California Civil Code Section 52
Legal Research Home >
California Laws > Civil Code > California Civil Code Section 52
52. (a) Whoever denies, aids or incites a denial, or makes any
discrimination or distinction contrary to Section 51, 51.5, or 51.6,
is liable for each and every offense for the actual damages, and any
amount that may be determined by a jury, or a court sitting without a
jury, up to a maximum of three times the amount of actual damage but
in no case less than four thousand dollars ($4,000), and any
attorney's fees that may be determined by the court in addition
thereto, suffered by any person denied the rights provided in Section
51, 51.5, or 51.6.
(b) Whoever denies the right provided by Section 51.7 or 51.9, or
aids, incites, or conspires in that denial, is liable for each and
every offense for the actual damages suffered by any person denied
that right and, in addition, the following:
(1) An amount to be determined by a jury, or a court sitting
without a jury, for exemplary damages.
(2) A civil penalty of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to
be awarded to the person denied the right provided by Section 51.7 in
any action brought by the person denied the right, or by the
Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney. An action
for that penalty brought pursuant to Section 51.7 shall be commenced
within three years of the alleged practice.
(3) Attorney's fees as may be determined by the court.
(c) Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that any person
or group of persons is engaged in conduct of resistance to the full
enjoyment of any of the rights described in this section, and that
conduct is of that nature and is intended to deny the full exercise
of those rights, the Attorney General, any district attorney or city
attorney, or any person aggrieved by the conduct may bring a civil
action in the appropriate court by filing with it a complaint. The
complaint shall contain the following:
(1) The signature of the officer, or, in his or her absence, the
individual acting on behalf of the officer, or the signature of the
(2) The facts pertaining to the conduct.
(3) A request for preventive relief, including an application for
a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other
order against the person or persons responsible for the conduct, as
the complainant deems necessary to ensure the full enjoyment of the
rights described in this section.
(d) Whenever an action has been commenced in any court seeking
relief from the denial of equal protection of the laws under the
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on
account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or
disability, the Attorney General or any district attorney or city
attorney for or in the name of the people of the State of California
may intervene in the action upon timely application if the Attorney
General or any district attorney or city attorney certifies that the
case is of general public importance. In that action, the people of
the State of California shall be entitled to the same relief as if it
had instituted the action.
(e) Actions brought pursuant to this section are independent of
any other actions, remedies, or procedures that may be available to
an aggrieved party pursuant to any other law.
(f) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged unlawful
practice in violation of Section 51 or 51.7 may also file a verified
complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing pursuant
to Section 12948 of the Government Code.
(g) This section does not require any construction, alteration,
repair, structural or otherwise, or modification of any sort
whatsoever, beyond that construction, alteration, repair, or
modification that is otherwise required by other provisions of law,
to any new or existing establishment, facility, building,
improvement, or any other structure, nor does this section augment,
restrict, or alter in any way the authority of the State Architect to
require construction, alteration, repair, or modifications that the
State Architect otherwise possesses pursuant to other laws.
(h) For the purposes of this section, "actual damages" means
special and general damages. This subdivision is declaratory of
Last modified: February 22, 2013