New Jersey Law Consumer Rights
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the relevant cases are covered in this section. The most important case is Cox v. Sears because the Supreme Court reinvigorated the Consumer Fraud Act with this case/analysis.
As a general matter the act is to be liberally construed because it is remedial legislation enacted for the benefit of the consumer. Many cases have required this analysis under the act and the Administrative Code sections. Litigating this area of law can be complex and requires an intensive understanding of the case law and the Administrative Code.
Used and new car scams have evolved over the years and have adjusted to the changes in the law and the law has adjusted to the changes in the marketplace. It is an ongoing process. New Jersey is blessed with some very solid and practical laws to protect both businesses and consumers with common sense. The laws recognize that those attempting to defraud cannot be trusted to act properly.
The laws are interpreted to permit the award of counsel fees to attract competent counsel to litigate these cases to stop wide scale fraud, and with the proliferation of the internet and internet fraud these laws are imperative for the marketplace to operate more efficiently.
The Division of Consumer Affairs is a very good resource for those seeking State help in these matters. They perform frequent investigations on various matters.
The Consumer Fraud Act requires triple damages on an ascertainable loss that has been suffered by a consumer and also the award of attorney fees as approved by the court. The consumer need not actually spend the money. The consumer can claim an ascertainable loss on an estimate of cost to repair or a reduction in value of such a product. On some issues an expert witness might be needed. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act should be liberally construed, interpreted in such a way that help consumers in their quest for justice and recovery of any losses as a result of deceptive practices
New Jersey has some of the strongest and most effective consumer laws and consumer rights statutes among the 50 states. Not only are the statutes tremendously effective in battling deceptive practices and consumer fraud but the courts over the years including the Supreme Court and the Appellate Division have implemented the underlying concept that the rights granted to those in New Jersey and the laws underlying the establishment of those rights significantly help New Jersey in combating extensive consumer fraud and deceptive practices that have existed.
Some of the basic underlying concepts in that there is so much fraud and consumer fraud in New Jersey the governmental officials do not have the capacity nor the resources to fight all of the consumer fraud and fraud state of New Jersey including but not limited to deceptive automobile sales.
New Jersey courts have recognized that individuals that sue under the New Jersey consumer laws including the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act are suing in the place where the shoes of the Atty. Gen. You might have heard of the term private attorney general, well in New Jersey when you make a claim for fraud or consumer fraud under a statute which prohibits the type of conduct you are litigating, you were actually acting as a private attorney general. You were litigating in the place of the state. The statutes permit you to do this and collect damages under the general concept that we are better off litigating their rights than waiting for the state that does not have the appropriate resources to stop all of the deceptive practices.
It is almost a kind of privatized justice. It gets more complicated when we mix in the concepts of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and the New Jersey arbitration act in the context of prohibiting and stopping deceptive practices and consumer fraud. However, that argument is left for another day. We all know that there is a significant amount of fraud in the state of New Jersey in various industries including but not limited to the sale of used and new automobiles. The implementation of various laws pursuant to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act have helped millions of consumers obtain millions of dollars from these characters who have decided to take various shortcuts and use deceptive practices.
- Misleading Contests and Giveaways
- Cox v. Sears 138 NJ 2 (1994)
- Cuesta v. Classic Car 358 N.J.Super 512 (App.Div 2003)
- Gross v. TJH Automotice 380 N.J.Super 176 (App.Div 2005)
- Delaney v. Garden State Auto Mall, 318 N.J.Super. 15 (App.Div 1995)
- Miller v. American Family Publishing, 284 N.J. Super 67, 76 (App. Div. 1995)
- Silver v. Autos of Amboy 267 N.J. Super 546 (App. Div. 1993)
- Cannon v. Cherry Hill 161 F.Supp.2d 362
- Berrie v. Toyota 267 N.J.Super 161 (App.Div 1993)
- NAACP v. Foulke Management 421 N.J.Super 404 (App.Div 2011).
- Rockel v. Cherry Hill Dodge, 368 N.J.Super. 577 (App.Div 2004)
- Garfinkel v. Morristown Obstetrics & Gynecology Assocs., 168 N.J. 124, 127, (2001)
- Walker v. Guiffre
- Ford Motor Credit v. Mendola - Breach of Warranty
- Weinberg v. Sprint Corp., 173 N.J. 233 (2002)