1.  Charging Party may appeal the enclosed "no reasonable cause" determination to the Seattle Human Rights Commission.

2. The Commission does not have the authority to reverse the Findings of Fact and Determination made by the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. The function of the Commission is to determine: 1) whether or not a case warrants further investigation; 2) decide whether or not to order the Seattle Office for Civil Rights to re-open an investigation.

3. An appeal must be made by Charging Party within thirty (30) days after the date of issuance of the determination.

4. A written statement by Charging Party indicating a desire to appeal must be filed with the Seattle Human Rights Commission.

5.  The written statement must contain all of the following:

a. Statements specifically indicating what the Charging Party believes were mistake(s) committed in the Office’s investigation;

b.  Statements specifically indicating why the "no reasonable cause" determination is in error; and

c. Statements describing all evidence the Charging Party wishes the Commission to review on appeal.

6. During the appeal, the Commission will only consider whether the Office’s investigation was adequate and whether the finding of "no reasonable cause" is supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

Seattle Human Rights Rule (SHRR) 46-030.

Appeal Procedure for No Reasonable Cause Findings

(1) To appeal a no reasonable cause determination issued by SOCR, the charging party must file a written statement of appeal with the Commission within thirty (30) days after the Director signs the determination. A determination is signed when the Director places her signature on the determination and it is mailed to the parties. The statement of appeal shall state specifically the grounds for appeal, either SOCR’s investigation was inadequate or the finding was not supported by a preponderance of the evidence. The appeal statement shall fully describe any evidence that the charging party thinks SOCR should have considered. The liaison shall promptly mail a copy of the statement of appeal to the respondent.

(2) The subcommittee shall promptly consider and act upon appeals. The subcommittee shall consider the appeal, SOCR’s findings of fact, the charge, appeal brief, and such other materials as the subcommittee may request of SOCR, the charging party, or the respondent.

(3) In its discretion, the subcommittee may call for oral presentations by the parties. The subcommittee may permit the attendance of any party or person during such presentation(s). Any oral presentations shall be electronically recorded.

(4) In considering appeals the only issues before the subcommittee are whether:

a. SOCR’s investigation was adequate; and

b. The findings are supported by a preponderance of the evidence

The burden is on the charging party to convince the subcommittee to exercise its discretion to re-open the investigation. The subcommittee will not make a finding on the merits of the case.

(5) The subcommittee shall act upon appeals within sixty (60) days of the liaison’s receipt of the appeal by issuing a written order either affirming SOCR’s determination or remanding it to SOCR with appropriate instructions. If an oral presentation is scheduled, the sixty (60) day period will be extended by an additional thirty (30) days. The order shall include a brief statement of supporting reasons. Any dissenting subcommittee member may file a statement of dissent. A copy of the order and any dissenting statement shall be promptly furnished by the liaison to SOCR, charging party, and respondent.

(6) If the subcommittee affirms SOCR’s no reasonable cause determination, the determination shall be final and the charge dismissed, and the same shall be entered on the records of SOCR. This final determination and dismissal shall in no way prejudice the rights of the charging party under any other law or in any other proceeding.

(7) If the subcommittee remands SOCR’s determination, the liaison will provide a copy of the finding after remand to SOCR, charging party, and respondent.

(8) The subcommittee’s consideration of appeals shall not be a contested case within the meaning of the Seattle Administrative Code, SMC 3.02.

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