California Civil Code

Sec. § 1812.214


(a)

Every seller of seller-assisted marketing plans other than a California corporation shall file with the Attorney General an irrevocable consent appointing the Secretary of State or successor in office to act as the seller’s attorney to receive service or any lawful process in any noncriminal suit, action or proceeding against the seller or the seller’s successor, executor or administrator, which may arise under this title. When service is made upon the Secretary of State, it shall have the same force and validity as if served personally on the seller. Service may be made by leaving a copy of the process in the office of the Secretary of State, but it shall not be effective unless:

(1)

The plaintiff forthwith sends by first-class mail a notice of the service upon the Secretary of State and a copy of the process to the defendant or respondent at the last address on file with the Attorney General; and

(2)

The plaintiff’s affidavit of compliance with this section is filed in the case on or before the return date of the process, if any, or within such further time as the court allows.

(b)

If, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 1812.204, a seller must obtain a surety bond or establish a trust account, the following procedures apply:

(1)

If a bond is obtained, a copy of it shall be filed with the Attorney General; if a trust account is established, notification of the depository, the trustee and the account number shall be filed with the Attorney General.

(2)

The bond or trust account required shall be in favor of the State of California for the benefit of any person who is damaged by any violation of this title or by the seller’s breach of a contract subject to this title or of any obligation arising therefrom. The trust account shall also be in favor of any person damaged by these practices.

(3)

Any person claiming against the trust account for a violation of this title may maintain an action at law against the seller and the trustee. The surety or trustee shall be liable only for actual damages and not the punitive damages permitted under Section 1812.218. The aggregate liability of the trustee to all persons damaged by a seller’s violation of this title shall in no event exceed the amount of the trust account.

(4)

The bond or the trust account shall be in an amount equal to the total amount of the “initial payment” section of all seller-assisted marketing plan contracts the seller has entered into during the previous year or three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000), whichever is less, but in no case shall the amount be less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). The amount required shall be adjusted twice a year, no later than the tenth day of the first month of the seller’s fiscal year and no later than the tenth day of the seventh month of the seller’s fiscal year. A seller need only establish a bond or trust account in the amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) at the commencement of business and during the first six months the seller is in business. By the tenth day of the seller’s seventh month in business, the amount of the bond or trust account shall be established as provided for herein as if the seller had been in business for a year.

(c)

If, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1812.210, a seller utilizes an escrow account to receive those portions of the downpayment in excess of 20 percent of the initial payment before delivery to the purchaser of the equipment, supplies or products or services to be furnished under the terms of the contract, the following procedures shall apply:

(1)

The holder of the escrow account shall be independent of the seller, and the seller shall not have any authority to direct disbursements from the escrow account by the holder except upon written notification by the purchaser to the holder of the escrow account of the delivery of the equipment, supplies, or products as required by and within the time limits set forth in the seller assisted marketing plan contract.

(2)

The name and address of the escrow account holder, the name of the institution, the branch and account number of the escrow account shall be reported to the Attorney General by the seller.

(3)

Any person claiming against the escrow account for a violation of this title may maintain an action at law against the seller and the escrow account holder. The escrow account holder shall be liable only for actual damages and not the punitive damages permitted under Section 1812.218. The aggregate liability of the escrow account holder to all persons damaged by a seller’s violation of this title shall in no event exceed the amount of the escrow account.
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Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016