NATIONWIDE – Fitness clubs have become the target in a lawsuit and a complaint by attorneys general in two states.

In Missouri, Attorney General Jay Nixon recently filed a lawsuit in St. Charles County Circuit Court, stating that New Lady Fitness violated Missouri consumer protection laws by collecting membership fees before going out of business and not issuing refunds.

The four St. Louis-area women-only clubs closed last November and transferred memberships to Club Fitness, a coed facility, according to a report in the Wentzville (MO) Journal. The suit seeks at least $84,000 in refunds and $1,000 per violation. Officials from Nixon’s office have received almost 600 complaints.

In Rhode Island, Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch has filed a Superior Court complaint against 10 of that state’s health clubs which have failed to register with the attorney general’s office and show proof that they have been properly inspected, according to a report in the Providence (RI) Journal. Lynch is seeking a restraining order to shut down the clubs until they obtain necessary inspections and register.

According to a spokesperson in Lynch's office, the 10 clubs had previously been properly registered and were among the 118 clubs listed with the office’s consumer protection unit. The clubs must re-register annually by Dec. 31 with a $50 renewal fee and proof of compliance with all health and fire codes.

A motion for the restraining order will be heard in Providence County Superior Court on May 17. All 10 clubs remain open, the newspaper reported.