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(a) If upon all the reliable, probative and substantive evidence the Fair Housing Commission determines that the respondent has engaged in, or is engaging in any unlawful discriminatory housing practice alleged in the complaint, the Commission shall state its findings of fact and conclusions and shall issue and cause to be served upon the respondent an order or orders requiring the respondent to cease and desist from such unlawful discriminatory housing practice and to take such further affirmative or other action as shall effectuate the purposes of this chapter, which order may include but shall not be limited to the following specific relief:
(1) An order requiring the respondent to pay compensation in money for any economic losses or damages shown to have been incurred by the complainant as a result of unlawful discriminatory housing practices.
(2) To vindicate the public interest, the Commission may assess a civil penalty against the respondent:
A. In an amount that does not exceed eleven thousand dollars ($11,000) if the respondent has not been adjudged by order of the Commission or a court to have committed a prior unlawful discriminatory housing practice;
B. In an amount that does not exceed twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars ($27,500), if the respondent has been adjudged by order of the Commission or a court to have committed one other unlawful discriminatory housing practice during the five-year period ending on the date of the filing of the charge except as provided by subsection (a)(2)D. hereof;
C. In an amount that does not exceed fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000), if the respondent has been adjudged by order of the Commission or a court to have committed two or more unlawful discriminatory housing practices during the seven-year period ending on the date of the filing of the charge except as provided by subsection (a)(2)D. hereof; and
D. If the acts constituting the unlawful discriminatory housing practice that is the object of the charge are committed by the same individual who has been previously adjudged to have committed acts constituting an unlawful discriminatory housing practice, the civil penalties in subsections (a)(2)B. and C. hereof may be imposed without regard to the period of time within which any other discriminatory housing practice occurred.
(b) At the request of the Commission, the Law Director shall sue to recover a civil penalty due under this section. Funds collected under this section shall be paid to the Treasurer for deposit in the City Treasury to the credit of a special fair housing fund to be established by the City Council for the purposes of administering and implementing this Fair Housing Code.
(c) Upon the submission of acceptable reports of compliance, the Commission may issue a declaratory order stating that the respondent has ceased to engage in unlawful discriminatory housing practices.
(d) If the Commission upon consideration of the record of the proceedings, including any recommendation made by a committee or subcommittee of the Commission or by a hearing officer who has conducted the evidentiary hearing, finds that there is no probable cause to credit the allegations made in the charge, or if, upon consideration of all of the evidence contained in the record, it is determined that the respondent has not engaged in any unlawful discriminatory housing practice, the Commission shall state in writing the findings of fact and conclusions in this regard, and shall issue and cause to be served on the complainant and the respondent, an order dismissing the complaint and charges.
(e) The Commission shall complete and dispose of all administrative proceedings relating to a complaint within one (1) year of the date that the complaint is filed unless it is impracticable to do so. If the Commission is unable to complete the administrative disposition of a complaint within said one (1) year period, it shall notify the parties in writing of the reasons for not doing so.
(f) Any party to the proceeding, claiming to be aggrieved by a final order of the Commission, including a determination by the Commission that a prima-facie case has not been established in support of the charge, may obtain judicial review from such final order by appeal to the Common Pleas Court of Stark County, Ohio, pursuant to Chapter 2506 of the Ohio Revised Code or by such other forum or court of competent jurisdiction as may be provided by law. The filing of the petition for judicial review shall be not later than 30 days after the final order is entered.
(1) Granting to the petitioner, or any other party, such temporary relief, restraining order, or other order as the court deems just and proper;
(2) Affirming, modifying, or setting aside, in whole or in part, the order, or remanding the order for further proceedings; and
(3) Enforcing such order to the extent that such order is affirmed or modified.
(h) Unless an appeal is pending, in the event the respondent fails or refuses to comply with an order issued by the Commission, the Commission shall certify that case, together with the record of its proceedings including the complete transcript thereof, and also the available evidence of noncompliance to the Law Director, and it shall be the duty of the Law Director to seek compliance with the Commission's order by bringing a civil action in the name of the Commission before a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive or other relief as may be necessary and appropriate to enforce compliance with such orders.
(Ord. 12-2020. Passed 2-3-20.)