2015 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title XXXI - TRADE AND COMMERCE
Chapter 354-A - STATE COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Section 354-A:21-a - Choice of Forum.
354-A:21-a Choice of Forum.
I. Any party 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 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 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 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.
III. The commission may, after a finding of probable cause, bring suit in superior court at its own expense on behalf of an aggrieved person in housing discrimination cases.
Source. 2000, 277:6. 2006, 126:5, 6, eff. July 1, 2006.
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