Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–1403.05. Investigation.

(a) With the exception of complaints alleging unlawful discrimination in residential real estate transactions brought pursuant to this chapter or the FHA, the Office shall serve, within 15 days of said filing, a copy thereof upon the respondent, and upon all persons it deems to be necessary parties; and shall make prompt investigation in connection therewith.

(b) Within 120 days, after service of the complaint upon all parties thereto, the Office shall determine whether, in accord with its own rules, it has jurisdiction; and if so, whether there is probable cause to believe that the respondent has engaged or is engaging in an unlawful discriminatory practice.

(c) If the Office finds, with respect to any respondent, that it lacks jurisdiction or that probable cause does not exist the Director forthwith shall issue and cause to be served on the appropriate parties, an order dismissing the allegations of the complaint.

(d) The Office shall complete investigations of complaints alleging unlawful discrimination in residential real estate transactions brought pursuant to this chapter or the FHA, within 100 days after filing of the complaint. The Office shall notify the parties in writing of the reasons for not timely completing the investigation, if it is unable to or it becomes impracticable to complete the investigation within 100 days.

(e) The Office may join a person not named as an additional or substitute respondent upon written notice for complaints alleging unlawful discrimination in residential real estate transactions brought pursuant to this chapter or the FHA. The Office, in the notice to the respondent shall explain the basis for determining that the person is properly joined as a respondent.

(f) The complainant, respondent, or an aggrieved person on whose behalf the complaint was filed, for complaints alleging unlawful discrimination in residential real estate transactions or violations of the FHA, may elect to have the claims asserted in the complaint decided in a civil action.

(1) An election of remedies, pursuant to this subsection, shall be made no later than 20 days after the service of a charge, based on a finding of probable cause pursuant to the investigation of the complaint.

(2) The person making the election of remedies shall give notice by certified mail to the Director and to all parties to the complaint.

(g) If a timely election is made pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, the Director shall authorize, not later than 30 days after the election is made, and the Corporation Counsel shall file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved party in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Venue for an action pursuant to this section shall be in the District of Columbia. Any aggrieved party may intervene in this court action. The Court may grant relief pursuant to § 2-1403.16(b) if the court finds that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is occurring.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title III, § 305, 24 DCR 6038; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-242, § 2(i), 46 DCR 952.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2545.

1973 Ed., § 6-2285.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1403.04 and § 2-1403.17.