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How to file a California Attorney General Complaint

Camila Lopez - Suing a Business - August 29, 2022

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Who is the California Attorney General

The California Attorney General (“CAG”) is a the state’s top legal advisor, with many responsibilities and duties like advising the state, representing California in court, and most importantly, the California attorney general investigates consumer complaints against businesses and individuals. Their office is know as the Office of the Attorney General. 

Common types of California Attorney General Complaints

There are many types of California Attorney General consumer complaints, but among the most common are: 

  • Consumers looking to file a complaint against a businesses for false representations or various types of discrimination such as for housing and jobs. 

Constituents filing a complaint against the government

How to File a Complaint with the California Attorney General

If you want to file a complaint with the California Attorney General, here is how:

  • Attorney General California Complaint Number: 916-322-3360

  • Attorney General California Toll-Free Complaint Number: 1-800-952-5225

  • Submitting a complaint by Mail (Download, fill out, and mail this form): P.O Box 944255, Sacramento 94244

  • Submitting a complaint by FAX (Download, file out, and fax this form): (916) 323-5341

  • Submitting a complaint using their Online Form

Information you will need to answer on the California Attorney General complaint form includes your name and address, the name and address of the business you’re filing against, knowledge of what your relationship is to the business, the disputed amount, and the reason behind your complaint.

What to expect after you have filed a California Attorney General complaint

The CAG will determine whether to investigate a company, but cannot assist individuals or give legal advice. They may also refer you to a government agency that specializes in the type of complaint you filed.

If you believe a business has committed a crime, make sure to contact your local district attorney’s office or City Attorney instead as the CAG does not handle criminal complaints‍

Alternative: File a California Small Claims Court Lawsuit

If you could not file California Attorney General complaint or the California Attorney General was unable to resolve your complaint,, you may be able to file a small claims lawsuit against the business or individual. 

Small Claims Court Limits

To be able to file a small claims court lawsuit in California, you are capped at the amount you can sue for, also known as "small claims court limits."

How to write a demand letter 3

If you are owed for more than the amount you can sue for, you can still sue for the maximum amount allowed, but you will need to waive any additional amount over the limit.

What are the California Small Claims Court Filing Fees?

The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit in California depends on how much you are suing for. You will pay between $30 to $75 to file the lawsuit. If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.  

How to write a demand letter 4

What are other costs for Small Claims Court?

In most small claims cases, you can expect to pay:

If you win, you can request that the losing party pay for your court fees and serving costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a lawyer to go to court? No, California does not allow lawyers to represent you at the initial small claims hearing.

  • What are small claims hearings like in California? The hearings are quick and on average are 10-15 minutes. Learn more here.

How long do small claims take? A court usually schedules the small claims hearing no later than 70 days from when the lawsuit is filed. Learn more here.

Chief Legal Architect & Co-Founder @ People Clerk. Camila is an attorney, consumer advocate, and certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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