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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1207

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO THE ELECTION OF JURY TRIALS IN HAWAII CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION MATTERS.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature feels that all parties involved in a complaint before the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission should be afforded the same rights. Specifically, respondents to a claim should be allowed the same right as the complainant to have their case removed from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and adjudicated by a court of law.

SECTION 2. Section 368-14, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

"368-14 Commission hearings. (a) If, [fifteen] twenty-five-days after service of the final conciliation demand, and neither complainant nor respondent has elected to remove the matter to circuit court pursuant to subsection 368-14(b), the commission finds that conciliation will not resolve the complaint, the commission shall appoint a hearings examiner and schedule a contested case hearing that shall be held in accordance with chapter 91. The case in support of the complaint shall be presented at the hearing by counsel provided by the commission. Following the completion of the contested case hearing, the hearings examiner shall issue a proposed decision containing a statement of reasons including a determination of each issue of fact or law necessary to the proposed decision which shall be served upon the parties. Any party adversely affected by the proposed decision may file exceptions and present argument to the commission which shall consider the whole record or such portions thereof as may be cited by the parties. If the commission finds that unlawful discrimination has occurred, the commission shall issue a decision and order in accordance with chapter 91 requiring the respondent to cease the unlawful practice and to take appropriate remedial action. If there is no finding of discrimination, the commission shall issue an order dismissing the case.

(b) No later than twenty days after the service of the conciliation demand, the complainant or respondent may elect to exercise the right to a jury trial by serving the commission notice to remove the matter to circuit court. The electing party shall be provided with a notice of right to a jury trial, which must be exercised by filing a civil action in circuit court demanding a jury trial within thirty days from the receipt of that notice, otherwise the matter shall be remanded to the commission for contested case hearing as provided under section 368-14(a). The commission will provide legal representation to the complainant in Circuit Court.

[(b)] (c) At any time after a complaint is filed, the commission may file a petition in the circuit court in the circuit in which the subject of the complaint occurred, or in the circuit in which a respondent resides or transacts business, seeking appropriate temporary relief against the respondent, pending final determination of proceedings under this chapter, including an order or decree restraining the respondent from doing or procuring any act tending to render ineffectual any order the commission may enter with respect to the complaint.

The court may grant the temporary relief or restraining order as it deems just and proper, but no relief or order extending beyond five days shall be granted except by consent of the respondent or after hearing upon notice to the respondent and a finding by the court that there is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent has engaged in a discriminatory practice.

If a complaint is dismissed by final order of the commission or a court after a court has granted temporary relief or a restraining order under this subsection, the respondent is entitled to recover from the State damages and costs, not to exceed a total of $500, sustained by reason of the temporary relief or restraining order in an action in the court that granted the temporary relief or restraining order."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

BY REQUEST