Email WV Code

Email: Chapter 5, Article 11A, Section 14

§5-11A-14. Enforcement by private persons; civil actions; appointed attorneys; remedies; bona fide purchasers; intervention by Attorney General.

(a) (1) (A) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action in an appropriate circuit 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.

(B) 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 subparagraph does not apply to actions arising from a breach of a conciliation agreement.

(2) An aggrieved person may commence a civil action under this subsection whether or not a complaint has been filed under subsection (a), section eleven of this article and without regard to the status of any such complaint, but if the commission 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 an agreement.

(3) 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 commission if an administrative law judge has commenced a hearing on the record under this article with respect to such charge.

(b) Upon application by a person alleging a discriminatory housing practice, the court may: (1) Appoint an attorney for such person; or (2) authorize the commencement or continuation of a civil action under subsection (a) of this section without the payment of fees, costs or security, if in the opinion of the court such person is financially unable to bear the costs of such action.

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

(2) In a civil action under subsection (a) of this section, the court, in its discretion, may allow a prevailing complainant a reasonable attorney's fee and costs.

(d) Relief granted under this section shall not affect any contract, sale, encumbrance or lease consummated before the granting of such relief and involving a bona fide purchaser, encumbrancer or tenant without actual notice of the filing of a complaint with the commission or civil action under this section.

(e) 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 subsection (d), section fifteen of this article in a civil action to which such section applies.