State law prohibits charging prices for an item that exceeds 10% over what was charged before a local declaration of emergency. The law applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials, and gasoline. It also applies to services, including repairs, emergency cleanup, transportation, storage, hotels, and rental housing. Exceptions exist if the costs for the goods and services have increased for the business.
Violations are subject to criminal prosecution and can result in one year of imprisonment and/or fines of up to $10,000. Those wanting to file a complaint should complete and submit the Consumer Complaint Form found at the District Attorney’s Office website below or call their office at 831-647-7770.
On April 3, 2020, the Governor of California also issued an executive order making price gouging actions unfair business practice violations.