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Illinois Statutes Chapter 775. Human Rights § 5/8A-102. Hearing on Complaint

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§ 8A-102. Hearing on Complaint.

(A) Services. Within five days after a complaint is filed by the Department, or the aggrieved party, as the case may be, the Commission shall cause it to be served on the respondent together with a notice of hearing before a hearing officer of the Commission at a place therein fixed.

(B) Time and Location of Hearing. An initial hearing date shall be scheduled for not less than thirty nor more than ninety days after service of the complaint at a place that is within one hundred miles of the place at which the civil rights violation is alleged to have occurred. The hearing officer may, for good cause shown, extend the date of the hearing.

(C) Amendment.

(1) A complaint may be amended under oath by leave of the presiding hearing officer, for good cause shown, upon timely written motion and reasonable notice to all interested parties at any time prior to the issuance of a recommended order pursuant to Section 8A-102(I) or 8B-102(J). The amended complaint shall be served upon all parties of record and the Department of Human Rights by the complainant, or by the Department if it prepared and filed the amended complaint, within 7 days of the date of the order permitting its filing or such additional time as the hearing officer may order. Amendments to the complaint may encompass any unlawful discrimination which is like or reasonably related to the charge and growing out of the allegations in such charge, including, but not limited to, allegations of retaliation.

(2) A motion that the complaint be amended to conform to the evidence, made prior to the close of the public hearing, may be addressed orally on the record to the hearing officer, and shall be granted for good and sufficient cause.

(D) Answer.

(1) The respondent shall file an answer under oath or affirmation to the original or amended complaint within 30 days of the date of service thereof, but the hearing officer may, for good cause shown, grant further time for the filing of an answer.

(2) When the respondent files a motion to dismiss the complaint within 30 days and the motion is denied by the hearing officer, the time for filing the answer shall be within 15 days of the date of denial of the motion.

(3) Any allegation in the complaint which is not denied or admitted in the answer is deemed admitted unless the respondent states in the answer that he is without sufficient knowledge or information to form a belief with respect to such allegation.

(4) The failure to file an answer is deemed to constitute an admission of the allegations contained in the complaint.

(5) The respondent has the right to amend his answer, upon leave of the hearing officer, for good cause shown.

(E) Proceedings In Forma Pauperis.

(1) If the hearing officer is satisfied that the complainant or respondent is a poor person, and unable to prosecute or defend the complaint and pay the costs and expenses thereof, the hearing officer may permit the party to commence and prosecute or defend the action as a poor person. Such party shall have all the necessary subpoenas, appearances, and proceedings without prepayment of witness fees or charges. Witnesses shall attend as in other cases under this Act and the same remedies shall be available for failure or refusal to obey the subpoena as are provided for in Section 8-104 of this Act.

(2) A person desiring to proceed without payment of fees or charges shall file with the hearing officer an affidavit stating that he is a poor person and unable to pay costs, and that the action is meritorious.

(F) Discovery. The procedure for obtaining discovery of information from parties and witnesses shall be specified by the Commission in rules. If no rule has been promulgated by the Commission on a particular type of discovery, the Code of Civil Procedure  1 may be considered persuasive authority. The types of discovery shall be the same as in civil cases in the circuit courts of this State, provided, however, that a party may take discovery depositions only upon leave of the hearing officer and for good cause shown.

(G) Hearing.

(1) Both the complainant and the respondent may appear at the hearing and examine and cross-examine witnesses.

(2) The testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath or affirmation and a transcript shall be made and filed in the office of the Commission.

(3) The testimony taken at the hearing is subject to the same rules of evidence that apply in courts of this State in civil cases.

(H) Compelling Appearance of Parties at Hearing. The appearance at the hearing of a party or a person who at the time of the hearing is an officer, director, or employee of a party may be required by serving the party with a notice designating the person who is required to appear. The notice also may require the production at the hearing of documents or tangible things. If the party or person is a nonresident of the county, the hearing officer may order any terms and conditions in connection with his appearance at the hearing that are just, including payment of his reasonable expenses. Upon a failure to comply with the notice, the hearing officer may enter any order that is just.

(I) Decision.

(1) When all the testimony has been taken, the hearing officer shall determine whether the respondent has engaged in or is engaging in the civil rights violation with respect to the person aggrieved as charged in the complaint. A determination sustaining a complaint shall be based upon a preponderance of the evidence.

(2) The hearing officer shall make findings of fact in writing and, if the finding is against the respondent, shall issue and cause to be served on the parties and the Department a recommended order for appropriate relief as provided by this Act.

(3) If, upon all the evidence, the hearing officer finds that a respondent has not engaged in the discriminatory practice charged in the complaint or that a preponderance of the evidence does not sustain the complaint, he shall state his findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served on the parties and the Department a recommended order dismissing the complaint.

(4) The findings and recommended order of the hearing officer shall be filed with the Commission. The findings and recommended order may be authored by a hearing officer other than the hearing officer who presides at the public hearing if:

(a) the hearing officer who presides at the public hearing is unable to author the findings and recommended order by reason of death, disability, or separation from employment; and

(b) all parties to a complaint file a joint motion agreeing to have the findings and recommended order written by a hearing officer who did not preside at the public hearing.

(5) A recommended order dismissing a complaint may include an award of reasonable attorneys fees in favor of the respondent against the complainant or the complainant's attorney, or both, if the hearing officer concludes that the complaint was frivolous, unreasonable or groundless or that the complainant continued to litigate after it became clearly so.

(6) The hearing officer may issue a recommended order of dismissal with prejudice or a recommended order of default as a sanction for the failure of a party to prosecute his or her case, file a required pleading, appear at a hearing, or otherwise comply with this Act, the rules of the Commission, or a previous order of the hearing officer.

1 735 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.

Cite this article: - Illinois Statutes Chapter 775. Human Rights § 5/8A-102. Hearing on Complaint - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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