04-064-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 29C OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED, AND THE FAIR HOUSING SUPPLEMENT MADE A PART THEREOF.

BY PRESIDENT STAUBER:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 11(b)(1) of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

     (b)  Relief Which May Be Granted.

           (1)  In a civil action under subsection (a), if the court finds that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, the court may award to the plaintiff actual and punitive damages, and subject to subsection(d), may grant as relief, as that the court deems appropriate, including any permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order (including an order enjoining the defendant from engaging in such practice, or ordering such affirmative action as may be appropriate).

     Such relief as may be appropriate, which may The court may award damages that include actual damages suffered by the aggrieved person, including damages for mental anguish or mental suffering;, in an amount of up to three times the amount for all such damages sustained; and injunctive or other equitable relief. Such judgment or order may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil penalty against the respondent,

                 (A)  in an amount not exceeding $11,000 if the respondent has not been adjudged to have committed any prior discretionary housing practice;

                 (B)  in an amount not exceeding $27,500 32,500 if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed one other discriminatory housing practice during the 5-year period ending on the date of the filling of this charge; and

                 (C)  in an amount not exceeding $55,000 60,000 if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed 2 or more discriminatory housing practices during the 7-year period ending on the date of the filing of this charge;

           except that if the acts constituting the discriminatory housing practice that is the object of the charge are committed by the same natural person who has been previously adjudged to have committed acts constituting a discriminatory housing practice, then the civil penalties set forth in subparagraphs (B) and (C) may be imposed without regard to the period of time within which any subsequent discriminatory housing practice occurred.

     Section 2. That Section 1(n) of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

     (n)  “City attorney” means the Duluth city attorney, his/her staff, or an attorney whose services have been secured by the Duluth human rights commission for purposes of processing a case under this ordinance. Any attorney, other than the Duluth city attorney’s staff, shall have no authority to settle any case or claim without approval of the city attorney.

     Section 3. That Section 7(b) of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, amended, be amended to read as follows:

     (b)  Delegation of authority;

           The Duluth human rights commission may delegate any of their functions, duties and power to employees of the City of Duluth Human Rights Office or to boards of such employees, including functions, duties, and powers with respect to investigating, conciliating, hearing, determining, ordering, certifying, reporting, or otherwise acting as to any work, business, or matter under this supplement.

     Section 4. That Section 9 of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, amended, be amended to read as follows:

     Sec. 9.    Subpoenas; Giving of Evidence

     (a)  Enforcement of Subpoenas.–- The City attorney, on behalf of the Duluth human rights commission, or other party at whose request a subpoena is issued, under this supplement, may enforce such subpoena in appropriate proceedings. The human rights officer shall utilize the office of City attorney to obtain and/or enforce a subpoena of persons or documents, or things that are relevant to a charge or investigation.

     Section 5. That Section 8(a)(1) of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, amended, be amended to add a new provision (E), to read as follows:

           (E)  If at any time after the acceptance of a complaint, the human rights officer has reason to believe that prompt judicial action is necessary to carry out the purposes of this supplement, the human rights commission shall authorize the human rights officer to file a petition in district court seeking appropriate temporary relief as authorized in Section 29C-5(2).

     Section 6. That the title to Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 29C-11.     Fair housing Act supplement adopted.

     Section 7. That Section 1 of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, amended, is amended by adding the following after the end of Sec. 1(n):

     (o)  “Creed” means a belief system.

     (p)  “Religion” means a system of beliefs, practices, and rituals relating to the sacred and also uniting its adherents in a community.

     (q)  The definitions set out in or adopted by Duluth City Code Section 29C, or its successor, are operative in this supplement.

     Section 8. That Section 1(m) of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, amended, be amended to read as follows:

     (m)  “Prevailing party” has the same meaning as such term has in section 722 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1988) means a litigant in a court of competent jurisdiction who has brought a claim based upon enforcement of this Fair Housing Supplement, or a defense against such a claim, and has been awarded by the court all, or a significant and important portion of, the relief sought.

     Section 9. That Section 2(a) of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, amended, be amended to read as follows:

     (a)  Nothing in section 804 3 of this supplement (other than subsection (c)) shall apply to–-

     Section 10.That Section 10(c) of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, amended, be amended to read as follows:

     (c)  Attorney’s Fees. In any civil action under section 10, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the City of Duluth, a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs, but not to exceed $1,000 to the City of Duluth or $3,000 to any other prevailing party.

     Section 11.That Section 11(b)(2) of the Fair Housing Supplement, adopted by Section 29C-11 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, amended, be amended to read as follows:

           (2)  In a civil action under subsection (a), the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the City of Duluth, a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs, but not to exceed $1,000 to the City of Duluth or $3,000 to any other prevailing party. The City of Duluth shall be liable for such fees and costs to the same extent as a private person.

     Section 12.That this ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days from and after its passage and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance amends our existing ordinance as suggested by HUD so that the city qualifies for a substantial grant.