[HISTORY: Adopted by the Rochester City Council 10-23-1973 by Ord. No. 73-563. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the general intent of this chapter to set forth herein regulation of trade practices to preclude deceptive or unconscionable trade practices in the sale, lease, rental or loan or in the offering for sale, lease, rental or loan of any consumer goods or services or in the collection of consumer debts.
No person shall engage in any deceptive or unconscionable trade practice in the sale, lease, rental or loan or in the offering for sale, lease, rental or loan of any consumer goods or services or in the collection of consumer debts.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A purchaser or lessee or prospective purchaser or lessee of the consumer goods or services or consumer credit, including a co-obligor or surety.
- CONSUMER GOODS, SERVICES, CREDIT AND DEBTS
- Goods, services, credit and debts which are primarily for person, household or family purposes.
- CONVERSION THERAPY
- Any services, offered or provided to consumers for a fee,
that are intended to change a person's sexual orientation or
to change a person's gender identity to conform to the sex of
such individual that was recorded at birth.[Added 7-24-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-218]
- DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICE
- Any false, falsely disparaging or misleading oral or written statement, visual description or other representation of any kind made in connection with the sale, lease, rental or loan or in connection with the offering for sale, lease, rental, or loan of consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit or in the collection of consumer debts, which has the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading consumers.
- A seller, lessor, creditor or any other person who makes available, either directly or indirectly, goods, services or credit to consumers. "Merchant" shall include manufacturers, wholesalers and others who are responsible for any act or practice prohibited by this chapter.
- UNCONSCIONABLE TRADE PRACTICE
- Any act or practice in connection with the sale, lease, rental or loan or in connection with the offering for sale, lease, rental or loan of any consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit, or in the collection of consumer debts which unfairly takes advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience or capacity of a consumer, or results in a gross disparity between the value received by a consumer and the price paid, to the consumer's detriment, provided that no act or practice shall be deemed unconscionable under this title unless declared unconscionable and described with reasonable particularity in a local law or ordinance.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punished by a fine not less than $100 nor more than $150 or by imprisonment for not less than five days nor more than 150 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, or by a penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 to be recovered by the City of Rochester in a civil action. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.
[Added 7-24-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-218]
Conversion therapy constitutes an unconscionable trade practice pursuant to this chapter.
It is unlawful for any person to offer or provide conversion therapy services. This prohibition does not proscribe services that provide assistance to a person undergoing gender transition or counseling that provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person's sexual orientation or facilitates a person's coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual-orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, provided that such services are not intended to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Notwithstanding § 95A-4, any person who violates any provision of this section, upon conviction thereof, shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for the first violation, $2,000 for the second violation, and $3,000 for each subsequent violation. For the purposes of this section, each instance a person is found to have violated the provisions of this section shall be considered a separate violation, except that multiple violations with regards to the same consumer shall be considered a single violation.
In addition to the penalties set forth in Subsection C of this section, a consumer so aggrieved by a violation of this section may also bring a private cause of action to recover compensatory and consequential damages. A successful plaintiff in such action shall be entitled to recover reasonable costs and attorneys' fees.