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Title XII PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

Chapter 213

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  213.111.  Right to civil action, when — relief available — costs and attorney's fees, awarded when — right to trial by jury — maximum damages — burden of proof, employment-related civil actions. — 1.  If, after one hundred eighty days from the filing of a complaint alleging an unlawful discriminatory practice pursuant to section 213.055, 213.065 or 213.070 to the extent that the alleged violation of section 213.070 relates to or involves a violation of section 213.055 or 213.065, or subdivision (3) of subsection 1* of section 213.070 as it relates to employment and public accommodations, the commission has not completed its administrative processing and the person aggrieved so requests in writing, the commission shall issue to the person claiming to be aggrieved a letter indicating his or her right to bring a civil action within ninety days of such notice against the respondent named in the complaint.  If, after the filing of a complaint pursuant to sections 213.040, 213.045, 213.050 and 213.070, to the extent that the alleged violation of section 213.070 relates to or involves a violation of sections 213.040, 213.045 and 213.050, or subdivision (3) of subsection 1* of section 213.070 as it relates to housing, and the person aggrieved so requests in writing, the commission shall issue to the person claiming to be aggrieved a letter indicating his or her right to bring a civil action within ninety days of such notice against the respondent named in the complaint.  The commission may not at any other time or for any other reason issue a letter indicating a complainant's right to bring a civil action.  Such an action may be brought in any circuit court in any county in which the unlawful discriminatory practice is alleged to have been committed, either before a circuit or associate circuit judge.  Upon issuance of this notice, the commission shall terminate all proceedings relating to the complaint.  No person may file or reinstate a complaint with the commission after the issuance of a notice under this section relating to the same practice or act.  Any action brought in court under this section shall be filed within ninety days from the date of the commission's notification letter to the individual but no later than two years after the alleged cause occurred or its reasonable discovery by the alleged injured party.

  2.  The court may grant as relief, as it deems appropriate, any permanent or temporary injunction, temporary restraining order, or other order, and may award to the plaintiff actual and punitive damages, and may award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party, other than a state agency or commission or a local commission; except that, a prevailing respondent may be awarded reasonable attorney fees only upon a showing that the case was without foundation.

  3.  Any party to any action initiated under this section has a right to a trial by jury.

  4.  The sum of the amount of actual damages, including damages for future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary losses, and punitive damages awarded under this section shall not exceed for each complaining party:

  (1)  Actual back pay and interest on back pay; and

  (2)  (a)  In the case of a respondent who has more than five and fewer than one hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, fifty thousand dollars;

  (b)  In the case of a respondent who has more than one hundred and fewer than two hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, one hundred thousand dollars;

  (c)  In the case of a respondent who has more than two hundred and fewer than five hundred one employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, two hundred thousand dollars; or

  (d)  In the case of a respondent who has more than five hundred employees in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, five hundred thousand dollars.

  5.  In any employment-related civil action brought under this chapter, the plaintiff shall bear the burden of proving the alleged unlawful decision or action was made or taken because of his or her protected classification and was the direct proximate cause of the claimed damages.

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(L. 1986 S.B. 513 § 213.110, A.L. 1992 H.B. 1619, A.L. 1998 S.B. 786, A.L. 1999 H.B. 741, A.L. 2017 S.B. 43)

* Words "of subsection 1" do not appear here in original rolls.  Section 213.070 was amended in S.B. 43, 2017, by adding subsections to that section.

(1998) Right-to-sue letter is not a jurisdictional prerequisite but is a condition precedent to bringing an action under MHRA.  Whitmore v. O'Connor Management, Inc., 156 F.3d 796 (8th Cir.).

(1999) Statute is insufficiently explicit to overcome presumption against punitive damages when a municipality is the defendant.  Kline v. City of Kansas City, 175 F.3d 660 (8th Cir.).

(2003) Civil action for damages only is neither equitable nor administrative in nature and thus is entitled to be tried by jury. State ex rel. Diehl v. O'Malley, 95 S.W.3d 82 (Mo.banc).


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2017 ----

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213.111 8/28/2017
213.111 8/28/1999 8/28/2017

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