[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of El Reno 6-6-2006 by Ord. No. 4010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The general purposes of this chapter are:
It shall be unlawful for any person or agent:
To refuse to sell, lease, rent, assign or otherwise transfer the title or other interest in any housing or real property upon which residential housing is to be constructed to any person, or to discriminate in the terms of conditions of the sale, rental or leasing of any residential housing unit, because of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.
[Amended 12-13-2016 by Ord. No. 9103]
To refuse to negotiate with any person for the sale, rental, or leasing of any residential property, or to represent that such property is not available for inspection, sale, rental or lease when in fact it is so available, because of such person's race, color, sex, religion or national origin.
To solicit or induce, or attempt to solicit or induce, any person owning any interest in any residential housing to sell, rent, or lease, or not to sell, rent or lease such housing to any person on the ground of loss of value due to the present or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of another race, color, sex, religion, or national origin, either by direct solicitation or inducement or by the purchase of other property in the neighborhood for the purpose of such inducement, or to distribute or cause to be distributed material or making statements designed to induce a residential property owner to sell or lease his property due to such change in the neighborhood.
To file a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter, with knowledge that such complaint is false in any material respect, or to file such complaint for the sole purpose of harassment.
The provisions of this chapter shall not prohibit any religious organization, association, society or private club, a religious nonprofit organization, operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society from limiting the sale or rental of dwelling units owned and operated for other than a commercial purpose.
Any person aggrieved by discriminatory practice prohibited by this chapter may file with the Clerk of the Municipal Court a complaint in writing, under oath. Said complaint shall be signed by the person claiming to be aggrieved, and shall state the name and address of the person alleged to have violated the provisions of this chapter, and shall further set forth the particulars of said violation, and may include such other information as may be required by the court. Complaints filed under this section must be filed within 30 days after the alleged violation, and failure to file within said time shall be considered a waiver of the application of this chapter. The court may issue a complaint on its own initiative at any time it is within the knowledge of the court that a person has violated any of the provisions of this chapter.
The court shall investigate such complaint filed with the court and shall attempt an adjustment of said complaint by means of conference and conciliation. Sixty days shall be allowed for the purpose of investigation, conference and conciliation. Upon determination that a complaint is not well founded, the court shall dismiss said complaint and notify the complainant and respondent in writing of said dismissal. If the court takes no action within 90 days of the filing of the complaint, it shall be considered as dismissed.
If conference or conciliation does not result in compliance with this chapter, the court shall cause to be issued and served in the name of the City of El Reno a written notice, together with a copy of said complaint, requiring the person named in said complaint, hereinafter referred to as "respondent," to answer charges of said complaint at a hearing before the court at a time and place to be specified in the notice.
At a hearing provided for in Subsection C above, the complaint shall be heard by the court. At the hearing, the complainant or person aggrieved may appear in person and/or by counsel, and the respondent may file a written answer to the complaint and may appear in person or by legal counsel. The court, when conducting any hearing, pursuant to this section, may permit amendments to any complaint or answer, and the testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath, and shall be transcribed at the request of either party if made in writing at least 48 hours before the hearing, or at the discretion of the court. If the court finds at said hearing that the respondent has engaged in any discriminatory practice or practices prohibited by this chapter, it shall state its findings of fact and shall so render a judgment and fine. If the court, upon hearing, finds that respondent has not engaged in any discriminatory practice, it shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and file an order dismissing the complaint. The court shall establish rules and regulations to govern and expedite and effectuate the foregoing procedure, and shall maintain the files provided for herein.
Any and all notices required under the provisions of this chapter to be served upon any person may be served personally on such person, or by mailing a copy thereof by certified or registered mail, with return receipt requested, to the most current business or residence address of such person.
It shall be unlawful and constitute an offense for any person to violate any of the provisions of this chapter, and any person found guilty of violating any provisions shall be deemed guilty of an offense, and is subject, upon conviction, to a fine of not more than $35, including costs, and each day that an act or omission is continued shall constitute a violation of this chapter and be construed as a separate offense.