Published: Feb 15, 2011 8:52 PM EST
Updated: Feb 15, 2011 5:52 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - More than a dozen national retail chains operating in California have been hit with lawsuits since the state Supreme Court ruled it's illegal for clerks to ask customers for their ZIP codes.

The high court unanimously ruled last week that ZIP codes are part of customers' addresses, and a state consumer privacy law forbids stores from requesting addresses during credit card transactions.

The decision has set off a flurry of litigation, with most of the lawsuits being filed in San Francisco or Los Angeles courts.

Among the retail giants facing lawsuits saying they requested ZIP code information during the past year are Williams-Sonoma Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Macy's Inc. and Cost Plus Inc.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)