CACI No. 1900. Intentional Misrepresentation

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2024 edition)

Download PDF
1900.Intentional Misrepresentation
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] made a false
representation that harmed [him/her/nonbinary pronoun/it]. To establish
this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:
1. That [name of defendant] represented to [name of plaintiff] that a
fact was true;
2. That [name of defendant]’s representation was false;
3. That [name of defendant] knew that the representation was false
when [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] made it, or that
[he/she/nonbinary pronoun] made the representation recklessly and
without regard for its truth;
4. That [name of defendant] intended that [name of plaintiff] rely on
the representation;
5. That [name of plaintiff] reasonably relied on [name of defendant]’s
6. That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and
7. That [name of plaintiff]’s reliance on [name of defendant]’s
representation was a substantial factor in causing
[his/her/nonbinary pronoun/its] harm.
New September 2003; Revised December 2012, December 2013
Directions for Use
Give this instruction in a case in which it is alleged that the defendant made an
intentional misrepresentation of fact. (See Civ. Code, § 1710(1).) If element 5 is
contested, give CACI No. 1907, Reliance, and CACI No. 1908, Reasonable
Reliance. If it is disputed that a representation was made, the jury should be
instructed that “a representation may be made orally, in writing, or by nonverbal
conduct.” (See Thrifty-Tel, Inc. v. Bezenek (1996) 46 Cal.App.4th 1559, 1567 [54
Cal.Rptr.2d 468].)
The representation must ordinarily be an affirmation of fact, as opposed to an
opinion. (See Cohen v. S&S Construction Co. (1983) 151 Cal.App.3d 941, 946 [201
Cal.Rptr. 173].) Opinions are addressed in CACI No. 1904, Opinions as Statements
of Fact.
Sources and Authority
Actionable Deceit. Civil Code section 1709.
Intentional Misrepresentation. Civil Code section 1710(1).
Fraud in Contract Formation. Civil Code section 1572.
“The elements of fraud that will give rise to a tort action for deceit are: ‘(a)
misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (b)
knowledge of falsity (or ‘scienter’); (c) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce reliance;
(d) justifiable reliance; and (e) resulting damage.’ (Engalla v. Permanente
Medical Group, Inc. (1997) 15 Cal.4th 951, 974 [64 Cal.Rptr.2d 843, 938 P.2d
903], internal quotation marks omitted.)
“A complaint for fraud must allege the following elements: (1) a knowingly false
representation by the defendant; (2) an intent to deceive or induce reliance; (3)
justifiable reliance by the plaintiff; and (4) resulting damages.” (Service by
Medallion, Inc. v. Clorox Co. (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 1807, 1816 [52 Cal.Rptr.2d
650] [combining misrepresentation and scienter as a single element].)
“Puffing,” or sales talk, is generally considered opinion, unless it involves a
representation of product safety. (Hauter v. Zogarts (1975) 14 Cal.3d 104, 112
[120 Cal.Rptr. 681, 534 P.2d 377].)
“Fraud is an intentional tort; it is the element of fraudulent intent, or intent to
deceive, that distinguishes it from actionable negligent misrepresentation and
from nonactionable innocent misrepresentation. It is the element of intent which
makes fraud actionable, irrespective of any contractual or fiduciary duty one
party might owe to the other.” (City of Atascadero v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce,
Fenner & Smith (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 445, 482 [80 Cal.Rptr.2d 329], internal
citations omitted.)
“[F]raudulent intent is an issue for the trier of fact to decide.” (Beckwith v. Dahl
(2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1039, 1061 [141 Cal.Rptr.3d 142].)
“[T]he trial court failed to consider that a cause of action based in fraud may
arise from conduct that is designed to mislead, and not only from verbal or
written statements.” (Tenet Healthsystem Desert, Inc. v. Blue Cross of California
(2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 821, 839 [199 Cal.Rptr.3d 901].)
“[A] cause of action for misrepresentation requires an affirmative statement, not
an implied assertion.” (RSB Vineyards, LLC v. Orsi (2017) 15 Cal.App.5th 1089,
1102 [223 Cal.Rptr.3d 458].)
‘[F]alse representations made recklessly and without regard for their truth in
order to induce action by another are the equivalent of misrepresentations
knowingly and intentionally uttered.’ (Engalla, supra, 15 Cal.4th at p. 974,
quoting Yellow Creek Logging Corp. v. Dare (1963) 216 Cal.App.2d 50, 55 [30
Cal.Rptr. 629].)
“[T]here are two causation elements in a fraud cause of action. First, the
plaintiff’s actual and justifiable reliance on the defendant’s misrepresentation
must have caused him to take a detrimental course of action. Second, the
detrimental action taken by the plaintiff must have caused his alleged damage.”
(Beckwith, supra, 205 Cal.App.4th at p. 1062.)
“A ‘complete causal relationship’ between the fraud or deceit and the plaintiff’s
damages is required. . . . Causation requires proof that the defendant’s conduct
was a ‘substantial factor in bringing about the harm to the plaintiff.”
(Williams v. Wraxall (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 120, 132 [39 Cal.Rptr.2d 658],
internal citations omitted.)
“Misrepresentation, even maliciously committed, does not support a cause of
action unless the plaintiff suffered consequential damages.” [Citation.]’
[Citation.] Indeed, ‘[a]ssuming . . . a claimant’s reliance on the actionable
misrepresentation, no liability attaches if the damages sustained were otherwise
inevitable or due to unrelated causes.’ [Citation.]” [Citation.] [If the defrauded
plaintiff would have suffered the alleged damage even in the absence of the
fraudulent inducement, causation cannot be alleged and a fraud cause of action
cannot be sustained.’ (Orcilla v. Big Sur, Inc. (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 982,
1008 [198 Cal.Rptr.3d 715].)
“The law is well established that actionable misrepresentations must pertain to
past or existing material facts. Statements or predictions regarding future events
are deemed to be mere opinions which are not actionable.” (Cansino v. Bank of
America (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1462, 1469 [169 Cal.Rptr.3d 619], internal
citation omitted.)
Secondary Sources
5 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 294, 883, 939, 943,
944, 949
3 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 40, Fraud and Deceit and Other Business Torts,
§§ 40.02, 40.05 (Matthew Bender)
23 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 269, Fraud and Deceit, § 269.19
(Matthew Bender)
10 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 105, Fraud and Deceit, § 105.80 et seq.
(Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Torts § 22:12 (Thomson Reuters)

© Judicial Council of California.