CHAPTER 814c
HUMAN RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 46a-54. (Formerly Sec. 31-125). Commission powers.
Sec. 46a-55. (Formerly Sec. 31-125a). Commission legal counsel.
Sec. 46a-58. (Formerly Sec. 53-34). Deprivation of rights. Desecration of property. Cross burning. Penalty.
Sec. 46a-60. (Formerly Sec. 31-126). Discriminatory employment practices prohibited.
Sec. 46a-64c. Discriminatory housing practices prohibited. Disposition of complaints. Penalty.
Sec. 46a-68. (Formerly Sec. 4-61s). State affirmative action plans; filing; monitoring; reports; affirmative action officers; regulations.
Sec. 46a-82e. Jurisdiction over complaints despite failure to comply with time requirements. Annual report. Delay in issuance of finding. Remedies. Court order.
Sec. 46a-83. Complaint: Review; dismissal; investigation; finding; reconsideration; attempt to eliminate discriminatory practice; default order.
Sec. 46a-86. Complaint: Determination; orders; dismissal. Treatment of discrimination awards.
Sec. 46a-89. (Formerly Sec. 31-127a). Petition for temporary injunctive relief re discriminatory employment practices. Petition for injunctive relief, punitive damages or civil penalty re discriminatory housing or public accommodations practices.

PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

      Sec. 46a-54. (Formerly Sec. 31-125). Commission powers. The commission shall have the following powers and duties:

      (1) To establish and maintain such offices as the commission may deem necessary;

      (2) To organize the commission into a division of affirmative action monitoring and contract compliance, a division of discriminatory practice complaints and such other divisions, bureaus or units as may be necessary for the efficient conduct of business of the commission;

      (3) To employ legal staff and commission legal counsel as necessary to perform the duties and responsibilities under section 46a-55. One commission legal counsel shall serve as supervising attorney. Each commission legal counsel shall be admitted to practice law in this state;

      (4) To appoint such investigators and other employees and agents as it deems necessary, fix their compensation within the limitations provided by law and prescribe their duties;

      (5) To adopt, publish, amend and rescind regulations consistent with and to effectuate the provisions of this chapter;

      (6) To establish rules of practice to govern, expedite and effectuate the procedures set forth in this chapter;

      (7) To recommend policies and make recommendations to agencies and officers of the state and local subdivisions of government to effectuate the policies of this chapter;

      (8) To receive, initiate as provided in section 46a-82, investigate and mediate discriminatory practice complaints;

      (9) By itself or with or by hearing officers or human rights referees, to hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath and require the production for examination of any books and papers relating to any matter under investigation or in question;

      (10) To make rules as to the procedure for the issuance of subpoenas by individual commissioners, hearing officers and human rights referees;

      (11) To require written answers to interrogatories under oath relating to any complaint under investigation pursuant to this chapter alleging any discriminatory practice as defined in subdivision (8) of section 46a-51, and to adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, for the procedure for the issuance of interrogatories and compliance with interrogatory requests;

      (12) To utilize such voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may from time to time be offered and needed and with the cooperation of such agencies, (A) to study the problems of discrimination in all or specific fields of human relationships, and (B) to foster through education and community effort or otherwise good will among the groups and elements of the population of the state;

      (13) To require the posting by an employer, employment agency or labor organization of such notices regarding statutory provisions as the commission shall provide;

      (14) To require the posting, by any respondent or other person subject to the requirements of section 46a-64, 46a-64c, 46a-81d or 46a-81e, of such notices of statutory provisions as it deems desirable;

      (15) (A) To require an employer having three or more employees to post in a prominent and accessible location information concerning the illegality of sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment; and (B) to require an employer having fifty or more employees to provide two hours of training and education to all supervisory employees within one year of October 1, 1992, and to all new supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position, provided any employer who has provided such training and education to any such employees after October 1, 1991, shall not be required to provide such training and education a second time. Such training and education shall include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment. As used in this subdivision, "sexual harassment" shall have the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (8) of subsection (a) of section 46a-60, and "employer" shall include the General Assembly;

      (16) To require each state agency that employs one or more employees to (A) provide a minimum of three hours of diversity training and education (i) to all supervisory and nonsupervisory employees, not later than July 1, 2002, with priority for such training to supervisory employees, and (ii) to all newly hired supervisory and nonsupervisory employees, not later than six months after their assumption of a position with a state agency, with priority for such training to supervisory employees. Such training and education shall include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning discrimination and hate crimes directed at protected classes and remedies available to victims of discrimination and hate crimes, standards for working with and serving persons from diverse populations and strategies for addressing differences that may arise from diverse work environments; and (B) submit an annual report to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities concerning the status of the diversity training and education required under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision. The information in such annual reports shall be reviewed by the commission for the purpose of submitting an annual summary report to the General Assembly. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if a state agency has provided such diversity training and education to any of its employees prior to October 1, 1999, such state agency shall not be required to provide such training and education a second time to such employees. The requirements of this subdivision shall be accomplished within available appropriations. As used in this subdivision, "employee" shall include any part-time employee who works more than twenty hours per week;

      (17) To require each agency to submit information demonstrating its compliance with subdivision (16) of this section as part of its affirmative action plan and to receive and investigate complaints concerning the failure of a state agency to comply with the requirements of subdivision (16) of this section; and

      (18) To enter into contracts for and accept grants of private or federal funds and to accept gifts, donations or bequests, including donations of service by attorneys.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7404; September, 1957, P.A. 11, S. 13; 1967, P.A. 210, S. 1; 715, S. 1; P.A. 75-216, S. 1, 2; 75-597; P.A. 77-452, S. 62, 72; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 80-422, S. 3; 80-483, S. 91, 186; P.A. 81-81, S. 4; P.A. 84-88; P.A. 88-317, S. 97, 107; P.A. 89-332, S. 2, 7; P.A. 90-246, S. 6; P.A. 91-58, S. 21; 91-302, S. 2, 5; P.A. 92-85; P.A. 98-245, S. 9, 14; P.A. 99-180, S. 1; P.A. 01-53, S. 3; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 190; P.A. 05-201, S. 1.)

      History: 1967 acts empowered commission to require posting of notices regarding statutory provisions by employer, employment agency or labor organization and imposed maximum fine of two hundred fifty dollars for failure to do so and authorized establishment of offices the commission deems necessary rather than of a single office in Hartford; P.A. 75-216 empowered commission to require written answers to interrogatories re complaints under investigation and added provisions re court action when interrogatories are not answered; P.A. 75-597 empowered commission to enter into contracts for and accept federal funds; P.A. 77-452 replaced court of common pleas with superior court where appearing; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 80-422 replaced alphabetic Subdiv. indicators with numeric indicators, deleted provisions re procedures for court action when commission's powers are defied, re penalties associated with failure to recognize commission's powers, etc. and re commission's annual report to the governor and empowered commission to employ commission counsel, to establish rules of practice and to require posting of notice re statutory provisions at places of public accommodation, resort or amusement; P.A. 80-483 corrected faulty section reference; Sec. 31-125 transferred to Sec. 46a-54 in 1981; P.A. 81-81 amended Subdiv. (10) by adding reference to Sec. "47a-2a" which was subsequently transferred and redesignated Sec. 46a-64a; P.A. 84-88 amended Subdiv. (10) to require written answers to interrogatories under oath to any complaint alleging any discriminatory practice and added provision re regulations concerning procedure for issuance of and compliance with interrogatories; P.A. 88-317 substituted hearing "officers" for hearing "examiners" in Subdivs. (8) and (9), effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 89-332 added new Subdiv. (2) re organization of commission into division of affirmative action monitoring, division of discriminatory practice complaints and such other divisions and units as necessary and renumbered remaining Subdivs; P.A. 90-246 amended Subdiv. (14) by replacing requirement that posting be at place of public accommodation, resort or amusement with requirement that posting be by respondent or other person subject to requirements of Sec. 46a-64 or 46a-64c; P.A. 91-58 amended Subdiv. (14) to add reference to Secs. 46a-81d and 46a-81e; P.A. 91-302 amended Subdiv. (15) to permit acceptance of private funds and gifts, donations or bequests, including donations of service by attorneys; P.A. 92-85 inserted new Subdiv. (15) re requiring that employers of three or more employees post information re sexual harassment and remedies available to victims and that employers of fifty or more employees provide two hours training and education re sexual harassment to all supervisory employees, renumbering former Subdiv. (15) as (16); P.A. 98-245 amended Subdivs. (9) and (10) by adding reference to human rights referees, effective July 1, 1998, and applicable to all cases pending with the commission or in the courts and cases filed on or after said date; P.A. 99-180 added a new Subdiv. (16) to establish a three-hour diversity training and education requirement for all state agencies, to establish a related annual reporting requirement for all state agencies and the commission and added a new Subdiv. (17) to require the commission to receive and investigate complaints about a state agency's failure to comply with the newly established diversity training requirement, renumbering former Subdiv. (16) as (18); P.A. 01-53 made technical changes in Subdivs. (11) and (12), amended Subdiv. (16) by extending date for completion of training from January 1, 2001, to July 1, 2002, and adding definition of "employee" to include part-time employee who works more than twenty hours per week, and amended Subdiv. (17) to require agency to demonstrate compliance with training requirement as part of affirmative action plan; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 amended Subdiv. (3) to authorize the commission to employ "legal staff as necessary to perform the duties and responsibilities under section 46a-55" rather than "a commission counsel who shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter 67", effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 05-201 amended Subdiv. (3) by adding provisions re commission legal counsel, supervising attorney and admission to practice law, effective July 6, 2005.

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      Sec. 46a-55. (Formerly Sec. 31-125a). Commission legal counsel. The executive director, through the supervising attorney, shall assign a commission legal counsel to represent the commission in any proceeding wherein any state agency or state officer is an adversary party and in such other matters as the commission and the Attorney General may jointly prescribe.

      (1967, P.A. 715, S. 2; P.A. 80-422, S. 4; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 93; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 191; P.A. 05-201, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 80-422 rephrased provisions and authorized counsel to represent commission in proceeding where state officers are adversary parties; Sec. 31-125a transferred to Sec. 46a-55 in 1981; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 required commission counsel to report to the executive director on a day-to-day basis and required executive director to evaluate the performance of the commission counsel, effective August 15, 2002; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced "The commission counsel shall represent the commission" with "The executive director shall assign a commission legal counsel to represent the commission", replaced "The commission counsel" with "Each commission legal counsel" and deleted provision requiring the executive director to evaluate the performance of the commission counsel, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 05-201 added provision re assignment through the supervising attorney and deleted provisions re representation of commission, bar membership and reports, effective July 6, 2005.

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PART II
DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES

      Sec. 46a-58. (Formerly Sec. 53-34). Deprivation of rights. Desecration of property. Cross burning. Penalty. (a) It shall be a discriminatory practice in violation of this section for any person to subject, or cause to be subjected, any other person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities, secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of this state or of the United States, on account of religion, national origin, alienage, color, race, sex, blindness or physical disability.

      (b) Any person who intentionally desecrates any public property, monument or structure, or any religious object, symbol or house of religious worship, or any cemetery, or any private structure not owned by such person, shall be in violation of subsection (a). For purposes of this subsection, "desecrate" means to mar, deface or damage as a demonstration of irreverence or contempt.

      (c) Any person who places a burning cross or a simulation thereof on any public property, or on any private property without the written consent of the owner, shall be in violation of subsection (a) of this section.

      (d) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor, except that if property is damaged as a consequence of such violation in an amount in excess of one thousand dollars, such person shall be guilty of a class D felony.

      (1949 Rev., S. 8374; P.A. 74-80; P.A. 77-278, S. 1; P.A. 80-54; 80-422, S. 7; P.A. 84-15; P.A. 05-288, S. 155.)

      History: P.A. 74-80 applied penalty to discrimination based on sex and specified violation as class A misdemeanor, deleting penalty of maximum fine of one thousand dollars and/or maximum imprisonment of one year; P.A. 77-278 applied penalty to discrimination based on blindness or physical disability; P.A. 80-54 applied penalty to discrimination based on religion or national origin and added Subsecs. (b) and (c) re desecration of property and burning crosses on property; P.A. 80-422 rephrased Subsec. (a) and designated penalty provision formerly in Subsec. (a) as Subsec. (d); Sec. 53-34 transferred to Sec. 46a-58 in 1981; P.A. 84-15 amended Subsec. (d) by increasing the penalty to a class D felony if property is damaged in an amount in excess of one thousand dollars; P.A. 05-288 made a technical change in Subsec. (c), effective July 13, 2005.

      Subsec. (a):

      Trial court should not have remanded case to referee because employer was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law where plaintiff was denied promotion because of failure to obtain same license as required for prior job occupants and where license requirement was a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason and not pretextual. 272 C. 457.

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      Sec. 46a-60. (Formerly Sec. 31-126). Discriminatory employment practices prohibited.

      Subsec. (a):

      Trial court should not have remanded case to referee because employer was entitled to judgment as a matter of law where plaintiff was denied promotion because of failure to obtain same license as required for prior job occupants and where license requirement was a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason and not pretextual. 272 C. 457.

      Subdiv. (7): Trial court's finding of discriminatory practice affirmed, contrary to defendant's assertions, plaintiff's claim of discriminatory practice does not fail merely because evidence offered to prove defendant's violation of that subparagraph arose out of an incident that is also arguably within purview of another subparagraph under same statutory subdivision. 88 CA 60.

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      Sec. 46a-64c. Discriminatory housing practices prohibited. Disposition of complaints. Penalty.

      Subsec. (f):

      Trial court improperly granted defendants' motions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, there being no evidence that legislature, in imposing time limitation in subsec., intended for time limitation to serve as a jurisdictional bar; although use of "shall" reflected legislature's intent to have Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities fulfill its obligation to investigate and issue final determination within time limitation set forth in subsec., that obligation must be read in conjunction with statutory proviso "unless it is impracticable to do so," an indication of legislature's intention to provide a condition under which commission's noncompliance is excused. 273 C. 373.

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      Sec. 46a-68. (Formerly Sec. 4-61s). State affirmative action plans; filing; monitoring; reports; affirmative action officers; regulations. (a) Each state agency, department, board and commission shall develop and implement, in cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, an affirmative action plan that commits the agency, department, board or commission to a program of affirmative action in all aspects of personnel and administration. Such plan shall be developed pursuant to regulations adopted by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities in accordance with chapter 54 to ensure that affirmative action is undertaken as required by state and federal law to provide equal employment opportunities and to comply with all responsibilities under the provisions of sections 4-61u to 4-61w, inclusive, sections 46a-54 to 46a-64, inclusive, section 46a-64c and sections 46a-70 to 46a-78, inclusive. The executive head of each such agency, department, board or commission shall be directly responsible for the development, filing and implementation of such affirmative action plan.

      (b) (1) Each state agency, department, board or commission shall designate a full-time or part-time affirmative action officer. If such affirmative action officer is an employee of the agency, department, board or commission, the executive head of the agency, department, board or commission shall be directly responsible for the supervision of the officer.

      (2) The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities shall provide training and technical assistance to affirmative action officers in plan development and implementation.

      (3) The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women shall provide training concerning state and federal discrimination laws and techniques for conducting internal investigations of discrimination complaints to persons designated by state agencies, departments, boards or commissions as affirmative action officers and persons designated by the Attorney General or the Attorney General's designee to represent such agencies, boards, departments or commissions pursuant to subdivision (5) of this subsection. Such training shall be provided for a minimum of ten hours during the first year of service or designation, and a minimum of five hours per year thereafter.

      (4) Each person designated by a state agency, department, board or commission as an affirmative action officer shall (A) be responsible for mitigating any discriminatory conduct within the agency, department, board or commission, (B) investigate all complaints of discrimination made against the state agency, department, board or commission, (C) report all findings and recommendations upon the conclusion of an investigation to the commissioner or director of the state agency, department, board or commission for proper action, and (D) complete ten hours of training provided by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection.

      (5) No person designated by a state agency, department, board or commission as an affirmative action officer shall represent such agency, department, board or commission before the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If a complaint of discrimination is filed with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a state agency, department, board or commission, the Attorney General, or a designee of the Attorney General, other than the affirmative action officer for such agency, board, department or commission, shall represent the state agency, board, department or commission before the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

      (c) Each state agency, department, board and commission shall file an affirmative action plan developed in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, semiannually, except that any state agency, department, board or commission which has an affirmative action plan approved by the commission may be permitted to file its plan on an annual basis in a manner prescribed by the commission and any state agency, department, board or commission that employs twenty or fewer full-time employees shall file its affirmative action plan biennially.

      (d) The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities shall review and formally approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the content of such affirmative action plans within ninety days of the submission of each plan to the commission. If the commissioners, by a majority vote of those present and voting, fail to approve, conditionally approve or disapprove a plan within that period, the plan shall be deemed to be approved.

      (e) The Commissioner of Administrative Services and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall cooperate with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to insure that the State Personnel Act and personnel regulations are administered, and that the process of collective bargaining is conducted by all parties in a manner consistent with the affirmative action responsibilities of the state.

      (f) The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities shall monitor the activity of such plans within each state agency, department, board and commission and report to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before April first of each year concerning the results of such plans.

      (g) The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to carry out the requirements of this section. Such regulations shall include a schedule for semiannual, annual and biennial filing of plans.

      (P.A. 75-536, S. 1-3; P.A. 77-614, S. 66, 610; P.A. 79-255; P.A. 80-422, S. 16; P.A. 83-569, S. 12, 17; P.A. 84-41, S. 1, 2; P.A. 87-255; P.A. 90-246, S. 7; P.A. 99-233, S. 6, 7; P.A. 01-53, S. 1, 2; P.A. 03-151, S. 1; P.A. 05-287, S. 54.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 replaced department of personnel and administration, i.e. personnel department, with department of administrative services in Subsec. (a); P.A. 79-255 replaced department of administrative services with commission on human rights and opportunities, added exception re annual filing and required approval of plan within seventy-five rather than sixty days in Subsec. (b) and added Subsec. (d) re adoption of regulations; P.A. 80-422 updated section listing in Subsec. (a), designated provision re deadline for approval as Subsec. (c), deleted provisions re proceedings upon commission's issuance of complaint for failure to submit plan or submission of plan which violates laws and redesignated former Subsecs. (c) and (d) accordingly; Sec. 4-61s transferred to Sec. 46a-68 in 1981; P.A. 83-569 amended section to require designation of full or part-time affirmative action officers trained by commission, to eliminate specified filing dates for plans, to require formal approval or disapproval of plans within seventy-five days and to require the commissioner of administrative services and the secretary of the office of policy and management to cooperate with the commission to insure that state personnel act and regulations and the collective bargaining process are administered and conducted in a manner consistent with the affirmative action responsibilities of the state; P.A. 84-41 amended Subsec. (d) increasing length of time for commission to review plans from seventy-five to ninety days and providing if commissioners, by a majority of those "present and voting", fail to approve or disapprove plan, the plan shall be deemed approved; P.A. 87-255 added provisions in Subsec. (a) re direct responsibility for development, filing and implementation of affirmative action plan and added provisions in Subsec. (b) re direct responsibility for supervision of affirmative action officer; P.A. 90-246 amended Subsec. (a) by adding reference to Sec. 46a-64c; P.A. 99-233 amended Subsec. (d) to provide for conditional approval of plans, effective June 29, 1999; P.A. 01-53 amended Subsec. (c) by adding provision re biennial filing of affirmative action plans by state agency or department with twenty or fewer full-time employees and amended Subsec. (g) by adding reference to biennial filing of plans; P.A. 03-151 amended Subsec. (b) by dividing existing provisions into Subdivs. (1) and (2) and adding new Subdivs. (3) to (5), inclusive, requiring CHRO and PCSW to annually provide at least ten hours of discrimination training to affirmative action officers and other persons designated to represent state agencies, boards, departments and commissions before the EEOC or CHRO, and specifying duties, responsibilities and proscriptions for affirmative action officers; P.A. 05-287 amended Subsec. (b)(3) to apply ten-hour training requirement to first year of service only and to require a minimum of five hours of training per year thereafter.

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PART III
DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

      Sec. 46a-82e. Jurisdiction over complaints despite failure to comply with time requirements. Annual report. Delay in issuance of finding. Remedies. Court order. (a) Notwithstanding the failure of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to comply with the time requirements of sections 46a-83 and 46a-84 with respect to a complaint before the commission, the jurisdiction of the commission over any such complaint shall be retained.

      (b) The commission shall report annually to the judiciary committee of the General Assembly and the Governor: (1) The number of cases in the previous fiscal year that exceeded the time frame, including authorized extensions, set forth in subsection (d) of section 46a-83; (2) the reasons for the failure to comply with the time frame; (3) the number of actions brought pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and the results thereof; and (4) the commission's recommendations for legislative action, if any, necessary for the commission to meet the statutory time frame.

      (c) If a complaint has been pending for more than twenty-one months from the date of filing and the commission has not issued a finding of reasonable cause or no reasonable cause, the executive director shall send a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, advising the complainant of his right to request a release of jurisdiction in accordance with section 46a-101. The executive director or his designee shall investigate the cause for the delay in issuing a finding. After such investigation, the executive director may, given the facts and circumstances of the case, schedule a date certain for issuance of a finding of reasonable cause or no reasonable cause.

      (d) (1) If a complaint has been pending for more than two years after the date of filing pursuant to section 46a-82, and if the investigator fails to issue a finding of reasonable cause or no reasonable cause by the date ordered by the executive director of the commission pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the complainant or respondent may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford for an order requiring the commission to issue a finding of reasonable cause or no reasonable cause by a date certain. The petitioner shall submit the petition on forms prescribed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator.

      (2) The clerk, upon receipt of the petition and if the clerk finds it to be in the proper form, shall fix a date for the hearing and sign the notice of hearing. The hearing date shall be no more than thirty days after the clerk signs the notice. Service shall be made on the commission and all persons named in the discriminatory practice complaint at least twenty days prior to the date of hearing by United States mail, certified or registered, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, without the use of a state marshal or other officer. Service on the commission shall be made on the executive director of the commission or a commission legal counsel. Within five days of service, the petitioner shall file with the court an affidavit stating the date and manner in which a copy of the petition was served and attach to the affidavit the return receipts indicating delivery of the petition.

      (3) Within ten days after receipt of the petition, any party, including the commission, may file an answer. The commission and all persons named in the discriminatory practice complaint shall have the right to appear and be heard at the hearing.

      (4) If the commission and parties agree on a date certain, the court shall order the commission to issue a finding by said date. If the allegations of the petition are contested, the court shall hold a hearing on the petition and issue an appropriate order. Hearing of oral argument on the petition shall take precedence over other matters in the court, as provided in section 46a-96. The court shall award court costs and attorney's fees to the petitioner, provided such party is a "person", as defined in section 4-184a, unless the commission shows good cause for not issuing the finding of reasonable cause or no reasonable cause within two years of the date of filing or the date ordered by the executive director for the investigator to issue such finding, whichever is later. An award of court costs and attorney's fees shall be subject to the court's discretion, but shall not exceed a total of five hundred dollars.

      (5) This subsection shall not apply to complaints initiated by the commission or to pattern or practice or systemic cases.

      (P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 98-245, S. 8, 14; P.A. 00-99, S. 89, 154; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 192; P.A. 05-288, S. 156.)

      History: P.A. 98-245 effective July 1, 1998, and applicable to all cases pending with the commission or in the courts and cases filed on or after said date (Revisor's note: P.A. 88-230, 90-98, 93-142 and 95-220 authorized substitution of "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain at Hartford" in public and special acts of the 1998 regular and special sessions of the General Assembly, effective September 1, 1998); P.A. 00-99 amended Subsec. (d)(2) by replacing reference to sheriff with state marshal, effective December 1, 2000; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 amended Subsec. (d)(2) to replace "the commission counsel" with "a commission legal counsel", effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 05-288 made a technical change in Subsec. (d)(4), effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 46a-83. Complaint: Review; dismissal; investigation; finding; reconsideration; attempt to eliminate discriminatory practice; default order. (a) Within twenty days after the filing of any discriminatory practice complaint, or an amendment adding an additional respondent, the commission shall cause the complaint to be served upon the respondent together with a notice (1) identifying the alleged discriminatory practice, and (2) advising of the procedural rights and obligations of a respondent under this chapter. The respondent shall file a written answer to the complaint under oath with the commission within thirty days of receipt of the complaint, provided a respondent may request, and the commission may grant, for good cause shown, one extension of time of fifteen days within which to file an answer to a complaint. The answer to any complaint alleging a violation of section 46a-64c or 46a-81e shall be filed within ten days of receipt.

      (b) Within ninety days of the filing of the respondent's answer to the complaint, the executive director or the executive director's designee shall review the file. The review shall include the complaint, the respondent's answer and the responses to the commission's requests for information, if any, and the complainant's comments, if any, to the respondent's answer and information responses. If the executive director or the executive director's designee determines that the complaint fails to state a claim for relief or is frivolous on its face, that the respondent is exempt from the provisions of this chapter or that there is no reasonable possibility that investigating the complaint will result in a finding of reasonable cause, the complaint shall be dismissed. This subsection shall not apply to any complaint alleging a violation of section 46a-64c or 46a-81e. The executive director shall report the results of the executive director's determinations pursuant to this subsection to the commission quarterly during each year.

      (c) The executive director of the commission or his designee shall determine the most appropriate method for processing any complaint pending after review in accordance with subsection (b) of this section. The commission may conduct mandatory mediation sessions, expedited or extended fact-finding conferences or complete investigations or any combination thereof during the investigatory process for the purpose of finding facts, promoting the voluntary resolution of complaints or determining if there is reasonable cause for believing that a discriminatory practice has been or is being committed as alleged in the complaint. As used in this section and section 46a-84, reasonable cause means a bona fide belief that the material issues of fact are such that a person of ordinary caution, prudence and judgment could believe the facts alleged in the complaint. A complaint may be dismissed if a complainant, after notice and without good cause, fails to attend a mandatory mediation session. A mediator may recommend, but not order, a resolution of the complaint. A complaint may be dismissed if the respondent has eliminated the discriminatory practice complained of, taken steps to prevent a like occurrence in the future and offered full relief to the complainant, even though the complainant has refused such relief.

      (d) (1) Before issuing a finding of reasonable cause or no reasonable cause, the investigator shall afford each party and his representative an opportunity to provide written or oral comments on all evidence in the commission's file, except as otherwise provided by federal law or any other provision of the general statutes. The investigator shall consider such comments in making his determination. The investigator shall make a finding of reasonable cause or no reasonable cause in writing and shall list the factual findings on which it is based not later than one hundred ninety days from the date of the determination based on the review of the complaint, conducted pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, except that for good cause shown, the executive director or his designee may grant no more than two extensions of the investigation of three months each.

      (2) If the investigator makes a determination that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of section 46a-64c has occurred, the complainant and the respondent shall have twenty days from receipt of notice of the reasonable cause finding to elect a civil action in lieu of an administrative hearing pursuant to section 46a-84. If either the complainant or the respondent requests a civil action, the commission, through the Attorney General or a commission legal counsel, shall commence an action pursuant to subsection (b) of section 46a-89 within ninety days of receipt of the complainant's or the respondent's notice of election of a civil action. If the Attorney General or a commission legal counsel, and a commissioner, believe that injunctive relief, punitive damages or a civil penalty would be appropriate, such relief, damages or penalty may also be sought pursuant to said subsection. Any civil action brought under this subdivision shall be limited to such claims, counterclaims, defenses or the like that would be required for the commission to have jurisdiction over the complaint had the complaint remained with the commission for disposition. If the Attorney General or a commission legal counsel determines that a material mistake of law or fact has been made in such finding of reasonable cause, the Attorney General or a commission legal counsel may decline to bring a civil action and, in such case, shall remand the file to the investigator for further action. The investigator shall complete any such action not later than ninety days after receipt of such file.

      (e) If the investigator issues a finding of no reasonable cause or if the complaint is dismissed (1) for failure to state a claim for relief, (2) because it is frivolous on its face, (3) because the respondent is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, or (4) because there is no reasonable possibility that investigating the complaint will result in a finding of reasonable cause or if the complaint is dismissed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the complainant may request reconsideration of such finding or dismissal with the executive director of the commission, or the executive director's designee, not later than fifteen days from the issuance of such finding or dismissal. The executive director of the commission, or the executive director's designee, shall reconsider or reject within ninety days of the issuance of such finding or dismissal. The executive director of the commission, or the executive director's designee, shall conduct such additional proceedings as may be necessary to render a decision on the request for reconsideration.

      (f) Upon a determination that there is reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory practice has been or is being committed as alleged in the complaint, an investigator shall attempt to eliminate the practice complained of by conference, conciliation and persuasion within fifty days of a finding of reasonable cause. The refusal to accept a settlement shall not be grounds for dismissal of any complaint.

      (g) No commissioner or employee of the commission may disclose, except to the parties or their representatives, what has occurred in the course of such endeavors provided the commission may publish the facts in the case and any complaint which has been dismissed and the terms of conciliation when a complaint has been adjusted. Each party and his representative shall have the right to inspect and copy documents, statements of witnesses and other evidence pertaining to his complaint, except as otherwise provided by federal law or any other provision of the general statutes.

      (h) In the investigation of any complaint filed pursuant to this chapter, the commission may issue subpoenas requiring the production of records and other documents relating to the complaint under investigation.

      (i) The executive director of the commission or his designee may enter an order of default against a respondent (1) who, after notice, fails to answer a complaint in accordance with subsection (a) of this section or within such extension of time as may have been granted or (2) who fails to answer interrogatories issued pursuant to subdivision (11) of section 46a-54 or fails to respond to a subpoena issued pursuant to subsection (h) of this section and subdivision (9) of section 46a-54, provided the executive director or his designee shall consider any timely filed objection or (3) who, after notice and without good cause, fails to attend a mandatory mediation session. Upon entry of an order of default, the executive director or his designee shall appoint a presiding officer to enter, after notice and hearing, an order eliminating the discriminatory practice complained of and making the complainant whole. The commission or the complainant may petition the Superior Court for enforcement of any order for relief pursuant to section 46a-95.

      (P.A. 80-422, S. 31; P.A. 89-332, S. 4, 7; P.A. 90-246, S. 10; P.A. 91-58, S. 29; 91-302, S. 3, 5; P.A. 92-257, S. 3; P.A. 94-238, S. 1, 6; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 114, 130; P.A. 96-241, S. 4, 7; P.A. 98-245, S. 2, 14; P.A. 00-12, S. 1, 2; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 193; P.A. 05-201, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 89-332 revised entire section to provide for service of complaint upon respondent, fact-finding conferences during investigatory process, definition of "reasonable cause", opportunity for written or oral comments on all evidence in commission's file, finding of reasonable cause within nine months of filing of complaint, with single three-month extension for good cause shown, reconsideration of finding of no reasonable cause within ninety days of finding, conciliation attempts within sixty days of finding of reasonable cause and disclosure of evidence pertaining to complaint to party or his representative; P.A. 90-246 amended Subsec. (a) by adding requirement that commission serve upon respondent, within ten days of receipt of complaint or amendment adding additional respondent, notice identifying alleged discriminatory practice and advising re procedural rights and obligations of respondent, and requiring that the answer to any complaint alleging violation of Sec. 46a-64c may be filed within ten days of receipt; P.A. 91-58 amended Subsec. (a) to add reference to a violation of Sec. 46a-81e; P.A. 91-302 amended Subsec. (a) by changing "may" to "shall" after "respondent", increasing the amount of time to file an answer to complaint from fifteen to thirty days after receipt, changing "chairman of the commission" to "executive director of the commission" and deleting "a commissioner or" before "investigator", amended Subsec. (b) by deleting "commissioner or" before "investigator" and changing "commission" to "executive director or his designee", amended Subsecs. (c), (d) and (e) by deleting "commissioner or" before "investigator", and added a new Subsec. (g) re entry of order of default by executive director against respondent who fails to answer complaint or interrogatories or fails to respond to subpoena, entry of order by presiding officer eliminating discriminatory practice and enforcement by superior court; P.A. 92-257 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re election of civil action in lieu of administrative hearing; P.A. 94-238 inserted new Subsec. (b) re review of complaint by executive director or his designee and dismissal of claim if finding that claim fails to state claim for relief or is frivolous or that no reasonable possibility that investigation will result in reasonable cause, exempting provisions of Subsec. (b) from alleged violations of Sec. 46a-64c or 46a-81e and making provisions applicable to complaints pending assignment to investigator on or before January 1, 1995, created new Subsec. (c) from existing provisions formerly in Subsec. (a), adding provisions re (1) determining most appropriate method for processing complaint, including mandatory mediation sessions, expedited or extended fact-finding, complete investigations or combination thereof and (2) grounds for dismissal, relettering former Subsecs. (b) to (g), accordingly, amended Subsec. (e) by adding provision re request for reconsideration of dismissal and amended Subsec. (i) by adding failure to attend mandatory mediation session as grounds for order of default against respondent, effective July 1, 1994; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1 amended Subsec. (e) by making technical change in Subsec. (e), effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 96-241 amended Subsec. (d) by changing nine to twelve months for finding of reasonable cause and changed single extension to no more than two extensions, effective June 6, 1996; P.A. 98-245 amended Subsec. (a) changing "ten" to "twenty" days and providing for extension for good cause shown for fifteen days within which to file an answer to the complaint, amended Subsec. (b) by adding "the respondent's answer to the complaint", amended Subsec. (d) reduced twelve months to one hundred ninety days from the date of determination based on review of the complaint, amended Subsec. (e) re reconsideration by executive director or his designee and amended Subsec. (i) permitting complainant to petition court for enforcement of order for relief, effective July 1, 1998, and applicable to all cases pending with the commission or in the courts and cases filed on or after said date; P.A. 00-12 amended Subsec. (b) to require the complaint be dismissed if the respondent is exempt from the provisions of this chapter and to make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality and amended Subsec. (e) to add new Subdiv. (3) re the dismissal of the complaint because the respondent is exempt from the provisions of this chapter, redesignating former Subdiv. (3) as new Subdiv. (4), and to make technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 amended Subsec. (d) to replace "the commission counsel" with "a commission legal counsel", effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 05-201 amended Subsec. (d) by dividing provisions into Subdivs. (1) and (2) and, in Subdiv. (2), increasing time period for commencing action from within forty-five days to within ninety days of receipt of notice of election and adding provisions re injunctive relief, punitive damages and civil penalty, limitation of civil action to jurisdictional claims, counterclaims and defenses and remand of file to investigator for further action, effective July 6, 2005.

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      Sec. 46a-86. Complaint: Determination; orders; dismissal. Treatment of discrimination awards. (a) If, upon all the evidence presented at the hearing conducted pursuant to section 46a-84, the presiding officer finds that a respondent has engaged in any discriminatory practice, the presiding officer shall state his findings of fact and shall issue and file with the commission and cause to be served on the respondent an order requiring the respondent to cease and desist from the discriminatory practice and further requiring the respondent to take such affirmative action as in the judgment of the presiding officer will effectuate the purpose of this chapter.

      (b) In addition to any other action taken hereunder, upon a finding of a discriminatory employment practice, the presiding officer may order the hiring or reinstatement of employees, with or without back pay, or restoration to membership in any respondent labor organization, provided, liability for back pay shall not accrue from a date more than two years prior to the filing or issuance of the complaint and, provided further, interim earnings, including unemployment compensation and welfare assistance or amounts which could have been earned with reasonable diligence on the part of the person to whom back pay is awarded shall be deducted from the amount of back pay to which such person is otherwise entitled. The amount of any such deduction for interim unemployment compensation or welfare assistance shall be paid by the respondent to the commission which shall transfer such amount to the appropriate state or local agency.

      (c) In addition to any other action taken hereunder, upon a finding of a discriminatory practice prohibited by section 46a-58, 46a-59, 46a-64, 46a-64c, 46a-81b, 46a-81d or 46a-81e, the presiding officer shall determine the damage suffered by the complainant, which damage shall include, but not be limited to, the expense incurred by the complainant for obtaining alternate housing or space, storage of goods and effects, moving costs and other costs actually incurred by him as a result of such discriminatory practice and shall allow reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

      (d) In addition to any other action taken hereunder, upon a finding of a discriminatory practice prohibited by section 46a-66 or 46a-81f, the presiding officer shall issue and file with the commission and cause to be served on the respondent an order requiring the respondent to pay the complainant the damages resulting from the discriminatory practice.

      (e) If, upon all the evidence and after a complete hearing, the presiding officer finds that the respondent has not engaged in any alleged discriminatory practice, the presiding officer shall state his findings of fact and shall issue and file with the commission and cause to be served on the respondent an order dismissing the complaint.

      (f) Any payment received by a complainant under this chapter or under any equivalent federal antidiscrimination law, either as a settlement of a claim or as an award made in a judicial or administrative proceeding, shall not be considered as income, resources or assets for the purpose of determining the eligibility of or amount of assistance to be received by such person in the month of receipt or the three months following receipt under the state supplement program, Medicaid or any other medical assistance program, temporary family assistance program, state-administered general assistance program, or the temporary assistance for needy families program. After such time period, any remaining funds shall be subject to state and federal laws governing such programs, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning individual development accounts, as defined in section 31-51ww.

      (P.A. 80-422, S. 34; 80-449, S. 4, 6; P.A. 81-81, S. 5; P.A. 85-179; P.A. 88-317, S. 102, 107; P.A. 90-246, S. 11; P.A. 91-58, S. 30; P.A. 93-362, S. 4; P.A. 05-280, S. 45; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3, S. 80.)

      History: P.A. 80-449 made technical changes in Subsec. (c); P.A. 81-81 amended subsec. (c) by adding reference to Sec. "47a-2a" which was subsequently transferred and redesignated Sec. 46a-64a; P.A. 85-179 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision requiring the respondent to pay the amount of any deduction for interim unemployment compensation or welfare assistance to the commission for transfer to the appropriate agency; P.A. 88-317 substituted "presiding officer" for "hearing officer" throughout the section, effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 90-246 amended Subsec. (c) by deleting reference to Sec. 46a-64a and adding reference to Sec. 46a-64c and changing provision that damage shall include attorney's fees actually incurred to allowing reasonable attorney's fees and costs; P.A. 91-58 amended Subsec. (c) to add reference to Secs. 46a-81b, 46a-81d and 46a-81e and amended Subsec. (d) to add reference to Sec. 46a-81f; P.A. 93-362 amended Subsec. (e) by adding "and after a complete hearing" after "evidence"; P.A. 05-280, S. 45 re treatment of discrimination payment awards by Department of Social Services in determining eligibility of or amount of assistance to be received by complainant under chapter was added editorially by the Revisors as Subsec. (f); June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-3 changed effective date of P.A. 05-280, S. 45 from October 1, 2005, to July 1, 2005, effective July 1, 2005.

      See Sec. 17b-93 re claim of the state for repayment of aid.

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      Sec. 46a-89. (Formerly Sec. 31-127a). Petition for temporary injunctive relief re discriminatory employment practices. Petition for injunctive relief, punitive damages or civil penalty re discriminatory housing or public accommodations practices. (a)(1) Whenever a complaint is filed with or by the commission pursuant to section 46a-82 alleging a violation of section 46a-60 or 46a-81c, and a commissioner believes, upon review and the recommendation of the investigator assigned, that equitable relief is required to prevent irreparable harm to the complainant, the commissioner may bring a petition in equity in the superior court for the judicial district in which the discriminatory practice which is the subject of the complaint occurred or the judicial district in which the respondent resides, provided this subdivision shall not apply to complaints against employers with less than fifty employees.

      (2) The petition shall seek appropriate temporary injunctive relief against the respondent pending final disposition of the complaint pursuant to the procedures set forth in this chapter. The injunctive relief may include an order temporarily restraining the respondent from doing any act that would render ineffectual any order a presiding officer may render with respect to the complaint.

      (3) Upon service on the respondent of notice pursuant to section 46a-89a, the respondent shall be temporarily restrained from taking any action that would render ineffectual the temporary injunctive relief prayed for in the petition, provided nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the respondent from having any employment duties, enjoined under this section and section 46a-89a, from being carried out by another employee and the notice shall so provide.

      (b) (1) Whenever a complaint filed pursuant to section 46a-82 alleges a violation of section 46a-64, 46a-64c, 46a-81d or 46a-81e, and a commissioner believes that injunctive relief is required or that the imposition of punitive damages or a civil penalty would be appropriate, the commission may bring a petition in the superior court for the judicial district in which the discriminatory practice which is the subject of the complaint occurred or the judicial district in which the respondent resides.

      (2) The petition shall seek: (A) Appropriate injunctive relief, including temporary or permanent orders or decrees restraining and enjoining the respondent from selling or renting to anyone other than the complainant or otherwise making unavailable to the complainant any dwelling or commercial property with respect to which the complaint is made, pending the final determination of such complaint by the commission or such petition by the court; (B) an award of damages based on the remedies available under subsection (c) of section 46a-86; (C) an award of punitive damages payable to the complainant, not to exceed fifty thousand dollars; (D) a civil penalty payable to the state against the respondent to vindicate the public interest: (i) In an amount not exceeding ten thousand dollars if the respondent has not been adjudged to have committed any prior discriminatory housing practice; (ii) in an amount not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed one other discriminatory housing practice during the five-year period prior to the date of the filing of this complaint; and (iii) in an amount not exceeding fifty thousand dollars if the respondent has been adjudged to have committed two or more discriminatory housing practices during the seven-year period prior to the date of the filing of the complaint; except that if the acts constituting the discriminatory housing practice that is the object of the complaint 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 clauses (ii) and (iii) of this subparagraph may be imposed without regard to the period of time within which any subsequent discriminatory housing practice occurred; or (E) two or more of such remedies.

      (3) Upon service on the respondent of notice pursuant to section 46a-89a, the respondent shall be temporarily restrained from selling or renting the dwelling or commercial property which is the subject of the complaint to anyone other than the complainant, or from otherwise making such dwelling or commercial property unavailable to the complainant, until the court or judge has decided the petition for temporary injunctive relief and the notice shall so provide.

      (P.A. 77-531; P.A. 80-422, S. 37; P.A. 88-241, S. 3; 88-317, S. 103, 107; P.A. 90-246, S. 12; P.A. 91-58, S. 31; P.A. 05-201, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 80-422 created new Subsecs. (b) to (d) from parts of Subsec. (a), changing wording slightly, and deleted provision formerly in Subsec. (a) which gave hearings precedence over other matters and former Subsecs. (b) and (c) re hearing procedure and court action upon finding that respondent has engaged in unfair employment practice; Sec. 31-127a transferred to Sec. 46a-89 in 1981 and internal section references changed as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 88-241 deleted Subsec. (c) re the authority of a court or judge to grant a temporary injunction, redesignated Subsec. (b) as Subdiv. (2) of Subsec. (a), redesignated Subsec. (c) as Subdiv. (1) of Subsec. (a) and rephrased subdivision, added Subsec. (b) re the filing of a petition for a temporary injunction against a discriminatory practice in the sale or rental of residential or commercial property, the relief sought in such petition and the temporary restraint on the respondent from selling or renting the housing accommodations or commercial property, which provisions were derived from former Subsecs. (a) and (b) of Sec. 46a-91 and Subsec. (c) of Sec. 46a-92, and added Subsec. (c) requiring the commission to incorporate in and make a part of its petition its complaint and prayers for relief, which provision was formerly Subsec. (c) of Sec. 64a-91; P.A. 88-317 substituted "presiding officer" for "hearing officer", effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 90-246 amended Subsec. (b) by adding reference to Sec. 46a-64c, changing "housing accommodations" to "dwelling" and added provisions re punitive damages and civil penalty (Revisor's note: An erroneous reference in Subdiv. (2) to section "46a-86c" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "subsection (c) of section 46a-86"); P.A. 91-58 amended Subdiv. (1) of Subsec. (a) to add reference to a violation of Sec. 46a-81c and amended Subdiv. (1) of Subsec. (b) to add reference to a violation of Sec. 46a-81d or 46a-81e; P.A. 05-201 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provisions re sale or rental of dwelling or commercial property and review and recommendation of assigned investigator in Subdiv. (1), adding provision re temporary or permanent orders and replacing provision re determination of proceedings on complaint with provision re determination of complaint by commission or petition by the court in Subdiv. (2), adding provision re otherwise making dwelling or commercial property unavailable to complainant in Subdiv. (3) and making technical changes, and deleted Subsec. (c) re petition in equity, effective July 6, 2005.

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