RCW 49.60.340 Election for civil action in lieu of hearing-- Relief.

     (1) Any complainant on whose behalf the reasonable cause finding was made, a respondent, or an aggrieved person may, with respect to real estate transactions pursuant to RCW 49.60.222 through 49.60.225, elect to have the claims on which reasonable cause was found decided in a civil action under RCW 49.60.030(2) in lieu of a hearing under RCW 49.60.250. This election must be made not later than twenty days after the service of the reasonable cause finding. The person making such election shall give notice of doing so to the commission and to all other complainants and respondents to whom the charge relates. Any reasonable cause finding issued by the commission pursuant to the procedures contained in this chapter shall become final twenty days after service of the reasonable cause finding unless a written notice of election is received by the commission within the twenty-day period.

     (2) If an election is made under subsection (1) of this section, the commission shall authorize not later than thirty days after the election is made, and the attorney general shall commence, a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved person in a superior court of the state of Washington seeking relief under this section.

     (3) Any aggrieved person with respect to the issues to be determined in a civil action under this section may intervene as of right in that civil action.

     (4) In a civil action under this section, if the court finds that an unfair practice in a real estate transaction has occurred or is about to occur, the court may grant any relief that a court could grant with respect to such an unfair practice in a real estate transaction in a civil action under RCW 49.60.030(2). If monetary relief is sought for the benefit of an aggrieved person who does not intervene in the civil action, the court shall not award such relief if that aggrieved person has not complied with discovery orders entered by the court.

     (5) In any administrative proceeding under this section where the respondent is the prevailing party, a complainant who intervenes by filing a notice of independent appearance may be liable for reasonable attorneys' fees and costs only to the extent that the intervening participation in the administrative proceeding was frivolous or vexatious, or was for the purpose of harassment.

     (6) In any administrative proceeding brought under RCW 49.60.225 or any court proceeding arising therefrom, or any civil action under this section, the administrative law judge or the court in its discretion may allow the prevailing party, other than the commission, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

[1993 c 69 13.]

NOTES:

     Severability--1993 c 69: See note following RCW 49.60.030.