Division of Public Rights

The mission of the Public Rights Division is to safeguard the state’s environment, lands, and natural resources; maintain competitive markets; prevent fraudulent business practices; protect consumers against misleading advertising claims; monitor Indian and Gaming practices; preserve charitable assets, and protect the civil rights of individuals. The division is organized into ten units as summarized below:

Natural Resources Section represents state agencies responsible for enforcing and administering laws and programs that protect California’s environment and natural resources.

Environment Section enforces state and federal environmental laws affecting California’s natural resources, its communities and public health.

Land Law Section handles litigation involving lands owned and administered by the state.

Antitrust Section enforces federal and state antitrust laws and the state’s unfair competition statute.

Consumer Law Section protects consumers against unsafe products, deceptive and unfair business practices and misleading advertising.

Charitable Trusts Section Section has jurisdiction over charitable organizations, trustees, and fundraising professionals that operate in California.

Civil Rights Enforcement Section protects and promotes the civil rights of all California residents and represents state agencies responsible for civil rights enforcement.

Indian and Gaming Law Section consults and advises the Governor in connection with tribal-state compact negotiations, and Indian law issues.

The mission of the Tobacco Litigation and Enforcement Section is to protect the public health and safety of all Californians, especially children, from the devastating effects of tobacco use. We enforce the Master Settlement Agreement and tobacco-related laws, monitor tobacco industry practices and promote other tobacco control measures.

Corporate Fraud Section investigates and prosecutes cases involving California's energy crisis, securities and commodities fraud, the underground economy, and fraud and other financial wrongdoing perpetrated against the state. It brings complex prosecutions under a wide range of statutes, including the Unfair Competition Law, the California False Claims Act, and the Corporate Securities and Commodities Laws. The section regularly investigates and prosecutes cases in cooperation with federal, sister state, and local government agencies and prosecutors. Many of the cases prosecuted by the section's False Claims Unit arise from qui tam actions filed by whistleblowers who have inside knowledge of wrongdoing.