§ 8-3-218. Civil actions by Attorney General.

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, 521, 523-526, 533, 536-541, 544, 545, 550, 551, 553, 557, 562, 568, 570, 571, 590, 595-597, 599, 600, 602-606

§ 8-3-218. Civil actions by Attorney General

(a) Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of any of the rights granted by this article or that any group of persons has been denied any of the rights granted by this article and such denial raises an issue of general public importance, the Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate superior court.
(b)
(1) The Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate superior court for appropriate relief with respect to a discriminatory housing practice referred to the Attorney General by the administrator under paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of Code Section 8-3-211. A civil action brought under this paragraph may be commenced not later than 180 days from the date a reasonable cause determination is issued by the administrator.
(2) The Attorney General may commence a civil action in any appropriate superior court for appropriate relief with respect to breach of a conciliation agreement referred to the Attorney General by the administrator under subsection (d) of Code Section 8-3-209. A civil action brought under this paragraph may be commenced not later than the expiration of 90 days after the referral of the alleged breach under subsection (d) of Code Section 8-3-209.
(c) The Attorney General, on behalf of the administrator or other party at whose request a subpoena is issued under this article, may enforce such subpoena in appropriate proceedings in the superior court for the county in which the person to whom the subpoena was addressed resides, was served, or transacts business.
(d)
(1) In a civil action brought under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section, the court:
(A) May award such preventive relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order against the persons responsible for a violation of this article as is necessary to assure the full enjoyment of the rights granted by this article;
(B) May award such other relief as the court deems appropriate, including actual damages to persons aggrieved; and
(C) May, to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil penalty against the respondent:
(i) In an amount not exceeding $50,000.00 for a first violation; or
(ii) In an amount not exceeding $100,000.00 for any subsequent violation.
(2) In a civil action brought under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section, the court in its discretion may allow the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and costs; provided, however, that a respondent may be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and court costs only upon a showing that the action is frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.
(e) Upon timely application, any person may intervene in a civil action commenced by the Attorney General under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section which involves an alleged discriminatory housing practice with respect to which such person is an aggrieved person or a conciliation agreement to which such person is a party. The court may grant such appropriate relief to any such intervening party as is authorized to be granted to a plaintiff in a civil action under Code Section 8-3-217.

Cite as OCGA § 8-3-218