Substitute House Bill No. 6583

Public Act No. 01-95

AN ACT CONCERNING RECONSIDERATION REQUESTS AND THE REOPENING OF MATTERS BY THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 46a-83a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) If a complaint is dismissed pursuant to subsection (b) of section 46a-83, or is dismissed for failure to accept full relief pursuant to subsection (c) of said section 46a-83, and the complainant does not request reconsideration of such a dismissal as provided in subsection (e) of said section 46a-83 the executive director of the commission shall issue a release and the complainant may, within ninety days of receipt of the release from the commission, bring an action in accordance with section 46a-100 and sections 46a-102 to 46a-104, inclusive.

(b) The executive director of the commission may, upon the complainant's request, issue a release from the commission if (1) a complaint is dismissed pursuant to subsection (b) of section 46a-83, and (2) the complainant requests reconsideration of the dismissal and the reconsideration request has been granted or denied, or the reconsideration request has not yet been acted upon in accordance with subsection (e) of section 46a-83. Whenever a reconsideration request has been granted or denied, a request for a release from the commission shall be made within fifteen days of receipt of the notice granting or denying such reconsideration request. The complainant may, within ninety days of receipt of the release from the commission, bring an action in accordance with section 46a-100 and sections 46a-102 to 46a-104, inclusive.

Sec. 2. Subsection (c) of section 46a-94a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) The commission on its own motion may, whenever justice so requires, reopen any matter previously closed by [it] the commission in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, provided such matter had not been appealed to the Superior Court pursuant to section 4-183. Notice of such reopening shall be given to all parties. A complainant or respondent may, for good cause shown, in the interest of justice, apply in writing for the reopening of a previously closed proceeding provided such application is filed with the commission [within six years of the commission's final decision or by October 1, 2000, whichever comes first. After October 1, 2000, such application shall be filed] within two years of the commission's final decision.

Sec. 3. Section 46a-94a of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (d) as follows:

(NEW) (d) The standards for reopening a matter may include, but are not limited to: (1) A material mistake of fact or law has occurred; (2) the finding is arbitrary or capricious; (3) the finding is clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative and substantial evidence on the whole record; and (4) new evidence has been discovered which materially affects the merits of the case and which, for good reasons, was not presented during the investigation.

Sec. 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2001.

Approved June 6, 2001