(1) A party who is dissatisfied with a department decision to dismiss a complaint may seek commission review of the decision by filing a written objection within 14 days after the issuance of the notice of dismissal. The objection will be considered at the next commission meeting after conclusion of the briefing schedule, issued in accordance with the following:
(a) An objecting party who wishes to file a supporting brief must file and serve the opening brief within twenty-one days after the department decision to dismiss the complaint.
(b) A responding party who wishes to file a response brief must file and serve the response brief within fourteen days of service of the opening brief.
(c) An objecting party who wishes to file a reply brief must file and serve the reply brief within fourteen days of service of the response brief.
(2) Briefs subject to this rule may not exceed ten pages in length and must comply with the formatting requirements set forth in ARM 24.9.111. Any specific exhibits which the party believes are essential to the commission's consideration of the matter must be attached to the party's brief. Briefs must be filed in accordance with ARM 24.9.112.
(3) Requests for oral argument must be made in writing at the time of filing the first brief of each party. If a request for oral argument is timely made, ten minutes for each party will be reserved for oral argument at the commission meeting at which the objection will be considered. The commission may request that the parties present oral argument.
(4) Consideration of the objection will be based upon the written record unless oral argument is requested by a party and authorized by the commission. For the purposes of review of objections to a dismissal of a complaint, the written record is comprised solely of the Final Investigative Report of the department, the objection, the briefing of the parties pursuant to this rule, and any attachments to that briefing.
(5) The commission will review an objection to the Human Rights Bureau's decision to dismiss a complaint under an abuse of discretion standard.
(6) If the commission sustains an objection to the dismissal of a complaint, it will reopen the case by remanding it to the department.
(a) If the complaint has not yet been informally investigated, and not more than 90 days (housing cases) or 120 days (nonhousing cases) have passed since the date of filing, it will be remanded to the Human Rights Bureau for investigation.
(b) If the complaint has been informally investigated, or if more than 90 days (housing cases) or 120 days (nonhousing cases) have passed since the date of filing, it will be remanded to the Office of Administrative Hearings to give notice of a hearing.
(7) If the commission affirms the dismissal of a complaint, it will issue a written order to the parties within 90 days of the hearing on the matter. The charging party has 90 days after receipt of the commission's order affirming the dismissal of a complaint to file the complaint in the appropriate district court.