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Brief Outline of the Housing Complaint Process

1. When a signed/verified complaint is received, it is reviewed to determine whether it meets the statutory requirements of the Iowa Civil Rights Act (Iowa Code 216).

2. If the complaint does not meet the statutory requirements, the complainant is notified and the case is closed.

3. If the complaint meets the statutory requirements, it is assigned a CP# and a copy of the complaint is sent to the complainant and a copy is served on the respondent if the complaint meets the requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act), the complaint is cross-filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

4. The complaint will then proceed to investigation. During the investigation, complainant, respondent, and witnesses may be interviewed. Additional documentation may also be requested. Investigation will begin within 30 days from date of filing. If the investigation is not completed within 100 days from date of filing, the parties will be notified by letter regarding why the investigation has not been completed.

5. At any time during the above process, the parties may decide to settle the case through mediation.

6. Also at any time in the process, the complainant may file an action directly in district court, unless a mediation agreement has been reached or a contested case hearing has begun.

7. Following the investigation, the administrative law judge will determine probable cause or no probable cause to believe that discrimination occurred. If the judge finds probable cause, the parties will be afforded 20 days to elect to proceed in district court or continue with the Commission process public hearing.