CHAPTER 311

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 561

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT N. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 46, TITLE 6, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO EQUAL RIGHTS TO HOUSING AND TO AMEND CHAPTER 30, TITLE 31, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE STATE HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION AND THE CREATION OF A SPECIAL ADMINISTRATION FUND.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Chapter 46, Title 6, Delaware Code, is amended by striking it in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Chapter 46 to read as follows:

"CHAPTER 46 FAIR HOUSING ACT

Section Title

4600 Title

4601 Declaration of policy and purpose

4602 Definitions

4603 Discrimination in the sale or rental of housing and other

prohibited practices

4604 Discrimination-in residential real estate-related transactions

4605 Discrimination in the provision of brokerage services

4606 Aiding Discriminatory Practices

4607 Exemptions in certain situations

4608 Administration

4609 Education and conciliation

4610 Administrative enforcement; preliminary matters

4611 Subpoenas; giving of evidence

4612 Enforcement by Commission

4613 Enforcement by private persons

4614 Enforcement by the attorney general

4615 Fees, Costs and Expenses for Respondent or Defendant

4616 Rules to implement title

4617 Effect on other laws

4618 Interference, coercion, or intimidation

4619 Prohibition of Intimidation, Violations and penalties

§4600. Short Title.

This Chapter may be cited as the "Delaware Fair Housing Act". §4601. Declaration of Purpose and Construction.

(a) Purpose. This chapter is intended to eliminate, as to housing

offered to the public for sale, rent, or exchange, discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status,

familial status, age or handicap, and to provide an administrative

procedure through which disputes concerning the same may effectively and expeditiously be resolved with fairness and due process for all parties concerned.

(b) Construction. This chapter shall be liberally construed to the end that its purposes may be accomplished and all persons may fully enjoy equal rights and access to housing for themselves and their families. Furthermore, in defining the scope or extent of any duty imposed by this chapter, including the duty of reasonable accommodation, higher or more comprehensive obligations established by otherwise applicable Federal, State or local enactments may be considered.

§4602. Definitions.

As used in this Chapter:

(1) 'Age' - For the purpose of defining what is a Discriminatory Housing Practice, "Age" means any age 18 years or older.

(2) 'Aggrieved persons' includes any person who:

claims to have been injured, directly or indirectly, by a discriminatory housing practice;

believes that such person will be injured, directly or indirectly, by a discriminatory housing practice that is about to occur; or

is associated with a person having a protected status under this chapter and claims to have been injured, directly or indirectly, as a result of a discriminatory housing practice against such person having the protected status.

(3) 'Chairperson' means the Chairperson of the State Human Relations Commission.

(4) 'Commission' means the State Human Relations Commission.

(5) 'Complainant' means the person (including the Commission) who files a complaint under section 4610.

(6) 'Conciliation' means the attempted resolution of issues raised by a complaint, or by the investigation of such complaint, through informal negotiations involving the aggrieved person, the respondent, and the Commission.

(7) 'Conciliation agreement' means a written agreement setting forth the resolution of the issues in conciliation.

(8) 'Court' means the Superior Court of the State of Delaware unless otherwise designated.

(9) 'Covered multifamily dwellings' means:

buildings consisting of 4 or more dwelling units if such buildings have one or more elevators; and

ground floor dwelling units in other buildings consisting of 4 or more dwelling units.

(10) 'Discriminatory housing practice' means an act that is unlawful under section 4603, 4604, 4605, 4606 or 4618.

(11) 'Dwelling' means which is occupied as, or residence by one or more offered for sale, rent or land which is offered for or location thereon of thereof. 'Dwelling' also associated therewith. any building, structure, or portion thereof designed or intended for occupancy as, a families, together with any land which is exchange therewith and also means any vacant sale, lease or exchange for the construction any such building, structure, or portion includes the public and common use areas

(12) 'Familial status' means: one or more individuals who have not attained the age of 18 years being domiciled with-

a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or

the designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person; or

any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.

(13) 'Family' includes a single individual.

(14) 'Handicap' or 'Disability' means, with respect to a person-

a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities;

a record of having such an impairment; or

being regarded as having such an impairment, but such term does not include current, illegal use of a controlled substance as defined in Section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) or Delaware Code Title 16, Chapter 47, Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

(15) 'Housing for Older Persons' means housing-

provided under any State or Federal program that the Commission determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons; or

intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years of age or older; or

intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit. In determining whether housing qualifies as housing for older persons under this subsection, the Commission shall develop regulations which shall require at least the following factors:

(1) the existence of significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons, or if the provision of such facilities and services ts not practicable, that such housing is necessary to provide important housing opportunities for older persons; and

that at least 80 percent of the units are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit; and

the publication of, and adherence to, policies and procedures which demonstrate an intent by the owner or manager to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older.

(16) 'Marital Status' means the legal relationship of parties as determined by the laws of marriage applicable to them or the absence of such a legal relationship.

(17) 'Panel': A body of Commissioners, appointed by the Commission Chair to investigate, conciliate, adjudicate, or otherwise perform any task imposed by applicable law.

(18) "Panel Chair": That Commissioner designated by the Commission Chair to preside at case hearings, and, further, to perform such other duties as may be specified by applicable laws and regulations.

(19) 'Person' includes one or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, labor organizations, legal representatives,

mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated

organizations, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy in cases under Title 11 of the United States Code, receivers, fiduciaries and land use commissions or boards.

(20) 'Residential real estate-related transaction' means any of the following:

(a) the making, brokering or purchasing of loans or providing other financial assistance-

for purchasing, constructing, improving, repairing, or maintaining a dwelling; or

secured by residential real estate; or

(b) the selling, brokering, or appraising of residential real property.

(21) 'Respondent' means-

the person or other entity accused in a complaint of an unfair housing practice; and

any other person or entity identified in the course of investigation and notified as required with respect to respondents so identified under section 4610(a)(2)(A).

(22) 'To rent' includes to lease, to sublease, to assign a lease, to let and otherwise to grant, continue or renew for a consideration the right to occupy premises not owned by the occupant.

(23) To sell' or 'sale' includes a sale, gift, exchange or other means of conveyance.

(24) 'Special Administration Fund' means the Fund established and maintained pursuant to Section 3005, Chapter 30, Title 31, Delaware Code.

§4603. ascaninsitionlnSaleorlientaLs2flicai

Practices.

For purposes of subsections (a) through (f) of this section, the unlawful discrimination against a person on the basis of a specified protected status refers to the protected status of -

that buyer, renter or aggrieved person,

a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is sold, rented or made available, or

any person associated with that buyer or renter. Except as exempted by section 4607 of this chapter, it shall be unlawful-

To discriminate in the sale or rental, to refuse to sell or rent, to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age or handicap.

To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age or handicap.

To make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age, or handicap, or an intention to make

any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. However, nothing in

this chapter restricts the inclusion of information about the availability of housing accessible to handicapped persons in advertising of dwellings.

To represent to any person because of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age or handicap that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available.

To induce or attempt to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age or handicap.

Other provisions on Handicap —

(1) For purposes of this chapter, discrimination on the basis of handicap also includes—

a refusal to permit, at the expense of the handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises; except that, in the case of a rental, the landlord may where it is reasonable to do so condition permission for a modification on the renter agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted;

a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommoda tions may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling;

a failure to design and construct or alter those two
categories of multifamily dwellings specified at the end of this subparagraph in such a manner that-

the dwellings have at least one building entrance on an accessible route, unless it is impractical to do so because of the terrain or unusual characteristics of the site;

with respect to dwellings with a building entrance on an accessible route:

(aa) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;

(bb) all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and

(cc) all premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:

an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space and make use of the facilities.

This subparagraph (C) applies to the following two categories of covered multifamily dwellings:

covered multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after the effective date of this Act, and

covered multifamily dwellings after one year from the effective date of this Act, undergoing alterations costing fifty percent or more of the replacement cost of the building unless to do so is structurally impracticable; or

(D) to make an inquiry to determine whether an applicant for a dwelling, a person intending to reside in that dwelling after it is so sold, rented or made available, or any person associated with that person, has a handicap or to make inquiry as to the nature or severity of a handicap of such a person. However, this paragraph does not prohibit the following inquiries, provided these inquiries are made of all applicants, whether or not they have handicaps:

Inquiry into an applicant's ability to meet the requirements of ownership or tenancy;

Inquiry to determine whether an applicant is qualified for a dwelling available only to persons with a particular type of handicap;

Inquiry to determine whether an applicant for a dwelling is qualified for a priority available to persons with handicaps or to persons with a particular type of handicap; or

Inquiry to determine whether an applicant for a dwelling is a current illegal user of a controlled substance.

(2) Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the American National Standard for buildings and facilities providing accessibility and usability for physically handicapped people (commonly cited as "ANSI A117.1") suffices to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (1)(C)(ii)(cc).

(3) (A) If an agency or a political subdivision of the State has incorporated into its laws the requirements set forth in paragraph (1)(C), compliance with such laws shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of that paragraph.

The State or a political subdivision thereof with a building code may review and approve newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings for the purpose of making determinations as to whether the design and construction requirements of paragraph (1)(C) are met.

The Commission shall encourage, but may not require, any agency or political subdivision of the State to include in their existing procedures for the review and approval of- newly constructed covered multifamily dwellings, determinations as- to whether the design and construction of such dwellings are consistent with paragraph (1)(C), and may provide technical assistance to the State, political subdivisions thereof and other persons to implement the requirements of paragraph (1)(C).

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require the Commission to review or approve the plans, designs or construction of any covered multifamily dwellings, to determine whether the design and construction of such dwellings are consistent with the requirements of paragraph (1)(C).

(4) (A) Nothing in paragraph (5) shall be construed to affect the authority and responsibility of the Commission to receive and process complaints or otherwise engage in enforcement activities under this chapter.

(B) Determinations by an agency or a political subdivision of the State under paragraphs (3)(A) and (B) shall not be conclusive in enforcement proceedings under this chapter.

(5) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to invalidate or limit any law of the State or political subdivision thereof, that requires dwellings to be designed and constructed in a manner that affords handicapped persons greater access than is required by this chapter.

(g) Nothing in this section requires that a dwelling be made available to a handicapped individual whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

§4604. Discrimination in Residential Real Estate—Related Transactions

In General. It shall be unlawful for any person or other entity whose business includes engaging in residential real estate—related
transactions to discriminate against any person in making available such a transaction, or in the terms or conditions of such a transaction, because of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age, or handicap.

Appraisal Exemption — Nothing in this chapter prohibits a person engaged in the business of furnishing appraisals of real property to take into consideration factors other than race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age, or handicap.

§4605. Discrimination in Provision of Brokerage Services.

It shall be unlawful to deny any person access to or membership or participation in any multiple—listing service, real estate brokers' organization or other service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling, exchanging or renting dwellings, or to discriminate against the person in the terms or conditions of such access, membership, or participation, on account of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age, or handicap.

§4606. Aiding Discriminatory Practices.

Notwithstanding the provisions enumerated in §4619, it shall be unlawful to assist, induce, incite or coerce another person to commit any of the Discriminatory Housing Practices prohibited by this chapter.

§4607. Exemptions in Certain Situations.

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a religious organization,
association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental or occupancy of dwellings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion, or from giving preference to such persons, unless membership in such religion is restricted on account of race, color, or national origin.

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose or purposes provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of such lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members, unless membership in such private club is restricted on account of race, color, or national origin.

Nothing in this chapter limits the applicability of any reasonable local, State, or Federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling as long as they are applied to all occupants and do not operate to discriminate or have the effect of discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age or handicap. Nor does any provision in this chapter regarding familial status or age apply with respect to housing for older persons as defined in §4602(15).

Housing shall not fail to meet the requirements for housing for older persons by reason of:

persons residing in such housing as of the effective date of this chapter who do not meet the age requirements of subsections 4602(15)(b) or (c): Provided, That new occupants of such housing meet the age requirements of subsections 4602(15)(b) or (c);

unoccupied units: Provided, that such units are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet the age requirements of subsections 4602(15)(b) or (c); or

persons under 18 years of age residing in such housing with a person or persons who do meet the age requirements of subsections 4602(15)(b) or (c) provided that,

such person under 18 years of age must move into the housing by reason of death, serious injury, or serious illness of the parent, guardian or person acting in the place of a parent with whom such person under 18 years of age resided immediately before the time of such death, serious injury or serious illness; and

occupancy by the person under 18 years of age is of a temporary nature terminating when reasonably practicable.

Nothing in §4603 of this chapter, other than subsections (b) and (c), shall apply to rentals of rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of such living quarters as his residence.

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex for single sex student dormitories, fraternities, sororities, other housing or portion thereof of an educational institution certified, chartered, or established by the State of Delaware and operated for students of that educational institution.

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from discriminating on the basis of sex for single sex dormitories or portions thereof where such
discrimination on the basis of sex is necessary for the safety of individuals in such dormitories or to preserve the personal privacy of such individuals, unless such organization, association, society or institution restricts its membership on account of race, color, or national origin.

§4608. Administration.

The authority and responsibility for administering this chapter shall be in the State Human Relations Commission.

The Commission may delegate any functions, duties, and powers to employees of the Office of Human Relations, or to members of the Commission, including functions, duties, and powers with respect to investigating, conciliating, hearing, determining, ordering, certifying, reporting or otherwise acting as to any work, business, or matter under this chapter. Insofar as possible, conciliation meetings shall be held in the county where the discriminatory housing practices allegedly occurred.

All executive departments and agencies of the State or any political subdivision thereof shall administer their programs and
activities relating to housing and urban development (including, but not limited to, any agency having regulatory or supervisory authority over financial institutions) in a manner affirmatively to further the purposes of this chapter and shall cooperate with the Commission to further such purposes.

The Commission, in connection with its enforcement of this chapter,

(1) may study the nature and extent of discriminatory housing practices in representative urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the State.

may publish and disseminate reports, recommendations, and
information derived from such studies;

shall cooperate with and render technical assistance to Federal and State agencies, organizations, and institutions which are
formulating or carrying on programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices;

may provide similar assistance to other local public or private agencies, organizations and institutions consistent with the purposes of this chapter; and

shall administer the programs and activities relating to eliminating discriminatory housing practices in a manner affirmatively to further the purpose of this chapter.

§4609 Education and Conciliation.

The Commission may commence such educational and conciliatory activities as in its judgment will further the purposes of this chapter. It may call conferences of persons in the housing industry and other interested parties to acquaint them with the provisions of this chapter and its suggested means of implementing it, and endeavor with their advice to work out programs of voluntary compliance and of enforcement. The Commission may consult with State and local officials and other interested parties to learn the extent, if any, to which housing discrimination exists in the State or locality, and whether and how State or local enforcement programs might be utilized to combat such discrimination in connection with or in place of, the Commission's enforcement of this chapter. The Commission may issue reports on such conferences and consultations as it deems appropriate.

§4610. Administrative Enforcement: Preliminary Matters. (a) Complaints and answers.-

(1) (A) (i) An aggrieved person, not later than one year after an alleged discriminatory housing practice has occurred or terminated, or not later than one year after such practice has been discovered or reasonably should have been discovered by the aggrieved person, may file a complaint with the Commission alleging such discriminatory housing practice. The Commission on its own initiative may also file such a complaint subject to the same time limitations.

Such complaints shall be in writing and shall contain such information and be in such form as the Commission requires.

The Commission may also investigate housing practices to determine whether a complaint should be brought under this chapter.

(13) Upon the filing of such a complaint-

the Commission 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;

the Commission shall, not later than 10 days after such filing or the identification of an additional respondent under paragraph (2), 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;

each respondent may file, not later than 20 days after receipt of notice from the Commission , an answer to such complaint; and

the Commission 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.

If the Commission is unable to complete the investigation within 100 days after the filing of the complaint, the Commission shall notify the complainant and-respondent in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

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 (1), to such person, from the Commission.

(B) Such notice, in addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (1), shall explain the basis for the Commission's belief that the person to whom the notice is addressed is properly joined as a respondent.

(b) Investigative report and conciliation.-

During the period beginning with the filing of such complaint and ending with the filing of a charge or a dismissal by the Commission, the Commission shall, to the extent feasible, engage in conciliation with respect to such complaint.

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 Commission.

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.

Each conciliation agreement shall be made public unless the complainant and respondent otherwise agree and the Commission determines that disclosure is not required to further the purpose of this chapter;

(A) At the end of each investigation under this section, the Commission shall prepare a final investigative report containing-

the names and dates of contacts with witnesses;

a summary and the dates of correspondence and other contacts with the aggrieved person and the respondent;

a summary description of other pertinent records;

a summary of witness statements;

answers to interrogatories; and

such other matters as the Commission 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 Commission has reasonable cause to believe that a respondent has breached a conciliation agreement, the Commission shall refer the matter to the Attorney General with a recommendation that a civil action be filed under section 4614 for the enforcement of such agreement.

(d) Prohibitions and requirements with respect to disclosure of information.-

subsequent proceeding under this chapter without the written consent of the persons whose words or actions are at issue.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Commission shall make available to the aggrieved person and the respondent, at any time, upon request following completion of the Commission's investigation, information derived from an investigation and any final investigative report relating to that investigation.

(e) Prompt judicial action.—

If the Commission 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 Commission 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 may elect to commence and maintain such an action in the Court of Chancery on behalf of the Commission in the name of the Commission 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 section 4612 of this chapter.

If the Attorney General does not elect to pursue such an action, the Commission shall, provided it has the funds available in the Special Administration Fund, employ special counsel to pursue such action in accordance with 29 Del. L. Section 2507. The expenses of
such employment shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of the Special Administration Fund upon the approval of the Commission. Whenever an action under this subsection will be pursued by special counsel, such action shall be commenced promptly after the Commission employs such counsel.

Whenever the Commission has reason to believe that a basis may exist for the commencement of proceedings against any respondent under section 4614(a) and 4614(c) or for proceedings by any governmental licensing or supervisory authorities, the Commission 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.—

The Commission 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 Commission has approved a conciliation agreement with respect to the complaint. If the Commission is unable to make the determination
within 100 days after the filing of the complaint the Commission shall notify the complainant and respondent in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

(A) If the Commission determines that reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the Commission shall, except as provided in
subparagraph (C), immediately issue a charge on behalf of the aggrieved person, for further proceedings under section 4612.

(B) Such charge —

shall consist of a short and plain statement of the facts upon which the Commission has found reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur;

shall be based on the final investigative report; and

need not be limited to the facts or grounds alleged in the complaint filed under section 4610(a).

(C) If the Commission determines that the matter involves the legality of any State or local zoning or other land use law or

ordinance, the Commission shall immediately refer the matter to the Attorney General for appropriate action under section 4614, instead of issuing such charge.

If the Commission determines that no reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the Commission shall promptly dismiss the complaint. The
Commission shall make public disclosure of each such dismissal.

The Commission 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 Commission issues a charge under this section, the Commission shall cause a copy thereof, together with information as to how to make an election under §4612(a) and the effect of such an election, to be served:

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

on each aggrieved person on whose behalf the complaint was filed.

§4611. Subpoenas: Giving of Evidence.

In general.-The Commission may, in accordance with this subsection, issue subpoenas and order discovery in aid of investigations and hearings under this chapter. Such subpoenas and discovery may be ordered to the same extent and subject to the same limitations as would apply if the subpoenas or discovery were ordered or served in aid of a civil action in the Superior Court.

Witness fees - Witnesses summoned by a subpoena under this chapter shall be entitled to the same witness and mileage fees as witnesses in proceedings in Superior Court.

Civil Enforcement - Where any person fails or neglects to attend and testify or answer any lawful inquiry or to produce records, document, or other evidence, if it is in such person's power to do so, in obedience to the subpoena or other lawful order under such subsection (a), the Commission may petition the Superior Court in the county where such person resides or conducts business for an order requiring such person to appear before the Commission to produce evidence if so ordered or to give testimony pertaining to the matter under investigation or in question. Any failure to obey such order may be punished by the court as being in contempt of the court.

Criminal Penalties-

Any person who willfully fails or neglects to attend and testify or to answer any lawful inquiry or to produce records, documents or other evidence, if it is in such person's power to do so, in obedience to the subpoena or other lawful order under subsection (a), shall in each instance be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Any person who, with intent thereby to mislead another person in any proceeding under this chapter-

makes or causes to be made any false entry or statement of fact in any report, account, record, or other document produced pursuant to subpoena or other lawful order under subsection (a);

willfully neglects or fails to make or to cause to be made full, true, and correct entries in such reports, accounts, records, or other documents; or

(C) willfully mutilates, alters, or by any other means falsifies any documentary evidence; shall in each instance be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

§4612. Enforcement by Commission.

(a) Election of judicial determination. — When a charge is issued under section 4610, a complainant, a respondent, or an aggrieved person on whose behalf the complaint was filed, may elect to have the claims asserted in that charge decided in a civil action under subsection (n) in lieu of a hearing under subsection (b). The election must be made not later than 20 days after the receipt by the electing person of service under section 4610(g) or, in the case of the Commission, not later than 20 days after such service. The person making such election shall give notice of doing so to the Commission and to all other parties to the proceeding to whom the charge relates.

(b) Administrative hearing on absence of election. — If an election is not made under subsection (a) with respect to a charge issued under section 4610, the Commission shall provide an opportunity for a hearing on the record. The Commission shall delegate the conduct of a hearing under this section to an Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel appointed by the Commission Chairperson in accordance with regulations established by the Commission. The Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel shall conduct the hearing in the county in which the discriminatory housing practice is alleged to have occurred or to be about to occur.

(c) Rights of parties. — At a hearing under this section, each party may appear in person, be represented by counsel, present evidence, cross—examine witnesses, and obtain the issuance of subpoenas under section 4611. Any aggrieved person may intervene as a party in the proceeding. The Delaware Rules of Evidence shall apply to the presentation of evidence in such hearing as they would in an administrative hearing conducted in accordance with subchapter III of the Administrative Procedures Act.

(d) Expedited discovery and hearing. —

Discovery in administrative proceedings under this section shall be conducted as expeditiously and inexpensively as possible, consistent with the need of all parties to obtain relevant evidence.

A hearing under this section shall be conducted as
expeditiously and inexpensively as possible consistent with the needs and rights of the parties to obtain a fair hearing and a complete record.

The Commission shall, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, issue rules to implement this subsection.

(e) Resolution of charge. Any resolution of a charge before a final order under this section shall require the consent of the aggrieved person on whose behalf the charge is issued.

(f) Effect of trial of civil action on administrative proceedings. An Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel may not continue administrative proceedings under this section regarding any 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) Hearings, findings and conclusions, and order. —

(1) The Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel shall commence the hearing under this section not later than 120 days following the issuance of the charge, unless it is impracticable to do so. If the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel is unable to commence the hearing within 120 days after the issuance of the charge, the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel Chair shall notify the Commission, the aggrieved person on whose behalf the charge was filed, and the respondent, in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

(2) The Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law within 60 days after the end of the hearing under this section, unless it is impracticable to do so. If the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel is unable to make findings of fact and conclusions of law within such period, or any succeeding 60-day period thereafter, the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel Chair shall notify the Commission, the aggrieved person on whose behalf the charge was filed, and the respondent, in writing of the reasons for not doing so.

(3) If the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel finds that a respondent has engaged or is about to engage in a discriminatory housing practice, such administrative hearing officer or panel shall promptly issue an order for such relief as may be appropriate, which may include actual damages suffered by the aggrieved person, costs, expenses, attorneys fees, and injunctive or other equitable relief. Such order may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil penalty against the respondent to be paid to the Special Administration Fund-

in an amount not exceeding $10,000 for each discriminatory practice if the respondent has not been adjudged to have committed any prior discriminatory housing practice;

in an amount not exceeding $25,000 for each discriminatory practice if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed one other discriminatory housing practice during the 5-year period ending on the date of the filing of this charge; and

in an amount not exceeding $50,000 for each discriminatory practice if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed 2 or more discriminatory housing practices during the 7-year period ending on the date of the issuing of this charge; except that if the acts constituting the discriminatory housing practice that is the object of the charge are committed by the same natural person who has been previously adjudged to have committed acts constituting a discriminatory housing practice, then the civil penalties set forth in subparagraphs (B) and (C) may be imposed without regard to the period of time within which any subsequent discriminatory housing practice occurred.

(4) No such order shall affect any contract, sale, encumbrance, or lease consummated before the issuance of such order and involving a bona fide purchaser, encumbrancer, or tenant without actual notice of the charge issued under this chapter.

(5) In the case of an order with respect to a discriminatory housing practice that occurred in the course of a business subject to a licensing or regulation by a governmental agency, the Commission shall, not later than 30 days after the date of the issuance of such order (or, if such order is judicially reviewed, 30 days after such order is in substance affirmed upon such review):

send copies of the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the order, to that governmental agency; and

recommend to that governmental agency appropriate
disciplinary action (including, where appropriate, a reprimand or the suspension or revocation of the license of the respondent).

(6) In the case of an order against a respondent against whom another order was issued within the preceding 5 years under this section, the Commission shall send a copy of each such order to the Attorney General.

(7) If the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel finds that the respondent has not engaged or is not about to engage in a discriminatory housing practice, as the case may be, such Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel shall enter an order dismissing the charge. The Commission shall make public disclosure of each such dismissal.

(h) Service of final order. —

(1) The Commission shall cause the findings of fact and conclusions of law made with respect to any final order for relief under this section, together with a copy of such order, to be served on each aggrieved person and each respondent in the proceeding.

(i) Judicial review. —

Any party aggrieved by a final order for relief under this section granting or denying in whole or in part the relief sought may obtain a review of such order in the Superior Court in the county in which the discriminatory practice is alleged to have occurred pursuant to the civil rules of that court and the Administrative Procedures Act. Filing of the petition for review shall be not later than 30 days after the order is entered.

Any party to the proceeding before the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel may intervene in the Superior Court in the appeal process.

No objection not made before the Administrative Hearing
Officer or Panel shall be considered by the Court, unless the failure or neglect

to urge such objection is excused because of extraordinary circumstances or when the interests of justice so require.

(j) Court enforcement of administrative order upon petition by Commission. —

The Commission may petition the Court of Chancery in the county in which the discriminatory housing practice is alleged to have occurred or in which any respondent resides or transacts business for the enforcement of the order of the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel and for appropriate temporary relief or restraining order, by filing in such court a written petition requesting that such order be enforced and for appropriate temporary relief or restraining order.

The Commission shall file in court with the petition the record in the proceeding. A copy of such petition shall be forthwith
transmitted by the Register in Chancery to the parties to the proceeding before the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel.

Upon the filing of a petition under this subsection (j), the court may grant to the petitioner, or any other party, such temporary relief, restraining order, or other order as the court deems just and proper to enforce the Commission's order.

Any party to the proceeding before the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel may intervene in the Court of Chancery in the enforcement process.

(k) Enforcement Decree in Absence of Petition for Review.— If no petition for review is filed under subsection (i) before the expiration of 30 days after the date the order is entered, the findings of fact and order of the Administrative. Hearing Officer or Panel shall be conclusive in connection with any petition for enforcement—

which is filed by the Commission under subsection (j) after the end of such day; or

under subsection (1).

(1) Court enforcement of administrative order upon petition of any person entitled to relief. If before the expiration of 60 days after the date of the order of the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel is entered, no petition for review has been filed under subsection (i), and the Commission has not sought enforcement of the order under subsection (j), any person entitled to relief under the order may petition for a decree enforcing the order in the Court of Chancery in the county in which the discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur.

Entry of Decree. The Register in Chancery for the court in which a petition for enforcement is filed under subsection (k) or (1) shall forthwith, upon order of the court, enter a decree enforcing the order and shall transmit a copy of such decree to the Commission, the respondent named in the petition, and to any other parties to the proceeding before the Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel.

Civil action for enforcement when election is made for such civil action—

If an election is made under subsection (a), the Commission shall authorize a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved person or persons in the county in which the discriminatory practice is alleged to have occurred. The Commission shall immediately refer the matter to the Attorney General for appropriate action.

Not later than 30 days after the Commission's referral, the Attorney General may elect to pursue a civil action on behalf of the Commission in the name of the aggrieved person or persons. Whenever the Attorney General elects to pursue a civil action under this subsection, such action shall be commenced promptly.

If the Attorney General does not elect to pursue a civil action, the Commission shall, provided it has the funds available in the Special Administration Fund, employ special counsel to pursue such action in accordance with 29 Del. C. §2507. The expenses of such employment shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of the Special Administration Fund upon the approval of the Commission. Whenever a civil action under this subsection will be pursued by special counsel, such action shall be commenced promptly after the Commission employs such counsel.

Any aggrieved person with respect to the issues to be determined in a civil action under this subsection may intervene as of right in that civil action.

In a civil action under this subsection, if the court finds that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the court may grant as relief any relief which a court could grant with respect to such discriminatory housing practice in a civil action under section 4613 or 4614(d)(2)(B). Any relief so granted that would accrue to an aggrieved person in a civil action commenced by that aggrieved person under section 4613 shall also accrue to that aggrieved person in a civil action under this subsection. If monetary relief is sought for the benefit of an aggrieved person who does not intervene in the civil action, the court shall not award such relief if that aggrieved person has not complied with discovery orders entered by the court.

(0) Attorneys' fees and expenses. In any administrative proceeding

brought under this section, or any court proceeding arising therefrom, the Administrative Hearing Officer, Panel or the court, as the case may be, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing aggrieved person or persons, which may include the State, costs, reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses. The Administrative Hearing Officer, Panel or the Court, as the case may be, may order that the attorneys' fees and expenses be paid directly to the attorney, who, when a court enters the order, may enforce the order in the attorneys' name.

§4613. Enforcement by Private Persons. (a) Civil action.

(1) (A) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action in the county in which the discriminating housing practice is alleged to have occurred not later than 2 years after the occurrence or the termination of an alleged discriminatory housing practice, not later than two years after such practice has been discovered or reasonably should have been discovered by the aggrieved person, or not later than two year after the breach of a conciliation agreement entered into under this chapter,

whichever occurs last, to obtain appropriate relief with respect to such discriminatory housing practice or breach.

(B) The computation of such 2-year period shall not include any time during which an administrative proceeding under this chapter was pending with respect to a complaint or charge under this chapter based upon such discriminatory housing practice. This subparagraph does not apply to actions arising from a breach of a conciliation agreement.

An aggrieved person may commence a civil action under this subsection whether or not a complaint has been filed under section 4610 and without regard to the status of any such complaint, but if the Commission has obtained a conciliation agreement with the consent of an aggrieved person, no action may be filed under this subsection by such aggrieved person with respect to the alleged discriminatory housing practice which forms the basis for such complaint except for the purpose of enforcing the terms of such an agreement.

An aggrieved person may not commence a civil action under this subsection with respect to an alleged discriminatory housing practice which forms the basis of a charge issued by the Commission if an Administrative Hearing Officer or Panel has commenced a hearing on the record under this chapter with respect to such charge.

(b) Appointment of attorney by court. Upon application by a person alleging under subsection (a), a discriminatory housing practice or a person against whom such a practice is alleged the court may:

appoint an attorney for such person; or

authorize the commencement or continuation of a civil action under subsection (a) without the payment of fees, costs, or security, if in the opinion of the court such person is financially unable to bear the expenses of such action.

(c) Relief which may be granted.

(1) In a civil action under subsection (a) in Superior Court, if a discriminatory housing practice is found to have occurred the aggrieved person may be awarded actual and punitive damages; and

(2) subject to subsection (d), in a civil action under subsection (a), in the Court of Chancery, if the court finds that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the court, as the court deems appropriate, may grant,

any temporary, preliminary, permanent or mandatory
injunctive relief enjoining the defendant from engaging in such practice;

ordering such affirmative action as may be appropriate; and

such other relief as the court deems appropriate to the fullest extent of its jurisdiction.

(3) In a civil action under subsection (a), the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing aggrieved person or persons, a reasonable attorneys' fees, expenses and costs.

(d) Effect on certain sales, encumbrances, and rentals. Relief granted under this Section shall not affect any lease consummated before the granting of such relief and involving a tenant without actual notice of the filing of a complaint with the commission or civil action under this chapter. Relief granted under this section shall not affect any contract, option, sale, or encumbrance, consummated before the granting of such relief and involving a bona fide purchaser, encumbrancer, or optionee, without either actual notice of the filing of a complaint with the Commission or civil action under this chapter, or notice by Lis Pendens when appropriate under Title 25 Delaware Code Chapter 16.

(e) Intervention by Attorney General. Upon timely application, the

Attorney General may intervene in such civil action, if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance. Upon such intervention the Attorney General may obtain such relief as would be available to the Attorney General under section 4614 in a civil action to which such section applies.

§4614. Enforcement by the Attorney General.

(a) Pattern or Practice cases. Whenever the Attorney General has

reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of any of the rights granted by this chapter, or that any group of persons has been denied any of the rights granted by this chapter and such denial raises an issue of general public importance, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in the Superior Court, Court of Chancery or both in any county of the state.

(b) On referral of discriminatory housing practice or conciliation agreement for enforcement.

(A) The Attorney General may commence a civil action in any State court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief with respect to a discriminatory housing practice referred to the Attorney General by the Commission under §4610(f)(2)(C).

(B) A civil action under this paragraph may be commenced not later than the expiration of 18 months after the date of the occurrence or the termination of the alleged discriminatory housing practice.

(A) The Attorney General may commence a civil action in any State court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief with respect to breach of a conciliation agreement referred to the Attorney General by the Commission under §4610(c).

(B) A civil action may be commenced under this paragraph not later than the expiration of 90 days after the referral of the alleged breach under §4610(c).

(c) Enforcement of subpoenas. The Attorney General, on behalf of the Commission may enforce a subpoena issued by the Commission for itself or other party at whose request a subpoena is issued in appropriate proceedings in the Superior Court for the county in which the person to whom the subpoena was addressed resides, was served, or transacts business.

(d) Relief which may be granted in civil actions under subsections (a) and (b).-

(1) In a civil action brought in the Court of Chancery, the court-

may award such preventive relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order against the person responsible for a violation of this chapter as is necessary to assure the full enjoyment of the rights granted by this chapter;

may allow the prevailing aggrieved person or persons, which may include the State, a reasonable attorneys' fees, expenses and costs; and

may award such other relief as the court deems appropriate, including monetary damages to persons aggrieved.

(2) In a civil action brought in the Superior Court, the court--

may award monetary damages to the aggrieved person or persons;

may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil penalty against the respondent to be paid to the Special Administration Fund--

(ii) in an amount not exceeding $100,000, for any subsequent violation;

may allow the prevailing aggrieved person or persons, which may include the State, a reasonable attorneys' fees, expenses and costs; and

may award such other relief as the court deems appropriate.

(3) In a civil action under subsection(b)(2), the court may award such relief as is enumerated in subsections (d)(1) and (d)(2) above as may be appropriate given the nature of the action initiated and the jurisdiction of the court.

Limitation of fees. Where a civil action is initiated by the
Attorney General, or by the Attorney General or Special Counsel on behalf of the Commission or any aggrieved person, pursuant to the applicable provisions of this chapter, no court or any officer of such court shall charge fees of any kind in such proceeding to the Attorney General, the Commission, Special Counsel or such individual.

Intervention in civil actions. Upon timely application, any person may intervene in a civil action commenced by the Attorney General under subsection (a) or (b) which involves an alleged discriminatory housing practice with respect to which such person is an aggrieved person or a conciliation agreement to which such person is a party. The court may
grant such appropriate relief to any such intervening party as is authorized to be granted to a plaintiff in a civil action under section 4613.

§4615. Fees. Costs and Expenses for Respondent or Defendant.

In any action, pleading or motion under this chapter, the

Administrative Hearing Office, Panel or court hearing or reviewing the matter, may in its discretion, award attorneys' fees, costs and expenses to the respondent or defendant if an action was brought for an improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

§4616. Rules to Implement Chapter.

The Commission may make rules and regulations (including rules for the collection, maintenance, and analysis of appropriate data) to carry out this chapter. The Commission shall give public notice and opportunity for comment with respect to all rules and regulations made under this section in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

§4617. Effect on Other Laws.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to invalidate or limit any law of the State or any political subdivision thereof that grants, guarantees, or protects the same rights as are granted by this chapter, but any law of the State or any political subdivision thereof that purports to require or permit any action that would be a discriminatory housing practice under this chapter shall to that extent be invalid.

§4618. Interference. Coercion or Intimidation.

It shall be unlawful to coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by section 4603, 4604, 4605 or 4606 of this chapter.

§4619. Prohibition of Intimidation. Violations and Penalties.

Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully injures, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with; he is or has been selling, purchasing, renting, financing, occupying, or contracting or negotiating for the sale, purchase, rental, financing or occupation of any dwelling, or applying for participating in any service, organization, or facility relating to the business of selling or renting dwellings; or

(b) any person because he is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from—

participating, without discrimination on account of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status,

age or handicap in any of the activities, services,

organizations or facilities described in subsection (a) of this section; or

affording another person or class of persons opportunity or protection so to participate; or

(c) any citizen because he is or has been, or in order to discourage such citizen or any other citizen from lawfully aiding or encouraging other persons to participate, without discrimination on account of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, marital status, familial status, age or handicap in any of the activities, services, organizations or facilities described in section 4619(a), or participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly opposing any denial of the opportunity to so participate shall be fined for each such act not more than $2,500, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, and if bodily injury results shall be fined for each such act not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and, if death results, for each such act shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life."

Section 2. Amend Chapter 30, Title 31, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new §3005 to read as follows:

"§3005. Special Administration Fund

(a) Creation.-- There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be known as The Special Administration Fund of the Human Relations Commission. This Fund shall consist of:

All civil penalties assessed and collected pursuant to sections 4612 and 4614 of Title 6, Delaware Code.

Costs, attorneys' fees and expenses awarded to the Commission pursuant to sections 4612 and 4614 of Title 6, Delaware Code.

All Community Development Block Grant moneys designated for the administration and enforcement of Chapter 46, Title 6, Delaware Code.

All other moneys specifically designated for this Fund.

All interest on or profits earned by the Special Administration Fund.

(b) Administration.--

All moneys collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited or paid into this Fund and shall be continuously available to the Commission for expenditure in accordance with this section and shall not lapse at any time or be transferred to any other fund. All moneys in this Fund shall be prUdently invested to the credit of this Fund, administered and disbursed in the same manner as is provided by law for other special funds in the State Treasury and such moneys shall be maintained in a separate ledger account on the books of the Secretary of Finance.

All moneys in the Fund which are received from the federal government or any agency thereof or which are appropriated by this State for purposes described in this chapter or sections 4605 and 4606 of Title 6, Delaware Code, shall be expended solely for the proper and efficient administration of this part.

(3) The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of and shall be liable on his official bond for the faithful performance of his duties in connection with the Fund. Such liability on the official bond shall exist in addition to the liability on any separate bond which may be given by the State Treasurer. All sums recovered on any such official bond for losses sustained by the Fund shall be deposited in the Fund.

(c) Use.-- The moneys in the Special Administration Fund may be used by the Commission for:

The payment of litigation expenses, costs and attorneys' fees in connection with the enforcement provisions of Chapters 45 and 46 of Title 6, Delaware Code.

The payment of the expenses of investigations conducted pursuant to Chapters 45 and 46 of Title 6, and Chapter 30 of Title 31, Delaware Code.

The payment of studies and surveys conducted pursuant to Chapter 30 of Title 31, Delaware Code.

(d) Transfer.-- The Commission, whenever it determines that the money in the Special Administration Fund is more than adequate to pay for all foreseeable needs for which this Fund is created, may authorize the transfer therefrom to the General Fund of such amount as it deems proper."

Section 3. If any clause, sentence, section, subsection, provision or part of this Act shall be adjudged to be unconstitutional or invalid for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not impair, invalidate or affect the remainder of this Act which shall remain in full force and effect, and the application of the provision in question to other persons not similarly situated or to other circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Section 4. This Act shall be effective on September 1, 1992. Causes of action accruing prior to the effective date of this Act shall be governed by the provisions of the Delaware Code operative prior to such effective date and those provisions shall remain in effect as to those actions as if this Act were not in effect.

Approved July 6, 1992.