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How to File a New York Attorney General Complaint

Camila Lopez - New York Business Complaints - July 8, 2024

Thinking of filing a complaint against a business? Consider also sending a demand letter.

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Contents

    The New York Attorney General is the state’s top legal advisor, with many responsibilities and duties like advising the state, representing New York in court, and most importantly, the New York Attorney General investigates consumer complaints against businesses and individuals.

    In addition to filing a complaint with the New York Attorney General or if they cannot assist you, consider sending the business a demand letter. We have a free tool that helps you write a demand letter. Check out our demand letter tool.

    Common Types of New York Attorney General Complaints

    In its desire to have a fair and competitive marketplace, the New York State Attorney General receives consumer complaints under its Bureau of Consumer Frauds &  Protection.

    The Bureau of Consumer Fraud & Protection does not oversee complaints between individuals or between businesses. So if your dispute is between you and your neighbor, this wouldn’t be something they would be able to assist you with. The complaints must also be related to a business engaging in some “fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or illegal trade practices.”

    The Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection also employs an informal mediation program that attempts to solve conflicts submitted through complaints. You are not able to use the free mediation service if you have already gone to court or if you have an attorney representing you. 

    Keep in mind, that filing a false complaint may be punishable by a Class A misdemeanor to file a knowingly false complaint.

    How to File a Complaint with the New York Attorney General

    If you want to file a NYS Attorney General Consumer Complaint, here is how:

    • New York Attorney General complaint number: 1-800-771-7755

    • Online: Submit a NYS Attorney General Consumer Complaint using their online form

    ‍Required information on the NY State Attorney General Complaint is sparse, just your name and the name of who you’re suing, along with a description of the complaint. But it’s worth noting that choosing to exclude any contact information means that the Office cannot contact you after you’ve submitted your complaint. 

    What to Expect After You Have Filed a New York Attorney General Complaint

    The NYS Attorney General will determine whether to investigate a company but cannot represent you in court or provide you with legal or financial advice. 

    Information from the complaint may be used in courts of law and the NYS Attorney General may contact you with a copy of your submission. Similar copies may also be sent to law enforcement if the Office decides to prosecute the business or individual. 

    What Happens If My Attorney General Complaint Leads Nowhere?

    Option 1: Send a Demand Letter

    If the New York Attorney General doesn't assist you, consider sending the business a demand letter. We have a free tool that helps you write a demand letter. Check out our demand letter tool.

    Here is a video on how our demand letter tool works:

    Option 2: Consider Suing in New York Small Claims

    If you could not file a complaint with the New York Attorney General or they were unable to resolve your complaint, you may be able to file a small claims lawsuit against the business or individual. 

    Common types of small claims lawsuits:

    • Return of security deposit

    • Towing company disputes

    • Problems with mechanics and contractors

    • Businesses not providing the goods or services they promised

    Review our guide to New York small claims court.

    Author

    Camila Lopez

    Legal Educator @ People Clerk. Camila holds a law degree and is a certified mediator. Her passion is breaking down complicated legal processes so that people without an attorney can get justice.

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