Table 4.22

Attorneys General: Consumer Protection Activies, Subpoena Powers and Antitrust Duties


FIPS State or other
jurisdiction
May
commence civil
proceedings
May
commence
criminal
proceedings
Represents the
state before
regulatory
agencies (a)
Administers
consumer
protection
programs
Handles
consumer
complaints
Subpoena
powers (b)
Antitrust duties
01Alabama*A,B,C
02AlaskaA,B,C,D
04ArizonaA,B,C,D
05ArkansasA,B
06California*A,B,C,D
08Colorado*A,C,D
09ConnecticutA,B,D
10DelawareA,B,D
12Florida*A,B,D
13Georgia*
15HawaiiA,B,C,D
16IdahoA,B,D
17Illinois*A,B,C
18IndianaA,B
19Iowa*B,C
20Kansas*A,B,D
21KentuckyA,B,C,D
22Louisiana*(n)A,B,D
23Maine*A,B,C
24Maryland✓(e)B,C,D
25MassachusettsA,B,C,D
26MichiganA,B,C,D
27MinnesotaA,B,C,D
28Mississippi*A,B,C,D
29Missouri*A,B,C,D
30Montana*A,B
31Nebraska*A,B,C,D
32Nevada*A,B,C,D
33New Hampshire*A,B,C
34New Jersey*A,B,C,D
35New Mexico*A,B,C (g)
36New York*A,B,C,D
37North CarolinaA,B,C,D
38North DakotaA,B,C
39Ohio (c)A,B,C,D
40Oklahoma*A,B,C,D
41Oregon✓(f)A,B,C,D
42PennsylvaniaA,B
44Rhode Island*A,B,C
45South Carolina*✓(a)✓(h)(i)A,B,C,D
46South Dakota*A,B,C
47Tennessee*(e)(f)(f)A,B,C,D
48TexasA,B,D
49Utah✓(j)✓(j)✓(k)A (l),B,C,D (l)
50VermontA,B,C
51Virginia(f)✓(k)✓(k)A,B,C,D
53Washington*A,B,D
54West Virginia*A,B,D
55WisconsinA,B,C (g)
56Wyoming*A,B
11Dist. of Columbia*✓(m)A,B,C,D
60American Samoa*
66Guam*A,B,C,D
69CNMI**A,B
72Puerto Rico*A,B,C,D
78U.S. Virgin Islands*A

Source:

The Council of State Governments' survey of attorneys general offices, 2022.

Key:

* Information from The Council of State Governments’ survey of attorneys general offices and review of state websites, 2021.
** Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
A — Has parens patriae authority to commence suits on behalf of consumers in state antitrust damage actions in state courts.
B — May initiate damage actions on behalf of state in state courts.
C — May commence criminal proceedings.
D — May represent cities, counties and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under federal or state law.
✓ — Has authority or broad powers.
● — Has limited powers.
✕ — Does not have authority or powers.

Footnotes:

(a) May represent state on behalf of: the “people” of the state; an agency of the state; or the state before a federal regulatory agency.
(b) In this column only: ✓ broad powers and ● limited powers.
(c) Also provides service to consumers through the Identity Theft Unit, administration of Ohio's Title Defect Rescission Fund, and the registration of non-charitable telephone solicitors.
(e) May commence criminal proceedings with local district attorney.
(f) To a limited extent.
(g) May represent other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under federal or state law.
(h) When permitted to intervene.
(i) On a limited basis because the state has a separate consumer affairs department.
(j) Attorney general has exclusive authority.
(k) Attorney general handles legal matters only with no administrative handling of complaints.
(l) Opinion only, since there are no controlling precedents.
(m) In antitrust, not criminal proceedings.
(n) The office can issue Civil Investigative Demands, but would go to court in order to get a subpoena.