State of Delaware - Search and Services/Information
- Do I have to pay a fee?
No, our services are free. There is no fee to file a complaint.
- Is an attorney required?
For the Complainant or aggrieved person, an attorney is optional, but not required. The fee for an attorney will be at your own expense. For a Respondent, who is incorporated in the State, he/she must be accompanied by an attorney in order to appear before the Commission.
- How long do I have to file a complaint?
For Equal Accommodations discrimination, a complaint must be filed ninety (90) days from the date of the alleged incident. For Fair Housing discrimination, a complaint must be filed one (1) year from the date of the alleged incident or one (1) year from the date of the discovery of the alleged incident.
- What happens to a complaint once filed?
Equal Accommodations - 180 days to complete a case. In some instances, a Fact-finding Conference may be scheduled within 30 days. At the Fact-finding Conference, all parties are present and the investigator conducts the meeting. If no resolution is reached at this point, the case is referred to the Commission for an administrative hearing. At the hearing, testimony is presented and evidence is heard. The Commission will render a written decision, which will be mailed to all parties.
- If you have filed a complaint, you are called the Complainant. You know your complaint better than anyone else. Make us fully aware of the details.
- If you have been complained about, you are called the Respondent.
- What laws protect against discrimination?
EQUAL ACCOMMODATIONS - The law is intended to prevent, in places of equal accommodations, practices of discrimination against any person because of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, national origin, or persons with disabilities. (6 Del. C., ch. 45, Equal Accommodations).
HOUSING DISCRIMINATION is a violation of a basic right, which assures all persons, regardless of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status, or disability equal opportunity and equal access to live wherever they choose, if qualified. (6 Del. C., ch. 46, Fair Housing Act)
- How is a complaint investigated?
The complaint is assigned to a Field Representative in the Division of Human Relations. The representative will work with both of you to find out exactly what happened without taking sides. You will both be interviewed, along with others who know something about the circumstances of the complaint. You may be asked for records, accounts, documents, or other information that will help determine the facts. For Equal Accommodations Complaints - if voluntary conciliation between complainant and respondent has not been reached, a hearing will be held to review the facts. For Fair Housing Complaints - a written report will be provided to determine whether discrimination has taken place. If there is a cause finding, conciliation will be attempted, if successful, case will be closed with conciliation agreement. If there is a cause finding, and no conciliation, a charge will be issued and case would be heard by Commission or in Superior Court and a final order would be rendered. If there is a no cause finding, the case will be dismissed.
- What if I disagree with the finding?
You may appeal any Commission Order, including the Dismissal Order, to Superior Court.
- If you believe that you are a victim of an unlawful discriminatory practice, remember that you have a right to file a complaint.
There is no fee.