Bates v. NevaAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff, who leased commercial property from Defendant, filed a complaint with the Montana Human Rights Bureau, alleging that Defendant violated the Montana Human Rights Act (MHRA) by sexually harassing her. The Montana Human Rights Commission ruled that Plaintiff could proceed with her claim because the MHRA “prohibits unlawful discrimination in commercial property transactions, as well as all other real estate transactions.” The district court vacated the Commission’s decision and reinstated the hearing officer’s, ruling that the Commission violated Defendant’s right to due process by analyzing Plaintiff’s action under the MHRA’s real estate provisions. The Supreme Court remanded, directing the district court to resolve the issue that formed the alternate basis for Defendant’s challenge to the Commission’s decision - whether the MHRA’s real estate provisions applied to Plaintiff’s commercial lease. On remand, the district court ruled that the MHRA’s real estate provisions prohibit discrimination in commercial real estate transactions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the MHRA applies to Plaintiff’s commercial lease.