Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 17. Virginia Consumer Protection Act
1/21/2019

§ 59.1-206. Civil penalties; attorney's fees.

A. In any action brought under this chapter, if the court finds that a person has willfully engaged in an act or practice in violation of § 59.1-200 or 59.1-200.1, the Attorney General, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney for the county, city, or town may recover for the Literary Fund, upon petition to the court, a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 per violation. For purposes of this section, prima facie evidence of a willful violation may be shown when the Attorney General, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney for the county, city, or town notifies the alleged violator by certified mail that an act or practice is a violation of § 59.1-200 or 59.1-200.1, and the alleged violator, after receipt of said notice, continues to engage in the act or practice.

B. Any person who willfully violates the terms of an assurance of voluntary compliance or an injunction issued under § 59.1-203 shall forfeit and pay to the Literary Fund a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation. For purposes of this section, the circuit court issuing an injunction shall retain jurisdiction, and the cause shall be continued, and in such cases the Attorney General, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney for the county, city, or town may petition for recovery of civil penalties.

C. In any action pursuant to subsection A or B and in addition to any other amount awarded, the Attorney General, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney for the county, city, or town may recover any applicable civil penalty or penalties, costs, reasonable expenses incurred by the state or local agency in investigating and preparing the case not to exceed $1,000 per violation, and attorney's fees. Such civil penalty or penalties, costs, reasonable expenses, and attorney's fees shall be paid into the general fund of the Commonwealth or of the county, city, or town which such attorney represented.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the power of the court to punish as contempt the violation of any order issued by the court, or as limiting the power of the court to enter other orders under § 59.1-203 or 59.1-205.

E. The right of trial by jury as provided by law shall be preserved in actions brought under this section.

1977, c. 635; 1980, c. 171; 1982, c. 13; 1991, c. 156; 1995, c. 703; 2008, c. 485.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.