§ 99D-1. Interference with Civil Rights.
It is a violation of this Chapter if:
- Two or more persons, motivated by race, religion, ethnicity, or gender, but whether or not acting under color of law, conspire to interfere with the exercise or enjoyment by any other person or persons of a right secured by the Constitutions of the United States or North Carolina, or of a right secured by a law of the United States or North Carolina that enforces, interprets, or impacts on a constitutional right; and
- One or more persons engaged in such a conspiracy use force, repeated harassment, violence, physical harm to persons or property, or direct or indirect threats of physical harm to persons or property to commit an act in furtherance of the object of the conspiracy; and
- The commission of an act described in subdivision (2) interferes, or is an attempt to interfere, with the exercise or enjoyment of a right, described in subdivision (1), of another person.
- Any person whose exercise or enjoyment of a right described in subdivision (a)(1) has been interfered with, or against whom an attempt has been made to interfere with the exercise or enjoyment of such a right, by a violation of this Chapter may bring a civil action. The court may restrain and enjoin such future acts, and may award compensatory and punitive damages to the plaintiff. The court may award court costs and attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party. However, a prevailing defendant may be awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees only upon a showing that the case is frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation. (b1) The North Carolina Human Relations Commission may bring a civil action on behalf, and with the consent, of any person subjected to a violation of this Chapter. In any such action, the court may restrain and enjoin such future acts, and may award compensatory damages and punitive damages to the person on whose behalf the action was brought. Court costs may be awarded to the Commission or the defendant, whichever prevails. Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 114-2 , the Commission shall be represented by the Commission’s staff attorney.
- No civil action may be brought or maintained, and no liability may be imposed, under this Chapter against a governmental unit, a government official with respect to actions taken within the scope of his official governmental duties, or an employer or his agent with respect to actions taken concerning his employees within the scope of the employment relationship.
History. 1987, c. 718, s. 1; 1991, c. 433, ss. 1, 2.
For article, “Outlawed and Exiled: Zero Tolerance and Second Generation Race Discrimination in Public Schools,” see 29 N.C. Cent. L. J. 147 (2007).
Civil rights group could not pursue a claim under G.S. 99D-1 for the proposal of landowners and a hospital to close the hospital because only aggrieved individuals or the North Carolina Human Relations Commission could pursue claims under the statute. Town of Belhaven v. Pantego Creek, LLC, 250 N.C. App. 459, 793 S.E.2d 711, 2016 N.C. App. LEXIS 1164 (2016).
Cause of Action Stated. —
The plaintiff stated a cause of action for a violation of this chapter where she alleged (1) that the defendant was reponsible for mixing drinks which rendered the plaintiff physically helpless and otherwise participated in an incident in which the plaintiff was stripped naked and videotaped, and (2) that the defendant later sought to conceal her involvement in the incident and acted on a scheme with other defendants to harass and discredit the plaintiff and to destroy evidence and obstruct justice. Zenobile v. McKecuen, 144 N.C. App. 104, 548 S.E.2d 756, 2001 N.C. App. LEXIS 328 (2001).
Collateral Estoppel. —
Dismissal of a resident’s G.S. 99D-1 claim against a homeowner’s association and its directors was proper since the claim was based on the same facts and circumstances that were before the federal court in dismissing the resident’s FHA claims and, as a result, the resident was collaterally estopped from bringing the state claim. Radcliffe v. Avenel Homeowners Ass'n, 248 N.C. App. 541, 789 S.E.2d 893, 2016 N.C. App. LEXIS 824 (2016), cert. denied, 369 N.C. 569 , 799 S.E.2d 42, 2017 N.C. LEXIS 344 (2017).
Suits Barred Against Governmental Units or Officials. —
Discrimination action was dismissed against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since the plain language of the statute barred suits against a governmental unit or officials. Jaffer v. Nat'l Caucus & Ctr. on Black Aged, Inc., 296 F. Supp. 2d 639, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23243 (M.D.N.C. 2003).
Conspiracy Must Be Averred. —
Claim brought by a Senior Environmental Employment program participant was dismissed because she had not averred the existence of a conspiracy designed to interfere with her constitutional rights. Jaffer v. Nat'l Caucus & Ctr. on Black Aged, Inc., 296 F. Supp. 2d 639, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23243 (M.D.N.C. 2003).
Conclusory Allegations Insufficient. —
Plaintiff’s claims under G.S. 99D-1 were dismissed pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. (12(b)(6) because the allegations made in support of that claim were merely conclusory. Xu v. Univ. of N.C. at Charlotte, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128646 (W.D.N.C. Dec. 6, 2010).
Public Duty Doctrine Not Applicable. —
Because the mother’s claims on behalf of her daughter were not based on negligence, but rather were based on the assertion that a school resource officer was aware that a teacher was facilitating sexual liaisons between a 14-year-old girl and an 18-year-old boy, but did nothing (in violation of G.S. 99D-1 ), the public duty doctrine did not apply. Smith v. Jackson County Bd. of Educ., 168 N.C. App. 452, 608 S.E.2d 399, 2005 N.C. App. LEXIS 347 (2005).