Various statutes impose specified “penalties” for proscribed conduct, either by way of a fixed sum or a doubling or trebling of actual damages. While statutory civil penalties and punitive damages awards both serve to motivate compliance with the law and “punish” wrongdoers, they are distinct legal concepts: Unlike punitive damages, statutory penalties are imposed without regard to motive and require no showing of actual harm or “malicious, wilfullor intentional” conduct; a civil penalty award is entrusted to and set by the Legislature and thus is not left to jury discretion. [Kizer v. County of San Mateo (1991) 53 C3d 139, 146–148, 279 CR 318,  322–323; People v. First Fed’l Credit Corp.,]. Where defendant’s conduct gives rise to potential punitive damages and statutory civil penalties, plaintiff may plead a claim for both. However, once the verdict is returned, plaintiff must elect whether to accept the statutory penalties or the punitive damages award. [De Anza Santa Cruz Mobile Estates Homeowners Ass’n v. De Anza Santa Cruz Mobile Estates, supra]. Moreover, although the existence of fraud is ordinarily a question of fact (CC § 1574), it may be decided as a matter of law “if reasonable minds can come toonly one conclusion based on the facts.” [Guido v. Koopman (1991) 1 CA4th 837, 843, 2 CR2d 437, 440; see Rosencrans v. Dover Images, Ltd., supra, 192 CA4th at 1080–1081, 122CR3d at 30]. It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer in order to guide you in your personal injury case.


Would you like to discuss your legal matter?

PHONE

image description
RECEPTION 866-205-4971

Our receptionist will assist in scheduling new and existing clients for all offices. For initial consultations we will ask you a few questions and then find the best time for you to talk to one of the lawyers that best fits your legal matter.

Call us or use the email form and we will follow up with you right away.

EMAIL

The Law Offices of Hogan Injury will provide you with personalized attention and guidance. Protecting your rights is our main objective. We have been representing clients for the past 30 years and our experienced team of attorneys will advise you of the legal consequences of every decision you take.