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BUSINESS & PROFESSIONS CODE

Division 7 General Business Regulations

§ 17201. Person

As used in this chapter, the term person shall mean and include natural persons, corporations, firms, partnerships, joint stock companies, associations and other organizations of persons.


Added Stats 1977 ch 299 § 1.

NOTES OF DECISIONS
In an action by a city rent control board against the owners of residential building, the trial court did not err in sustaining defendants' demurrer to the board's cause of action for injunctive relief against unfair business practices without leave to amend and dismissing the action. The board was not a "person" within the meaning of Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17201, and therefore it had no standing to bring an action for an injunction pursuant to the Unfair Practices Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17000 et seq.). Santa Monica Rent Control Bd. v Bluvshtein (1991, 2nd Dist) 230 Cal App 3d 308, 281 Cal Rptr 298
In an action alleging that defendant developers and landowners had committed unlawful business practices by selling condominium units designated as moderate income housing at a price in excess of that permitted by the city's subdivision code, there were cognizable victims of defendants wrongful acts. Thus, disgorement of profits and restitution were appropriate remedies. Persons of low and moderate income who desired to live in the city had been deprived of opportunities to find affordable housing and, as indicated by the subdivision code, the people of the city had a real interest in providing affordable housing to support a heterogeneous population. Both groups were "persons" within the meaning of Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203 (court may enjoin act of unfair competition). The term "person" as defined by Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17201, is sufficiently broad to cover a group of natural persons, or even a city of natural persons. People v Thomas Shelton Powers, M.D., Inc. (1992, 1st Dist) 2 Cal App 4th 330, 3 Cal Rptr 2d 34
The California State Lottery (CSL) is not a person within the meaning of California's Unfair Competition Law. Further, statutory governmental immunity protected CSL in an action in which plaintiff owner of vending and amusement machines sought restitution of and disgorgement of profits earned by CSL on the theory that CSL engaged in unfair business competition by operating the games of Keno and Scratcher, prior to their being deemed an illegal activity by the California Supreme Court. Nowhere in the Unfair Competition Act is there a provision imposing governmental liability for violations of the act, contrary to plaintiff's contention that Gov C § 815.6, which imposes tort liability upon public entities for violation of mandatory duties, provided a statutory basis for overriding governmental immunity. To hold the government liable for failure to discharge a mandatory duty imposed by statute, the statute must be intended to protect against the type of injury suffered by the plaintiff. Trinkle v California State Lottery (1999, 3rd Dist) 71 Cal App 4th 1198, 1200, 1202, 84 Cal Rptr 2d 496
The University of California is a "public entity" and therefore not a "person" within the meaning of the Unfair Practices Act (B & P C § 17201. California Med. Assn. v Regents of the University of California (2000, 2nd Dist) 79 Cal App 4th 542, 551, 94 Cal Rptr 2d 194
B & P C § 17201 of the Unfair Competition Act, B & P C §§ 17200 et seq., defines "person" for the purposes of the unfair competition law in a manner similar to Gov C § 12925(d) of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Gov C §§ 12900 et seq., to mean and include natural persons, corporations, firms, partnerships, joint stock companies, associations and other organizations of persons. The State is not a "person" within the meaning of either Act. Vernon v State (2004, 1st Dist) 116 Cal App 4th 114

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