Difference between DCR and Superior Court
When you file a complaint with DCR, you are choosing to file a complaint with a state agency. You have chosen the “administrative track.” There are no jury trials and you must file within 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination. Alternatively, an aggrieved party may file a complaint in New Jersey Superior Court within two years of the alleged violation.
A person may initiate an action in Superior Court without first filing a complaint with DCR. However, filing a complaint in Superior Court bars the filing of a simultaneous complaint with DCR because a person may not process a complaint of discrimination simultaneously before DCR and in Superior Court.
A person who files an action in Superior Court is entitled to a jury trial. A successful litigant may be awarded reinstatement, hiring or upgrading and back pay as well as damages for pain and humiliation. In more egregious cases, an award of punitive (punishment) damages may be made. An award of attorney’s fees is also available to prevailing parties in Superior Court.