Delaware Code Title 6. Commerce and Trade § 4610. Administrative enforcement; preliminary matters
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(a) Complaints and answers.--
(1)a.1. An aggrieved person, not later than 1 year after an alleged discriminatory housing practice has occurred or terminated, or not later than 1 year after such practice has been discovered or reasonably should have been discovered by the aggrieved person, may file a complaint with the Division alleging such discriminatory housing practice. The Division on its own initiative may also file such a complaint subject to the same time limitations.
2. Such complaints shall be in writing and shall contain such information and be in such form as the Division requires.
3. The Division may also investigate housing practices to determine whether a complaint should be brought under this chapter.
b. Upon the filing of such a complaint:
1. The Division shall serve notice upon the aggrieved person acknowledging such filing and advising the aggrieved person of the time limits and choice of forums provided under this chapter;
2. The Division shall, not later than 10 days after such filing or the identification of an additional respondent under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, serve on the respondent a notice identifying the alleged discriminatory housing practice and advising such respondent of the procedural rights and obligations of respondents under this chapter, together with a copy of the original complaint;
3. Each respondent may file, not later than 20 days after receipt of notice from the Division, an answer to such complaint; and
4. The Division shall make an investigation of the alleged discriminatory housing practice and complete such investigation within 100 days after the filing of the complaint unless it is impracticable to do so.
c. If the Division is unable to complete the investigation within 100 days after the filing of the complaint, the Division shall notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the reasons for not doing so.
d. Complaints and answers shall be verified under oath or affirmation, and may be reasonably and fairly amended at any time.
(2)a. A person who is not named as a respondent in a complaint, but who is identified as a respondent in the course of investigation, may be joined as an additional or substitute respondent to the same extent such person could be joined in a civil action in Superior Court and upon written notice, under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, to such person, from the Division.
b. Such notice, in addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, shall explain the basis for the Division's belief that the person to whom the notice is addressed is properly joined as a respondent.
(b) Investigative report and conciliation.--(1) During the period beginning with the filing of such complaint and ending with the filing of a charge or a dismissal by the Division, the Division shall, to the extent feasible, engage in conciliation with respect to such complaint.
(2) A conciliation agreement arising out of such conciliation shall be an agreement between the respondent and the complainant, and shall be subject to approval by the Division.
(3) A conciliation agreement may provide binding arbitration of the dispute arising from the complaint. Any such arbitration that results from a conciliation agreement may award appropriate relief, including monetary relief.
(4) Each conciliation agreement shall be made public unless the complainant and respondent otherwise agree and the Division determines that disclosure is not required to further the purpose of this chapter.
(5)a. At the end of each investigation under this section, the Division shall prepare a final investigative report containing:
1. The names and dates of contacts with witnesses;
2. A summary and the dates of correspondence and other contacts with the aggrieved person and the respondent;
3. A summary description of other pertinent records;
4. A summary of witness statements;
5. Answers to interrogatories; and
6. Such other matters as the Division requires.
b. A final report under this paragraph may be amended if additional evidence is later discovered.
(c) Failure to comply with conciliation agreement.--Whenever the Division has reasonable cause to believe that a respondent has breached a conciliation agreement, the shall 1 refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation that a civil action be filed under § 4614 of this title for the enforcement of such agreement.
(d) Prohibitions and requirements with respect to disclosure of information.--(1) Nothing said or done for the purpose of promoting conciliation under this chapter may be made public or used as evidence in a subsequent proceeding under this chapter without the written consent of the persons whose words or actions are at issue.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the Division shall make available to the aggrieved person and the respondent, at any time, upon request following completion of the Division's investigation, information derived from an investigation and any final investigative report relating to that investigation.
(e) Prompt judicial action.--(1) If the Division concludes at any time following the filing of a complaint that prompt judicial action is necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, the Division may authorize a civil action for appropriate temporary or preliminary relief pending final disposition of the complaint under this section. Upon receipt of such an authorization, the Attorney General, in the absence of any conflict of duty, shall commence and maintain such an action in the Court of Chancery on behalf of the Division in the name of the Division or the aggrieved person or persons. The commencement of a civil action under this subsection does not affect the initiation or continuation of administrative proceedings under this section or § 4612 of this title.
(2) If the Attorney General does not commence such an action, the Division shall employ special counsel to pursue such action in accordance with § 2507 of Title 29. Whenever an action under this subsection will be pursued by special counsel, such action shall be commenced promptly after the Division employs such counsel.
(3) Whenever the Division has reason to believe that a basis may exist for the commencement of proceedings against any respondent under § 4614(a) and (c) of this title or for proceedings by any governmental licensing or supervisory authorities, the Division shall transmit the information upon which such belief is based to the Attorney General, or to such authorities, as the case may be.
(f) Reasonable cause determination and effect.--(1) The Division shall, within 100 days after the filing of the complaint, determine, based on the facts, whether reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, unless it is impracticable to do so, or unless the Division has approved a conciliation agreement with respect to the complaint. If the Division is unable to make the determination within 100 days after the filing of the complaint the Division shall notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the reasons for not doing so.
(2)a. If the Division determines that reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the Division shall, except as provided in paragraph (f)(2)c. of this section, immediately issue a charge on behalf of the aggrieved person, for further proceedings under § 4612 of this title.
b. Such charge:
1. Shall consist of a short and plain statement of the facts upon which the Division has found reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur;
2. Shall be based on the final investigative report; and
3. Need not be limited to the facts or grounds alleged in the complaint filed under § 4610(a) of this title.
c. If the Division determines that the matter involves the legality of any state or local zoning or other land use law or ordinance, the Division shall immediately refer the matter to the Attorney General for appropriate action under § 4614 of this title, instead of issuing such charge.
(3) If the Division determines that no reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the Division shall promptly dismiss the complaint. The Division shall make public disclosure of each such dismissal.
(4) The Division may not issue a charge under this section regarding an alleged discriminatory housing practice after the beginning of the trial of a civil action commenced by the aggrieved party under a state or federal law, seeking relief with respect to that discriminatory housing practice.
(g) Service of copies of charge.--After the Division issues a charge under this section, the Division shall cause a copy thereof, together with information as to how to make an election under § 4612(a) of this title and the effect of such an election, to be served:
(1) On each respondent named in such charge, together with a notice of opportunity for a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice, unless that election is made; and
(2) On each aggrieved person on whose behalf the complaint was filed.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Delaware Code Title 6. Commerce and Trade § 4610. Administrative enforcement; preliminary matters - last updated January 01, 2022 | https://codes.findlaw.com/de/title-6-commerce-and-trade/de-code-sect-6-4610/
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