After the complaint has been filed and the response has been received, the investigator may contact the complaining party in order to clarify relevent facts. The investigator will also request further information from the Responding party (the school). This information will pertain to the facts raised in the complaint and can include copies of particular documents or interviews with the parties involved. The investigator may visit the school in order to gain this information. All information obtained in the investigation shall remain a confidential part of the Commission's investigation.

Fort Wayne Ordinance G-21-78, gives the Commission and it's agents the power to subpoena and compel the attendance of witnesses or production of pertinent documents and records, and make use of such other discovery techniques as shall be necessary to complete investigations or conduct full hearings as provided for in IC 4-21.5 et seq., and Rule 28 of the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure. The Commission is also empowered to administer oaths and examine witnesses.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Commission will make a determination based on the evidence it has uncovered. If the Commission believes that discrimination has occurred they will issue a finding of "Probable Cause." The Commission's investigations also reveal when no discrimination has occurred. This determination is called a "No Probable Cause" decision. The parties receive a multiple page document which explains what evidence was used and how it was applied to the appropriate laws. This document shows the parties how the Commission came to their decision. Each allegation contained in the complaint is addressed to determine the outcome.

A finding of Probable Cause means that the evidence uncovered in the investigation has revealed reasonable cause to believe that discrimination had occurred in the facts alleged in the complaint. Once a Probable Cause decision is issued, the Commission's legal staff will attempt to conciliate the matter. If conciliation fails, the matter will be set for public hearing. At the public hearing, the Complaining Party and the Responding Party will present evidence, question witnesses and present their case to an Administrative Law Judge. The Commission will present the investigative file to the Administrative Law Judge. Once the evidence and testimony has been presented, the Administrative Law Judge will render a decision. If the Administrative Law Judge determines that the Respondnent is guilty of discrimination in the case, then damages and fines can be ordered. However, if the Administrative Law Judge finds that no discrimination had occurred, the case will be closed.

Conversely, a No Probable Cause finding means that the evidence has not revealed discrimination and the Commission believes the matter should be closed. However, if the Complaining Party has discovered a new piece of evidence that was not consider in the determination, they may appeal the determination. This must be done in writing and submitted to the Commission's office within ten days of receipt of the determination documents.

If an appeal is granted, the Complaining Party must appear in front of an appeal hearing panel to present their case. The company will be there to defend their actions and the Commission will also be there to present it's investigation and findings. Each of these three parties will have an opportunity to speak and the panel will make their decision based on the information provided. The panel may decide to send the case back for further investigation or they may reverse the original decision, in which the case will be set for public hearing. However, the panel may decide to uphold the original decision and then the case will be closed.

ADDITIONAL USEFUL INFORMATION:

Powers and Duties of the Commission

Mediation