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California Code, Family Code - FAM § 5615

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(a)(1) A person may bring an action for actual damages incurred as a result of a violation of this chapter.

(2) In addition to actual damages, a private child support collector who willfully and knowingly violates the provisions of this chapter shall be liable for a civil penalty in an amount determined by the court, which may not be less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(3)(A) The prevailing party in any action pursuant to this chapter shall be entitled to recover the costs of the action. Reasonable attorney's fees, which shall be based on the time necessarily expended to enforce the liability, shall be awarded to a prevailing party, other than the private child support collector, asserting rights under this chapter. Reasonable attorney's fees may be awarded to a prevailing private child support collector if the court finds that the party bringing the action did not prosecute the action in good faith.

(B) In an action by an obligor under this chapter, the private child support collector shall have no civil liability under this chapter to the obligor under any circumstance in which a debt collector would not have civil liability under Section 1788.30 of the Civil Code.

(4) A private child support collector is not in violation of this chapter if the private child support collector shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the action complained of was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error that occurred notwithstanding the use of reasonable procedures to avoid the error.

(5) The remedies provided in this section are cumulative and are in addition to any other procedures, rights, or remedies available under any other law.

(b) Any waiver of the rights, requirements, and remedies provided by this chapter violates public policy and is void.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, including provisions establishing a right of cancellation and requiring notice thereof, any contract for the collection of child support between an attorney who is a “private child support collector” pursuant to Section 5610 shall conform to the statutes, rules, and case law governing attorney conduct, including the provisions of law providing that a contract with an attorney is cancelable by the attorney's client at any time. Upon cancellation of that contract, the attorney may seek compensation as provided by law, including, if applicable, a claim for the reasonable value of any services rendered to the attorney's client pursuant to the doctrine of quantum meruit, provided those services lead to the collection of support and the compensation is limited to what would have been collected had the contract been in effect. To the extent that the provisions of this chapter are in conflict with the provisions of state law governing the conduct of attorneys, this chapter shall control. If there is no conflict, an attorney who is a “private child support collector” pursuant to Section 5610 shall conform to the provisions of this chapter.

Cite this article: - California Code, Family Code - FAM § 5615 - last updated January 01, 2023 |

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