The act authorizes a district attorney or a deputy or assistant district attorney (district attorney), in investigating a complaint alleging a violation of consumer protection laws, to request records from a state or local licensing authority (licensing authority) regarding a person that the licensing authority regulates (regulated person) and that is the subject of the complaint if the complaint alleges:
- The complainant suffered damages in an amount of at least $20,000 and the district attorney determines the amount alleged appears to be reasonable in relation to the alleged conduct forming the basis of the complaint; or
- 2 or more regulated persons jointly engaged in conduct that forms the basis of the complaint.
The act only applies to those state licensing authorities that authorize a licensee to perform activities at specific premises. A district attorney's authority to request records from a licensing authority does not apply with respect to a complaint alleged against a person regulated by a board or commission.
The licensing authority shall share with, and allow inspection of its records by, the district attorney upon receipt of such request if the licensing authority has already determined not to take action against the regulated person or persons.
Additionally, the act authorizes a state licensing authority, subject to approval by the head of the executive department in which the state licensing authority is located, to enter into an interagency agreement with the attorney general or the attorney general's designee for the referral of complaints alleging violations of consumer protection laws.
A regulated person is entitled to costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred and actual damages sustained in relation to the district attorney's or attorney general's investigation and in relation to a licensing authority's investigation in a related matter if a court determines that the complaint that led to the district attorney's or attorney' general's investigation is frivolous, groundless, and was filed in bad faith or if the regulated person prevails or substantially prevails in the matter.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)