When you file a complaint with the CHRO, you will be given a packet of information explaining the CHRO procedures and deadlines. Please review these and follow the deadlines.
The complaint will be served on your respondent, who must answer the complaint under oath within 30 days (10 days for a housing case). If you wish to respond or comment on your respondent’s answer, you have 15 days to do so.
Within 60 days of receiving the respondent’s answer, the CHRO will review the complaint and determine if any further investigation is necessary. This is called a merit assessment review (MAR). It is based solely on your original complaint, the answer, and any additional comments you make regarding the answer. Since many cases are dismissed at this stage of the proceedings, GLAD recommends that you reply to the respondent’s answer.
If the case is dismissed, you will be given 15 days to request the right to move your complaint from CHRO into the courts. If you do not request to remove your complaint, the CHRO will review your case and decide whether to uphold the dismissal or reinstate your complaint.
If the case is not dismissed, an investigator will be assigned and a mandatory mediation conference will be held within 60 days. If negotiations fail to produce a settlement agreeable to all parties, either party or the CHRO can request early legal intervention. The CHRO has 90 days to decide whether to grant this request. If granted, a Hearing Officer will be appointed to decide the merits of the case in a trial-type hearing
If there is no request for early legal intervention, then the investigator will continue to collect evidence and will make a determination of “reasonable cause” or “no reasonable cause.” If a finding of “reasonable cause” is made, you can request either to have the case heard at the CHRO or to move it to Superior Court. If a finding of “no reasonable cause” is made, you have 15 days to request reconsideration.
Note that in housing discrimination cases, the CHRO must complete its investigation within 100 days of filing and the final disposition within one year, unless it is impracticable to do so (For sexual orientation Conn. Gen. Stat. sec 46a-81(e) and for gender identity or expression Conn. Gen. Stat. sec. 46a-64c(f)).