Township of Franklin, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Franklin 2-26-1970 by Ord. No. 456 (Ch. 149 of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing Authority — See Ch. 23.
Housing standards — See Ch. 151.
Rental dwellings — See Ch. 290.
Rent control — See Ch. 294.

§ 210-1 Purpose.

A. 
The Township Council hereby declares it to be the public policy of the Township to eliminate and prevent discrimination and involuntary segregation based on race, religion, creed or ethnic origin and to safeguard the right of every person to sell, purchase, lease, rent or obtain financing for the purchase or lease of housing accommodation without regard to race, religion, creed or ethnic origin.
B. 
It is not the intention of this chapter to foster complaints which are inspired by malice but only to protect persons in the acquiring of housing accommodations, and any persons filing complaints under this chapter shall be fully responsible under the laws of the state governing malicious prosecution.

§ 210-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
BLOCKBUSTING
The practice of inducing owners of property to sell because of the actual or rumored advent into the neighborhood of a member of a racial, religious or ethnic group.
HOUSING ACCOMMODATION
Any real property permitted for human habitation within the Township.
PERSON
Includes natural persons, partnerships, corporations, associations or other legal entities.
UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION
Includes those unlawful practices and acts specified herein.

§ 210-3 Unlawful acts; applicability.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to:
(1) 
Refuse to sell, lease, assign or sublease any housing accommodation to any person because of race, religion or ethnic origin.
(2) 
Falsely represent that any housing accommodation is not available for inspection, sale or rent or withhold information about any housing accommodation which is available for sale or rental.
(3) 
Discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale, rental, lease assignment or sublease of any housing accommodation.
(4) 
Directly or indirectly advertise that the purchase or rental by persons of any particular race, religion or ethnic origin in unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable or not solicited.
(5) 
Use any form of application for purchase, lease or financing of any housing accommodation which inquires into the race, religion or ethnic origin of any person.
(6) 
Engage in the practice of blockbusting, including but not limited to:
(a) 
Inducing or attempting to induce the sale of housing accommodations by representing that an adverse change has occurred or may occur because of the racial, religious or ethnic composition of the neighborhood.
(b) 
Misrepresenting by listing property for sale for the purpose of inducing the sale of other property.
(c) 
Representing to a prospective purchaser that a neighborhood might undergo an adverse change due to racial, religious or ethnic composition of the neighborhood.
(d) 
Advertising for sale or rent nonexistent property which is not actually for sale or rent.
(e) 
Committing acts of any nature which might coerce or create fear with the purpose of inducing the sale of property.
(f) 
Engaging in any form of reprisal against any person who has filed a complaint or testified or participated in any investigation, proceeding or conference conducted under the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
No person, bank or lending institution shall discriminate against any applicant because of race, religion and ethnic background of such applicant or the prospective occupants or tenants of such housing accommodation in the granting, extending or renewing of the rates, terms or conditions of any such loan.
C. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
(1) 
The rental of a single apartment in a dwelling of four families or fewer, one unit of which, at the time, is occupied by the owner as his residence or the household of his family.
(2) 
The rental of a room or rooms to another person by the owners or occupant of a one-family dwelling occupied by him at the time as his residence or the household of his family.
(3) 
Any religious institution or organization or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes, which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, in the sale, lease or rent of real property, for limiting admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or denomination or from making such selection as is calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained.

§ 210-4 Complaint procedure.

Any person claiming to be aggrieved by a discriminatory or unfair practice may, within 60 days of the last act complained of, personally or by his attorney at law, either file a complaint with the Municipal Court and/or file a verified complaint with the Human Rights Commission of the Township, setting forth the name and address of the person(s) charged with the offense, the particulars thereof and such other information as may be required. It shall be a condition precedent that in order to avail oneself of the complaint procedure herein set forth, such complaint must be filed within 60 days of the last act forming the basis for the complaint. In the event that a complaint is filed with the Human Rights Commission, then:
A. 
The Human Rights Commission shall cause a prompt investigation to be made of the charges.
B. 
If the Human Rights Commission shall determine that no probable cause exists, it shall, within 10 days thereafter, give written notice of its determination to the principals involved.
C. 
If the Human Rights Commission determines that probable cause does exist, it shall endeavor to eliminate the unlawful discrimination by conference or conciliation or advise the complainant to file a complaint with the Municipal Court. Such complaint must be filed forthwith and under no circumstances later than seven days after the Human Rights Commission advises the filing of such complaint.

§ 210-5 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Upon conviction, a violator shall make available to the complainant the premises involved. His refusal to do so, if the premises are available, shall constitute a separate violation.
B. 
Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall, after conviction, be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, for each violation.
C. 
Any person who aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures another to violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as a principal.

§ 210-6 Redress under statutes.

Nothing herein contained shall prevent any person from instituting proceedings before any commission or state agency to seek other redress under the applicable existing laws of the state.