Myles M. Mattenson
5550 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Suite 200
Woodland Hills, California 91367
Telephone (818) 313-9060
Facsimile (818) 313-9260
I've Been Cheated!
What Do I Do Now?
[Annual Update]

      Myles M. Mattenson engages in a general civil and trial practice including litigation and transactional services relating to the coin laundry and dry cleaning industries, franchising, business, purchase and sale of real estate, easements, landlord-tenant, partnership, corporate, insurance bad faith, personal injury, and probate legal matters.

      In providing services to the coin laundry and dry cleaning industries, Mr. Mattenson has represented equipment distributors, coin laundry and dry cleaning business owners confronted with landlord-tenant issues, lease negotiations, sale documentation including agreements, escrow instructions, and security instruments, as well as fraud or misrepresentation controversies between buyers and sellers of such businesses.

      Mr. Mattenson serves as an Arbitrator for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He is also past chair of the Law Office Management Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Mattenson received his Bachelor of Science degree (Accounting) in 1964 and his Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1967.

      Bi-monthly articles by Mr. Mattenson on legal matters of interest to the business community appear in alternate months in The Journal, a leading coin laundry industry publication of the Coin Laundry Association, and Fabricare, a leading dry cleaning industry publication of the International Fabricare Institute. During the period of May 1995 through September 2002, Mr. Mattenson contributed similar articles to New Era Magazine, a coin laundry and dry cleaning industry publication which ceased publication with the September 2002 issue.

      This website contains copies of Mr. Mattenson's New Era Magazine articles which can be retrieved through a subject or chronological index. The website also contains copies of Mr. Mattenson's Journal and Fabricare articles, which can be retrieved through a chronological index.

      In addition to Mr. Mattenson's trial practice, he has successfully prosecuted and defended appeals on behalf of his clients in various areas of the law. Some of these appellate decisions are contained within his website.

I've Been Cheated!  What Do I Do Now?
[Annual Update]

               When you have been wronged or cheated by someone, there is a number of public agencies available and willing to help!  You may wish to keep this column, which I update annually, for future reference.  If you have been cheated by a retail store or service provider, and you have not obtained satisfaction after providing the opportunity, carefully set forth your complaint in writing to the store or provider and send copies of your letter to the appropriate local or state agencies.

               Does your concern pertain to AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR?  Send a copy of your letter to the Bureau of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair at 10240 Systems Parkway, Sacramento, CA 95827 (916) 255-4565.  The Bureau will refer your matter to the appropriate field office.  Visit the website of the Bureau of Automotive Repair at

               If you believe your MEDICAL DOCTOR has committed malpractice or engaged in impropriety, contact the Central Complaint Unit of the Medical Board of California, 1426 Howe Avenue, Suite 54, Sacramento, CA 95825-3236 (800) 633-2322.  For information regarding a doctor's license or to determine if any disciplinary actions or accusations have been filed, call the Consumer Information Unit at (916) 263-2382.  Visit the website of the Medical Board at  If your concern pertains to a DENTIST, contact the Dental Board of California, 1432 Howe Avenue, Suite 85, Sacramento, CA 95825 (916) 263-2300.  This Board does not presently maintain its own website, but does provide information on the website of the Department of Consumer Affairs at

               Does your problem concern HOME IMPROVEMENTS, contact the Contractor's State License Board at (800) 321-2752, for the appropriate complaint forms.  The Board agent taking your call will advise you of the correct branch office of the Board to which your complaint form should be directed.  Visit the website of the Contractor’s State License Board at

               Complaints pertaining to INSURANCE should be directed to the California Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline (213) 897-8921, or if outside of Los Angeles, call (800) 927-4357, or write to the California Department of Insurance, Consumer Communications Bureau, 300 S. Spring Street, 9th Floor, South Tower, Los Angeles, CA 90013.  Visit the Department of Insurance website at

               Concerns pertaining to a LENDING OR FINANCE COMPANY or problem related to FRANCHISES should be directed to the California Department of Corporations (213) 576_7500, 320 West Fourth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.  Visit the website of the Department of Corporations at

               If your complaint pertains to a STOCKBROKER, contact the Consumer Affairs Department of the Securities and Exchange Commission, 5670 Wilshire Blvd., 11th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 965-3849.  Complaints with the SEC must be filed in duplicate.  You may also contact the National Association of Securities Dealers, 1735 K Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006 (800) 289-9999, or at 300 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 1600, Los Angeles, California 90071 (213) 627-2122.  Complaints with the SEC must be filed in duplicate.

               Do you have a complaint regarding a LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CARRIER?  If the charges arise out of intrastate communication (within the State of California), contact the Consumer Affairs Branch, Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, California  94102, (800) 649-7570.  If the charges arise out of interstate communication, direct your complaint to Consumer Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street S.W., Washington, D.C.  20554, (888) 225-5322.

               State law limits the manner in which a COLLECTION AGENCY can go about its business.  At one time, there was a state agency that supervised the activities of collection agencies; however, the agency no longer exists.  An attorney should be contacted to assist in this area.  You should be aware, however, that the California Civil Code prohibits a debt collector from making certain threats, engaging in practices of harassment, and undertaking certain communication with others regarding consumer debt.

               Local prosecutorial agencies customarily maintain a CONSUMER FRAUD unit and can be of great assistance.  Contact the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Consumer Protection Division, 201 N. Figueroa Street, Suite 1600, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 580-3273 or the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, Consumer Protection Section, 1600 City Hall East, 200 N. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 485-4515.  The State of California also maintains a consumer fraud unit within the Office of Attorney General, Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550 (800) 952-5225.  The website of the Attorney General can be visited at

               A federal agency which frequently addresses CONSUMER FRAUD (Fair Credit) matters is the Federal Trade Commission, 10877 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90024 or Federal Trade Commission, 901 Market Street, Suite 570, San Francisco, CA 94103 (877) FTC HELP or (877) 382-4357.

               ACCOUNTANTS are subject to the supervision of the Board of Accountancy, 2000 Evergreen Street, Suite 250, Sacramento, CA 95815-3832 (916) 263-3680.  Although the Board of Accountancy does not presently maintain its own website, information regarding the is Board can be obtained by visiting the website of the Department of Consumer Affairs at

               The conduct of ATTORNEYS is governed by the State Bar of California, 1149 South Hill Street, 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90015_2299 (213) 765-1000 or 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-1639 (415) 538-2000.  Information regarding attorneys can be found by visiting the website of the State Bar at

               The California Department of Consumer Affairs maintains a number of boards, committees and commissions governing the conduct of providers of goods and services to consumers.  If this article has not mentioned an agency with which you might want to be in contact, contact the Consumer Information Center of the Department of Consumer Affairs, 400 R Street, Suite 1080, Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-3758 or (800) 952-5210.  The website for the Department of Consumer Affairs is

[This column is intended to provide general information only  and
is  not intended to provide specific legal advice; if you have  a
specific  question  regarding the  law,  you  should  contact  an
attorney  of your choice.  Suggestions for topics to be discussed
in this column are welcome.]

Reprinted from New Era Magazine
Myles M. Mattenson © 2002