§ 2–1403.16a. Civil actions by the Attorney General.
(a) In addition to any other remedies provided in this unit, if the Attorney General has reason to believe that a person is violating the provisions of this unit, the Attorney General may bring a civil action in the name of the District.
(b) A civil action brought pursuant to this section:
(1) May be brought at any time; and
(2) Shall be independent of any other actions, remedies, or procedures that may be available to an aggrieved party pursuant to this or any other law. An aggrieved party's final adjudication or settlement shall not preclude the Attorney General from seeking any remedy on behalf of the District to which the District may be entitled.
(c) In a civil action brought pursuant to this section:
(1) If a person is found to have violated this unit, the Attorney General may obtain the following civil penalties:
(A) If the person has not previously been adjudged to have committed any prior unlawful discriminatory practice or has committed at least one prior unlawful discriminatory practice other than in the periods provided in subparagraph (B) and (C) of this paragraph, in an amount not to exceed $10,000 per violation;
(B) If the person has, during the 5-year period ending on the date of the filing of the cause of action, been adjudged to have committed one other unlawful discriminatory practice, in an amount not to exceed $25,000 per violation; and
(C) If the person has, during the 7-year period ending on the date of the filing of the cause of action, been adjudged to have committed 2 or more unlawful discriminatory practices, in an amount not to exceed $50,000 per violation; and
(2) The Attorney General shall not be required to prove damages and any injunction issued shall be without bond.
(d)(1) Each separate and distinct action or practice that violates this unit shall be deemed a violation under this section. An action or practice shall constitute multiple violations if it violates more than one provision of the act or violates the rights of more than one person.
(2) Each day that a discriminatory advertisement is posted in violation of this unit shall be a violation.
(f) Any penalties recovered pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Litigation Support Fund, as established by § 1-301.86b.
(g)(1) To determine whether to seek relief under this section, the Attorney General may:
(A) Subpoena witnesses;
(B) Administer oaths;
(C) Examine an individual under oath;
(D) Require sworn answers in writing to written interrogatories; or
(E) Compel production of records, books, papers, contracts, and other documents, verified by a sworn certificate of completion.
(2) Service of any document issued pursuant to this section shall be made by mail, e-mail, or any other method reasonably calculated to provide actual notice; provided, that the Superior Court of the District of Columbia may exercise jurisdiction over the recipient of the demand document consistent with the Due Process Clause of the Constitution of the United States.
(3) Information or evidence obtained pursuant to this section shall not be admissible in a later criminal proceeding against the person who provides the information or evidence, except with respect to sworn statements that are the basis for a subsequent perjury prosecution.
(4) Subpoenas or requests for interrogatories issued pursuant to this section shall contain:
(A) The name of the person from whom testimony is sought or the documents or materials requested;
(B) The person at the Office of the Attorney General to whom the documents shall be provided;
(C) A detailed list of the specific documents, books, papers, or objects being requested, if any;
(D) The date, time, and place that the recipient is to appear to give testimony or produce the materials specified under subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, or both;
(E) A short, plain statement of the recipient's rights and the procedure for enforcing and contesting the subpoena; and
(F) The signature of the Attorney General, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, or Assistant Deputy Attorney General approving the subpoena request.
(5) Unless otherwise permitted by the Attorney General, only attorneys for the Office of the Attorney General and their staff, other persons they engage in the examination, the witness under examination, the witness's attorney, interpreters when needed, and, for the purpose of taking the evidence, a stenographer or operator of a recording device, may be present during the taking of testimony.
(6) In the case of refusal to obey a subpoena issued under this section, the Attorney General may petition the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for an order requiring compliance. Any failure to obey the order of the court may be treated by the court as contempt.
(7) Any person to whom a subpoena has been issued under this section may exercise the privileges enjoyed by all witnesses. A person to whom a subpoena has been issued may move to quash or modify the subpoena in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on:
(A) The grounds that the Attorney General failed to follow or satisfy the procedures set forth in this section for the issuance of a subpoena; or
(B) Any grounds that exist under statute or common law for quashing or modifying a subpoena.
(8) In any action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia pertaining to a subpoena issued under this section, the Attorney General shall be entitled to recover the costs of the action and reasonable attorneys' fees.
(9) Subpoenas or interrogatories under this section shall not be directed to a District government official or entity.
(h) This section shall not be construed to create any additional rights or defenses for any party.
(i)(1) Prior to instituting any action pursuant to this section, the Attorney General shall give notice to the Office that it intends to file such action. Notice shall be provided at least 48 hours prior to filing the action.
(2) The Office shall keep information regarding the potential action confidential until the filing is made public.
(3) The notice required by this subsection shall not constitute a jurisdictional requirement and the failure to provide the notice required by this subsection shall not create a defense in the action.
(j)(1) Within 180 days after March 10, 2023, the Attorney General and the Office may enter into, and may from time to time update, a memorandum of understanding ("MOU") that addresses subjects such as the agencies' sharing of information and documents, notifications, and the procedures underlying the Attorney General's defense and enforcement of the Office's and the Commission's decisions and orders.
(2) No provision of this unit, or rules issued pursuant to this unit, shall be construed to limit the information sharing between the Attorney General and the Office that the MOU may authorize; except, that such information sharing shall remain limited by any confidentiality requirements in any other law.