Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–1403.16. Private cause of action.

(a) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful discriminatory practice shall have a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction for damages and such other remedies as may be appropriate, unless such person has filed a complaint hereunder; provided, that where the Office has dismissed such complaint on the grounds of administrative convenience, or where the complainant has withdrawn a complaint, such person shall maintain all rights to bring suit as if no complaint had been filed. No person who maintains, in a court of competent jurisdiction, any action based upon an act which would be an unlawful discriminatory practice under this chapter may file the same complaint with the Office. A private cause of action pursuant to this chapter shall be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction within one year of the unlawful discriminatory act, or the discovery thereof, except that the limitation shall be within 2 years of the unlawful discriminatory act, or the discovery thereof, for complaints of unlawful discrimination in real estate transactions brought pursuant to this chapter or the FHA. The timely filing of a complaint with the Office, or under the administrative procedures established by the Mayor pursuant to § 2-1403.03, shall toll the running of the statute of limitations while the complaint is pending.

(b) The court may grant any relief it deems appropriate, including, the relief provided in §§ 2-1403.07 and 2-1403.13(a).

(c) The notice requirement of § 12-309 shall not apply to any action brought against the District of Columbia under this section.


(Dec. 13, 1977, D.C. Law 2-38, title III, § 316, 24 DCR 6038; Oct. 23, 1997, D.C. Law 12-39, § 2(d), 44 DCR 4856; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-242,§ 2(k), 46 DCR 952; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-189, § 2(i), 49 DCR 6523; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-266, § 3(c), 62 DCR 1540.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2556.

1973 Ed., § 6-2296.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1403.03 and § 2-1403.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-189, in the fourth sentence of subsec. (a), substituted “The timely filing of a complaint with the Office, or under the administrative procedures established by the Mayor pursuant to § 2-1403.03, shall toll the running of the statute of limitations while the complaint is pending.” for “The timely filing of a complaint with the Office shall toll the running of the statute of limitations while the complaint is pending before the Office.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-266 added (c).