43 CFR § 17.339 - Exhaustion of administrative remedies.

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§ 17.339 Exhaustion of administrative remedies.

(a) A complainant may file a civil action following the exhaustion of administrative remedies under the Act. Administrative remedies are exhausted if:

(1) 180 days have elapsed since the complainant filed the complaint and DOI has made no finding with regard to the complaint; or

(2) DOI issues any finding in favor of the recipient.

(b) If DOI fails to make a finding within 180 days or issues a finding in favor of the recipient, DOI will:

(1) Promptly advise the complainant of this fact;

(2) Advise the complainant of his or her right to bring a civil action for injunctive relief; and

(3) Inform the complainant:

(i) That he or she may bring a civil action only in a United States district court for the district in which the recipient is found or transacts business;

(ii) That a complainant prevailing in a civil action has the right to be awarded the costs of the action, including reasonable attorney's fees, but that the complainant must demand these costs in the complaint;

(iii) That before commencing the action the complainant shall give 30 days notice by registered mail to the Secretary of HHS, the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, and the recipient;

(iv) That the notice must state: the alleged violation of the Act; the relief requested; the court in which the complainant is bringing the action; and whether or not attorney's fees are demanded in the event the complainant prevails; and

(v) That the complainant may not bring an action if the same alleged violation of the Act by the same recipient is the subject of a pending action in any court of the United States.