The Consumer Affairs unit is part of the Consumer Affairs/Environmental Protection Division in the District Attorney's Office. The Consumer Affairs unit provides assistance to consumers who live, shop or do business in the County of Santa Cruz. The Division offers telephone counseling and referrals to state and federal agencies that deal with consumer issues. It performs complaint mediation for buyer-seller disputes, and also conducts investigations if there appears to be illegal, fraudulent or deceptive practices. The Division offers programs on consumer education through the news media, schools, presentations and community workshops. It also provides consumer information tip sheets, news letters and other publications to help make consumers aware of deceptive practices and be more informed in their buying decisions. The Division maintains an extensive reference file of business names and complaint histories that is made available to the public on request. The Division also provides limited landlord-tenant self help information.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs website also offers comprehensive online information for consumers.
The specific responsibilities of the Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection Division are to:
Receive, evaluate, and investigate consumer inquires and complaints;
Conduct consumer education;
Counsel consumers and businesses and handle complaint adjudication;
Protect against consumer fraud;
Prosecute building code violations;
Investigate and prosecute environmental violations;
Investigate and prosecute "white collar" and criminal fraud complaints;
Represent consumer interests before various government and private agencies;
Offer mediation services.
Print, complete and mail in.
This is a .PDF file. You will need a
PDF Reader to view and print the form.
CONDO & HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION ISSUES
The Santa Cruz District Attorney's office does not provide legal advice in condo association matters. These links may be of further assistance:
The California Attorney General's Office has an online complaint process:
State Department of Consumer Affairs provides general information:
While best known for the prosecution of criminals, the District Attorney's Office serves the people of Santa Cruz County in many other ways. Our Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection Division deal with consumer problems, the sort of day to day issues which can be so costly and frustrating. The Division represents the interests of consumers, but it also works with businesses to enhance fairness in the marketplace. In the environmental arena, the Division plays a major role in protecting the beauty that is Santa Cruz by targeting polluters and other environmental law breakers.
Since its creation in 1977, court cases brought by the Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection Division have yielded over $5.5 million in fines and penalties. Most of this money has gone to the Santa Cruz County general fund. Millions more have been collected in restitution and returned to customers. In 1997 over $250,000 was collected in penalties and an additional $75,000 in restitution. Apart from the money it has brought to the County, Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection Division has done pioneering work that has protected consumers statewide.
For example, lawsuits initiated and handled by Division attorneys in Santa Cruz led directly to new protections for persons facing home foreclosure and for the elderly confronted with the fraudulent sale of Medicare Supplement Insurance. Recently, the Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection Division has sued an automobile repair facility for charging for non-existent parts and repairs, a promoter selling phony investment schemes and a home developer for improper grading which led to stream damage. This last case resulted in 1997 in payment of $500,000 to Santa Cruz, half going to the general fund and half earmarked for stream restoration.
CONTACTS - OFFICE LOCATIONS
Consumer Affairs Unit
701 Ocean Street, Room 200
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Santa Cruz Consumer Affairs Twitter-Feed:
Oops, an error seems to have occurred. We're sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused. If the error persists, feel free to tell us about it.
Twitter could not be reached, the server response code was: 301