California Laws > Civil Code > Part 3. Obligations Imposed by Law - California Civil Code Section 1716
1716. (a) It is unlawful for a person to solicit payment of money
by another by means of a written statement or invoice, or any writing
that reasonably could be considered a bill, invoice, or statement of
account due, but is in fact a solicitation for an order, unless the
solicitation conforms to subdivisions (b) to (f), inclusive.
(b) A solicitation described in subdivision (a) shall bear on its
face either the disclaimer prescribed by subparagraph (A) of
paragraph (2) of subsection (d) of Section 3001 of Title 39 of the
United States Code or the following notice:
"THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO
OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS
The statutory disclaimer or the alternative notice shall be
displayed in conspicuous boldface capital letters of a color
prominently contrasting with the background against which they
appear, including all other print on the face of the solicitation and
shall be at least as large, bold, and conspicuous as any other print
on the face of the solicitation but no smaller than 30-point type.
(c) The notice or disclaimer required by this section shall be
displayed conspicuously apart from other print on the page and
immediately below each portion of the solicitation that reasonably
could be construed to specify a monetary amount due and payable by
the recipient. The notice or disclaimer shall not be preceded,
followed, or surrounded by words, symbols, or other matter that
reduces its conspicuousness or that introduces, modifies, qualifies,
or explains the required text, such as "legal notice required by law."
(d) The notice or disclaimer may not, by folding or any other
device, be rendered unintelligible or less prominent than any other
information on the face of the solicitation.
(e) If a solicitation consists of more than one page or if any
page is designed to be separated into portions, such as by tearing
along a perforated line, the notice or disclaimer shall be displayed
in its entirety on the face of each page or portion of a page that
reasonably might be considered a bill, invoice, or statement of
account due as required by subdivisions (b) and (c).
(f) For the purposes of this section, "color" includes black and
"color prominently contrasting" excludes any color, or any intensity
of an otherwise included color, that does not permit legible
reproduction by ordinary office photocopying equipment used under
normal operating conditions, and that is not at least as vivid as any
other color on the face of the solicitation.
(g) Any person damaged by noncompliance with this section, in
addition to other remedies, is entitled to damages in an amount equal
to three times the sum solicited.
(h) Any person who violates this section shall be liable for a
civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each
violation, which shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action
brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the
Attorney General or by any district attorney, county counsel, or city
attorney in any court of competent jurisdiction. If the action is
brought by the Attorney General, one-half of the penalty collected
shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment
was entered and one-half to the State Treasurer. If brought by a
district attorney or county counsel, the entire amount of the penalty
collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the
judgment was entered. If brought by a city attorney or city
prosecutor, one-half of the penalty shall be paid to the treasurer of
the county and one-half to the city.
(i) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, by a fine not
exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by both
that fine and imprisonment.
Last modified: February 16, 2015