Status: SENATE: REREFERRED (Details)
Length: 663 words.
Revisions of this bill in our system:
|Public hearing:||2009-03-03 14:00:00 LOB 208||2009-05-26 00:00:00|
|Executive session:||2009-03-09 11:00:00||(unscheduled)|
|Floor vote:||2009-03-25 00:00:00||(unscheduled)|
HB 686 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 686
This bill limits the complainant’s right to remove the case for jury trial to superior court in a case before the human rights commission.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine
AN ACT relative to complaint procedures in cases before the commission for human rights.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 State Commission for Human Rights; Complaint Procedures; Choice of Forum. Amend RSA 354-A:21-a, I-II to read as follows:
Any party] A complainant alleging to be aggrieved by any practice made unlawful under this chapter may, at the expiration of 180 days after the timely filing of a complaint with the commission, or sooner if the commission assents in writing, but not later than 3 years after the alleged unlawful practice occurred, bring a civil action for damages or injunctive relief or both, in the superior court for the county in which the alleged unlawful practice occurred or in the county of residence of the party. [ Any party alleged to have committed any practice made unlawful under this chapter may, in any case in which a determination of probable cause has been made by the investigating commissioner, remove said complaint to superior court for trial.] A court in cases so removed may award all damages and relief which could have been awarded by the commission, except that in lieu of an administrative fine, enhanced compensatory damages may be awarded when the court finds the respondent's discriminatory conduct to have been taken with willful or reckless disregard of the charging party's rights under this chapter. A superior court trial shall not be available to [ any party] the complainant if a hearing before the commission has begun or has concluded pursuant to RSA 354-A:21, II(b), or to a complainant whose charge has been dismissed as lacking in probable cause who has not prevailed on an appeal to superior court pursuant to RSA 354-A:21, II(a). In superior court, either party is entitled to a trial by jury on any issue of fact in an action for damages regardless of whether the [ complaining party] complainant seeks affirmative relief.
II. The charging party shall notify the commission of the filing of any superior court action[
, and the respondent shall notify the commission of the removal to superior court after a finding of probable cause]. After such notice, the commission shall dismiss the complaint without prejudice. A [ party] complainant electing to file a civil action with the superior court under paragraph I shall be barred from bringing any subsequent complaint before the commission based upon the same alleged unlawful discriminatory practice.
2 State Commission for Human Rights; Complaint Procedures; Choice of Forum. Amend RSA 354-A:21, II(a) to read as follows:
(a) After the filing of any complaint, one of the commissioners designated by the chair shall make, with the assistance of the commission's staff, prompt investigation in connection therewith; during the course of the investigation, the commission shall encourage the parties to resolve their differences through settlement negotiations; and if such commissioner shall determine after such investigation that probable cause exists for crediting the allegations of the complaint, the commissioner shall immediately endeavor to eliminate the unlawful discriminatory practice complained of by conference, conciliation and persuasion. The members of the commission and its staff shall not disclose what has occurred in the course of such endeavors, provided that the commission may publish the facts in the case of any complaint which has been dismissed, and the terms of conciliation when the complaint has been so disposed of. When the investigating commissioner finds no probable cause to credit the allegations in the complaint, the complaint shall be dismissed, subject to a right of appeal to superior court. To prevail on appeal, the moving party shall establish that the commission decision is unlawful or unreasonable by a clear preponderance of the evidence. The findings of the investigating commissioner upon questions of fact shall be upheld as long as the record contains credible evidence to support them. If it reverses the finding of the investigating commissioner, the superior court shall remand the case for further proceedings in accordance with RSA 354-A:21, II, unless the complainant [
or respondent] elects to proceed with a hearing in superior court pursuant to RSA 354-A:21-a.
3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2010.