24 CFR § 180.671 - Assessing civil penalties for Fair Housing Act cases.

§ 180.671 Assessing civil penalties for Fair Housing Act cases.

(a)Amounts. The ALJ may assess a civil penalty against any respondent under § 180.670(b)(3) for each separate and distinct discriminatory housing practice (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section) that the respondent committed, each civil penalty in an amount not to exceed:

(1) $20,521, if the respondent has not been adjudged in any administrative hearing or civil action permitted under the Fair Housing Act or any state or local fair housing law, or in any licensing or regulatory proceeding conducted by a federal, state, or local governmental agency, to have committed any prior discriminatory housing practice.

(2) $51,302, if the respondent has been adjudged in any administrative hearing or civil action permitted under the Fair Housing Act, or under any state or local fair housing law, or in any licensing or regulatory proceeding conducted by a federal, state, or local government agency, to have committed one other discriminatory housing practice and the adjudication was made during the 5-year period preceding the date of filing of the charge.

(3) $102,606, if the respondent has been adjudged in any administrative hearings or civil actions permitted under the Fair Housing Act, or under any state or local fair housing law, or in any licensing or regulatory proceeding conducted by a federal, state, or local government agency, to have committed two or more discriminatory housing practices and the adjudications were made during the 7-year period preceding the date of filing of the charge.

(b)Definition of separate and distinct discriminatory housing practice. A separate and distinct discriminatory housing practice is a single, continuous uninterrupted transaction or occurrence that violates section 804, 805, 806 or 818 of the Fair Housing Act. Even if such a transaction or occurrence violates more than one provision of the Fair Housing Act, violates a provision more than once, or violates the fair housing rights of more than one person, it constitutes only one separate and distinct discriminatory housing practice.

(c)Factors for consideration by ALJ.

(1) In determining the amount of the civil penalty to be assessed against any respondent for each separate and distinct discriminatory housing practice the respondent committed, the ALJ shall consider the following six (6) factors:

(i) Whether that respondent has previously been adjudged to have committed unlawful housing discrimination;

(ii) That respondent's financial resources;

(iii) The nature and circumstances of the violation;

(iv) The degree of that respondent's culpability;

(v) The goal of deterrence; and

(vi) Other matters as justice may require.

(2)

(i) Where the ALJ finds any respondent to have committed a housing-related hate act, the ALJ shall take this fact into account in favor of imposing a maximum civil penalty under the factors listed in paragraphs (c)(1)(iii), (iv), (v), and (vi) of this section.

(ii) For purposes of this section, the term housing-related hate act means any act that constitutes a discriminatory housing practice under section 818 of the Fair Housing Act and which constitutes or is accompanied or characterized by actual violence, assault, bodily harm, and/or harm to property; intimidation or coercion that has such elements; or the threat or commission of any action intended to assist or be a part of any such act.

(iii) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require an ALJ to assess any amount less than a maximum civil penalty in a non-hate act case, where the ALJ finds that the factors listed in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (vi) of this section warrant the assessment of a maximum civil penalty.

(d)Persons previously adjudged to have committed a discriminatory housing practice. If the acts constituting the discriminatory housing practice that is the subject of the charge were committed by the same natural person who has previously been adjudged, in any administrative proceeding or civil action, to have committed acts constituting a discriminatory housing practice, the time periods in paragraphs (a) (2) and (3) of this section do not apply.

(e)Multiple discriminatory housing practices committed by the same respondent; multiple respondents.

(1) In a proceeding where a respondent has been determined to have engaged in, or is about to engage in, more than one separate and distinct discriminatory housing practice, a separate civil penalty may be assessed against the respondent for each separate and distinct discriminatory housing practice.

(2) In a proceeding involving two or more respondents who have been determined to have engaged in, or are about to engage in, one or more discriminatory housing practices, one or more civil penalties, as provided under this section, may be assessed against each respondent.

[64 FR 6754, Feb. 10, 1999, as amended at 68 FR 12788, Mar. 17, 2003; 72 FR 5588, Feb. 6, 2007; 78 FR 4060, Jan. 18, 2013; 82 FR 24525, May 30, 2017; 83 FR 32793, July 16, 2018]