Case Details


Is Attorney General’s Action Under State Consumer Protection Law Legal Or Equitable

Filing State



Colorado Court of Appeals




2014 COA 14 (Colo. App. 2014)


Attorney General’s action under state consumer protection laws is equitable.

Case Description

A defendant charged with violations of  Colorado’s consumer protection statute challenged his bench trial, at which he was convicted, argued that he was entitled to a jury trial because the relief sought was economic in nature.  The attorney general sought restitution, disgorgement and civil penalties, which the defendant argued classified the case as one brought in law, rather than equity.  Citing decisions from other jurisdictions, the appellate court concluded the “principal thrust is to prevent unfair or deceptive acts or practices in trade or commerce” so the statute is “equitable in nature, in the sense that it seeks to prevent prejudicial conduct rather than merely compensate such damage as may flow therefrom.”  Therefore, the case is equitable, and defendant is not entitled to a jury trial.  People v. Shiffrin, 2014 COA 14 (Colo. App. 2014)