- Interviewing the potential charging party (PCP)
- Determining Jurisdictions: Assessing the Complaint
- Drafting the Complaint Form(s)
- Notice-serving the parties
- Perfecting the Complaint-Amendment process-can be amended by the Complainant or the agency’s staff. However, all amendments are subject to the Complainant’s approval. Amended complaints must carry the original filing date.
- Intake is a very critical step in the process. It is the point where information is first received for processing. It is the stage where intake staff has a chance to look at what happened and determine whether the agency will have jurisdiction to investigate. This is the beginning of the investigation where the groundwork is laid for effective resolution of complaints. Intake is also the stage where parties receive information about the Fair Housing Law and the investigative process. If a case is not jurisdictional, it is referred to the appropriate authority.
- The GCEO staff members are to act as neutral parties throughout the complaint process and this should be explained to the parties at the start of the investigation.
The Complainant is to be identified by complete name and address as well as any other person(s) who may have been injured by the alleged practice. Ex) spouse or children.
If other adults were involved such as roommates they may file jointly or separately.
Phone numbers are taken at this point as well as possible contacts.
- Documents may also be collected at this time.
- Respondents will be identified at this time as well.
- Respondents are defined as any person or entity accused in a complaint of a discriminatory housing practice with respect to the sell, rental, financing, or advertising of housing, or in the availability of residential real estate related transactions. During intake, the names, addresses, and phone numbers are collected.
- Real Estate Agents
- Landlords and Property Owners
- Management Companies
- Leasing Agents/Property Managers
- Lenders and Insurers
- Developers and Architects
- Cities, Counties, US GOVT.
- Newspapers, advertising agencies
The information regarding the involved dwelling is also collected during intake.
If the case can be moved forward, a complaint form is drafted with a concise statement of the facts.
The investigators have all of the tools of discovery in a civil action provided by the Georgia Civil Practices Act, as well as the power to issue subpoenas granted to the Administrator by the Georgia Fair Housing Law.
The GCEO FHD serves the complaint on the accused parties. This process is done by a notification letter sent to the parties by certified mail. The notification letter includes a copy of the allegations against the Respondent .