§ 8-3-217. Civil actions by aggrieved persons.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 8. BUILDINGS AND HOUSING

Chapter 3. HOUSING GENERALLY

Article 4. FAIR HOUSING

Current through 2019-2020 Chapters 1-469, 473, 476-478, 481-485, 487-489, 493, 494, 500, 502, 509, 515, 519, 521, 523-526, 533, 536-541

§ 8-3-217. Civil actions by aggrieved persons

(a)
(1) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action in an appropriate superior court not later than two years after the occurrence or the termination of an alleged discriminatory housing practice or the breach of a conciliation agreement entered into under this article, whichever occurs last, to obtain appropriate relief with respect to such discriminatory housing practice or breach of a conciliation agreement.
(2) The computation of such two-year period shall not include any time during which an administrative proceeding under this article was pending with respect to a complaint or charge under this article based upon such discriminatory housing practice. This paragraph does not apply to actions arising from a breach of a conciliation agreement.
(3) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action under this subsection whether or not a complaint has been filed under Code Section 8-3-208 and without regard to the status of any such complaint, but if the administrator has obtained a conciliation agreement with the consent of an aggrieved person, no action may be filed under this subsection by such aggrieved person with respect to the alleged discriminatory housing practice which forms the basis for such complaint except for the purpose of enforcing the terms of such conciliation agreement.
(4) An aggrieved person may not commence a civil action under this subsection with respect to an alleged discriminatory housing practice which forms the basis of a charge issued by the administrator if the board of commissioners has commenced a hearing on the record under this article with respect to such charge.
(b)
(1) The court may grant as relief, as it deems appropriate, any permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order and may award to the plaintiff reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, actual damages, and punitive damages not to exceed penalties permitted by the federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. Section 3601, et seq., as amended. Punitive damages may be awarded under this article only when the evidence shows that the respondent's actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences or to the rights of the aggrieved party.
(2) Where it is proved that the aggrieved party took an active part in the initiation, continuation, or procurement of civil proceedings against a respondent, the aggrieved party may be liable for abusive litigation as provided for in Article 5 of Chapter 7 of Title 51.
(c) Relief granted under this Code section shall not affect any contract, sale, encumbrance, or lease consummated before the granting of such relief and involving a bona fide purchaser, lessee, or tenant without actual notice of a complaint filed with the administrator or civil action under this Code section.
(d) Upon timely application, the Attorney General may intervene in such civil action if the Attorney General certifies that the case is of general public importance. Upon such intervention, the Attorney General may obtain such relief as would be available to the Attorney General under Code Section 8-3-218 in a civil action to which such Code section applies.

Cite as OCGA § 8-3-217