Glossary of Closing Descriptions and Useful Legal Terms

Closing Descriptions

Another party or agency assisted in the resolution of the complaint:The matter was resolved by a party not involved in the original complaint. For example, a credit card charge back.

Business Bankrupt:Business or owner filed for protection under bankruptcy laws.

Business ignored our attempts to mediate:DOJ wrote to the business, often more than once, and it failed to answer.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed:DOJ was notified by a private attorney of a Class Action lawsuit.

Company Out of Business:No further explanation necessary.

Complainant Did Not Maintain Contact with DOJ:DOJ requested additional information from the consumer and did not receive a response.

Complainant Pursued Private Lawsuit:No further explanation necessary.

Complaint Unfounded:DOJ determined the complaint did not violate the law.

Consumer Pursuing Their Own Resolution:Consumer contacted the business directly, or filed a private lawsuit.

Consumer requested No Action:Consumer requested that DOJ not take any action.

DOJ issued written warning to business:DOJ sent a warning letter concerning practices that may violate the law.

DOJ Sued the Business:DOJ filed a lawsuit.

DOJ sued the business and obtained a judgment:No further explanation necessary.

Information Only:Source provided information to DOJ which did not require action. For example, sending DOJ a copy of a questionable advertisement or solicitation.

Insufficient evidence:DOJ believed there was not enough evidence to prove a violation of law, or threat to the public.

Insufficient Information from Consumer:The consumer could not identify or locate the business.

Insufficient Resources:DOJ determined we did not have sufficient resources to pursue the matter.

Judgment Entered:DOJ converted an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance into a Judgment.

No Jurisdiction:DOJ has no authority to help resolve these types of complaints.

Referred Complaint Elsewhere:DOJ sent the complaint to another state or federal agency for handling.

Resolved as part of a settlement with DOJ:Individual consumer complaint was resolved when DOJ concluded a formal investigation involving the business.

Reviewed and Closed:DOJ reviewed the complaint and took no action.

Signed Settlement Agreement:DOJ settled the matter through an informal letter agreement or an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance.

Unable to Locate the Business:No further explanation necessary.

Voluntarily Resolved:After contacting DOJ the consumer was fully (or partially) satisfied by the business.


Useful Legal Terms

Acted Unconscionably: Includes knowingly taking advantage of a consumerís physical infirmity, ignorance, illiteracy, or inability to understand the language of the agreement.

Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC): An agreement reached between DOJ and one or more businesses or owners stipulating the conditions under which the business will conduct itself in the future. An AVC may require a business to pay consumer restitution and investigative costs to DOJ. Generally, AVCs are filed with a court.An AVC is not an admission of guilt or liability. DOJ has a right to go back to court if the business does not comply with the terms of the AVC.

Complaint:Generally, the first information DOJ receives from a source regarding a potential violation of law or objectionable practice.

Complainant suffered damage/injury beyond the original transaction - consequential damages:The consumer suffered damages beyond out of pocket expenses, including subjective losses like pain and suffering or inconvenience.

Defendant:In civil proceedings, the party responding to the complaint, or the individual(s) sued and called upon to respond to the alleged wrongdoing.

Judgment:The concluding decision of a court.

Plaintiff:The party who initiates a lawsuit and who seeks a judicial remedy for alleged wrongdoing or violations of law.

Respondent:The party agreeing to enter into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance.

Restitution:The act of making good for loss, damage or injury.

Small Claims Court:Sometimes called "the peopleís court," small claims court is for cases involving claims of less than $7,500. Cases can be decided quickly and economically in small claims court where hearings are informal and you do not need a lawyer. In fact, you must have special permission from the judge to bring a lawyer with you to small claims court.

Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA):Oregon Revised Statutes 646.605-646.652. Oregonís primary consumer protection statute. The UTPA provides a private right of action and enforcement by DOJ.