Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
5/14/2021

Article 3. Investigations

18VAC135-50-400. Investigations.

Article 3
Investigations

A. Upon the filing of a complaint, the administrator shall investigate the allegations. The purposes of an investigation are:

1. To obtain information concerning the events or transactions that relate to the alleged discriminatory housing practice identified in the complaint.

2. To document policies or practices of the respondent involved in the alleged discriminatory housing practice raised in the complaint.

3. To develop factual data necessary for the administrator on behalf of the board to make a recommendation whether reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred or is about to occur, and to take other actions provided under this part.

B. Based on the authority delegated to the fair housing administrator by the board, the administrator may investigate housing practices to determine whether a complaint should be filed. Such an initiation may include using testers and other established practices or procedures.

Statutory Authority

§§ 36-96.8 and 54.1-2105 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 3613.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 3.11, eff. December 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 10, 2003; Volume 23, Issue 22, eff. September 22, 2007; Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. March 1, 2014.

18VAC135-50-410. Systemic processing.

Where the administrator determines that the alleged discriminatory practices contained in a complaint are pervasive or institutional in nature, or that the processing of the complaint will involve complex issues, novel questions of fact or law, or will affect a large number of persons, the administrator may identify the complaint for systemic processing. This determination can be based on the face of the complaint or on information gathered in connection with an investigation. Systemic investigations may focus not only on documenting facts involved in the alleged discriminatory housing practice that is the subject of the complaint but also on review of other policies and procedures related to matters under investigation, to make sure that they also comply with the nondiscrimination requirements of the law.

Statutory Authority

§ 36-96.8 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 3.12, eff. December 1, 1991.

18VAC135-50-420. Conduct of investigation.

A. In conducting investigations under these regulations, the voluntary cooperation of all persons will be sought to obtain access to premises, records, documents, individuals, and other possible sources of information; to examine, record, and copy necessary materials; and to take and record testimony or statements of persons reasonably necessary for the furtherance of the investigation.

B. The administrator and the respondent may conduct discovery in aid of the investigation by the same methods and to the same extent that parties may conduct discovery in a court of law. The administrator or his designee, on behalf of the board, shall also have the power to issue subpoenas described under the law, in support of the investigation.

Statutory Authority

§§ 36-96.20 C and 54.1-2105 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 3.13, eff. December 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 10, 2003.

18VAC135-50-430. Cooperation with federal agencies.

The administrator, in processing complaints under the Virginia Fair Housing Law, may seek the cooperation and utilize the services of federal, state and local agencies, including any agency having regulatory or supervisory authority over financial institutions.

Statutory Authority

§ 36-96.8 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 3.14, eff. December 1, 1991.

18VAC135-50-440. Completion of investigation.

The investigation will remain open until a determination regarding reasonable cause is made, the board determines that the matter involves the legality of local zoning or land use laws or ordinances, or a conciliation agreement is executed and approved.

Statutory Authority

§§ 36-96.8 and 54.1-2105 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 3613.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 3.15, eff. December 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 10, 2003; Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. March 1, 2014.

18VAC135-50-450. Final investigative report.

At the end of each investigation under this article, the administrator or his designee will prepare a final investigative report. The investigative report will contain the names and dates of contacts with witnesses, except that the report will not disclose the names of witnesses who request anonymity. The board, however, may be required to disclose the names of such witnesses in the course of a civil action under the fair housing law.

Notwithstanding the prohibitions and requirements with respect to disclosure of information contained in 18VAC135-50-510, the administrator will make information derived from an investigation, including the final investigative report, available to the aggrieved person and the respondent. Following the completion of an investigation, the administrator shall notify the aggrieved person and the respondent that the final investigative report is complete and will be provided upon request.

Statutory Authority

§§ 36-96.20 C and 54.1-2105 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR585-01-05 § 3.16, eff. December 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 10, 2003.

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