(a) In addition to any liability for a civil penalty pursuant to Section 2944.7, if a person violates Section 2944.7 with respect to a victim who is a senior citizen or a disabled person, the violator may be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each violation, which may be assessed and recovered in a civil action.
(b) As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Disabled person” means a person who has a physical or mental disability, as defined in Sections 12926 and 12926.1 of the Government Code.
(2) “Senior citizen” means a person who is 65 years of age or older.
(c) In determining whether to impose a civil penalty pursuant to subdivision (a) and the amount thereof, the court shall consider, in addition to any other appropriate factors, the extent to which one or more of the following factors are present:
(1) Whether the defendant knew or should have known that his or her conduct was directed to one or more senior citizens or disabled persons.
(2) Whether the defendant’s conduct caused one or more senior citizens or disabled persons to suffer any of the following: loss or encumbrance of a primary residence, principal employment, or source of income, substantial loss of property set aside for retirement, or for personal or family care and maintenance, or substantial loss of payments received under a pension or retirement plan or a government benefits program, or assets essential to the health or welfare of the senior citizen or disabled person.
(3) Whether one or more senior citizens or disabled persons are substantially more vulnerable than other members of the public to the defendant’s conduct because of age, poor health or infirmity, impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or disability, and actually suffered substantial physical, emotional, or economic damage resulting from the defendant’s conduct.
(d) A court of competent jurisdiction hearing an action pursuant to this section may make orders and judgments as necessary to restore to a senior citizen or disabled person money or property, real or personal, that may have been acquired by means of a violation of Section 2944.7.
(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 457, Sec. 2. (AB 1730) Effective January 1, 2015.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018