24 CFR § 180.670 - Initial decision of ALJ.

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§ 180.670 Initial decision of ALJ.

(a) The ALJ shall issue an initial decision including findings of fact and conclusions of law upon each material issue of fact or law presented on the record. The initial decision of the ALJ shall be based on the whole record of the proceeding. A copy of the initial decision shall be served upon all parties, aggrieved persons, the Assistant Secretary, the Secretary, and amici, if any.

(b) Initial decision in Fair Housing Act cases.

(1) The ALJ shall issue an initial decision within 60 days after the end of the hearing, unless it is impracticable to do so. If the ALJ is unable to issue the initial decision within this time period (or within any succeeding 60-day period following the initial 60-day period), the ALJ shall notify in writing all parties, the aggrieved person on whose behalf the charge was filed, and the Assistant Secretary, of the reasons for the delay.

(2) The initial decision shall state that it will become the final agency decision 30 days after the date of issuance of the initial decision.

(3) Findings against respondents. If the ALJ finds that a respondent has engaged, or is about to engage, in a discriminatory housing practice, the ALJ shall issue an initial decision against the respondent and order such relief as may be appropriate. Relief may include, but is not limited to:

(i) Ordering the respondent to pay damages to the aggrieved person (including damages caused by humiliation and embarrassment).

(ii) Ordering injunctive or such other equitable relief as may be appropriate. No such order may affect any contract, sale, encumbrance or lease consummated before the issuance of the initial decision that involved a bona fide purchaser, encumbrancer or tenant without actual knowledge of the charge.

(iii) Assessing a civil penalty against any respondent to vindicate the public interest in accordance with § 180.671.

(4) Findings in favor of respondents. If the ALJ finds that the charging party has not established that a respondent has engaged in a discriminatory housing practice, the ALJ shall make an initial decision dismissing the charge as against that respondent.

(c) Initial Decision in Non-Fair Housing Act matters. The ALJ shall issue the initial decision as soon as possible after the end of the hearing.

(1) Findings against Respondents. If the ALJ finds that a respondent has failed to comply substantially with the statutory and regulatory requirements that gave rise to the notice of proposed adverse action, the ALJ shall issue an initial decision against the respondent.

(i) The initial decision shall provide for suspension or termination of, or refusal to grant or continue, Federal financial assistance, in whole or in part, to the involved program or activity.

(ii) The initial decision may contain such terms, conditions, and other provisions as are consistent with and will effectuate the purposes of the applicable statute and regulations, including provisions designed to assure that no Federal financial assistance will be extended for the program or activity unless and until the respondent corrects its noncompliance and satisfies the Secretary that it will fully comply with the relevant statute and regulations.

(iii) The initial decision shall state that it will become final only upon the Secretary's approval.

(2) Findings in favor of respondents. If the ALJ finds that a respondent has not failed to comply substantially with the statutory and regulatory requirements that gave rise to the notice of proposed adverse action, the ALJ shall make an initial decision dismissing the notice of proposed adverse action. The initial decision shall state that it will become the final agency decision 30 days after the date of issuance.

[61 FR 52218, Oct. 4, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 6754, Feb. 10, 1999; 68 FR 12788, Mar. 17, 2003; 72 FR 5588, Feb. 6, 2007]

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