About the Consumer Protection Division
Indiana citizens should be able to rely on the quality of work done by professionals they choose to perform services—regardless of whether those services are medical procedures or roof repairs.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's office investigates complaints against professionals in various fields to ensure safe and fair commerce. Its work protects Hoosiers from businesses, medical professionals, and other service providers who fall short in their responsibilities to consumers.
The attorney general cannot act as your private attorney. It is the responsibility of the attorney general to protect public interests. In doing so, the attorney generalís office may file lawsuits on behalf of the state against companies that violate laws protecting consumers. The attorney generalís office cannot represent individual consumers when filing lawsuits nor can the office file a lawsuit whose only purpose is to recover money or property for an individual. In these instances, the consumer should seek legal advice from a private attorney, legal aid society or other organization. The following link provides information on free legal services for low-income and elderly Indiana residents: www.indianajustice.org/Home/PublicWeb.
The Consumer Protection Division is divided into three sections:
General Consumer Complaint Investigation and Mediation – This section handles most consumer complaints against businesses that are not regulated as licensed professionals or by other state or federal agencies. An attempt is made to mediate individual complaints. The complainant also may attempt to resolve the matter in small claims court or seek the advice of a private attorney regarding legal remedies outside the attorney general’s office.
If it appears that a business or individual is involved in a pattern of deceptive practices, the division may initiate litigation under the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act or other state and federal consumer protection statutes. The litigation is brought in the name of the State of Indiana. The state can seek restitution for any consumers affected by the deceptive practices of an individual or business.
Licensed Professionals – This section handles complaints against most professionals licensed by the state of Indiana. Complaints are investigated to determine whether the practitioner has violated any standards of practice or other rules and regulations of his or her particular profession.
Complaints appropriate for prosecution are litigated in an administrative proceeding before the board that issued the practitioner’s license. There are 15 boards and commissions that regulate non-medical licensed professions that include real estate agents, plumbers, cosmetologists and architects. License status may be checked online by clicking here.
Medical Licensing – This section investigates and prosecutes complaints against health care practitioners and mediates complaints not appropriate for prosecution. There are 20 boards and committees that regulate health care practitioners, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nursing home administrators, veterinarians or other health care practitioners.