10:5-16 Practice and procedure.
15.When the director has issued a finding of probable cause, the case in support of the complaint shall be presented before the director by the attorney for the division and evidence concerning attempted conciliation shall not be received. The respondent shall file a written verified answer to the complaint and appear at such hearing in person or by representative, with or without counsel, and submit testimony. The complainant shall be allowed to intervene and present testimony in person and may be represented by counsel. The director or the complainant shall have the power reasonably and fairly to amend any complaint, and the respondent shall have like power to amend his answer. The director shall not be bound by the strict rules of evidence prevailing in civil actions in courts of competent jurisdiction of this State. The testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath and a verbatim record shall be made. When the director has issued a finding of probable cause in a housing discrimination complaint only, any party to that complaint may elect, in lieu of the administrative proceeding set forth in this section, to have the claim asserted in the finding of probable cause adjudicated in a civil action in Superior Court pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-13). Such an election shall be made not later than 20 days after receipt of the finding of probable cause. Upon such election, the attorney for the division shall promptly file such an action in Superior Court. Upon application to the court wherein the matter is pending, the complainant shall be permitted to intervene and present testimony in person and may be represented by counsel.
L.1945,c.169,s.15; amended 1963, c.40, s.10; 1979, c.404, s.2; 1980, c.71; 2003, c.180, s.15.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016