(1) The Attorney General may commence a civil action for damages, injunctive relief, civil penalties not to exceed $10,000 per violation, and such other relief as may be appropriate under the laws of this state if the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group:
(a) Has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination as defined by the laws of this state; or
(b) Has been discriminated against as defined by the laws of this state and such discrimination raises an issue of great public interest.
(2) The Attorney General may file an action under this section in the circuit court of the county where the cause of action arises or in the circuit court of the Second Judicial Circuit, in and for Leon County.
(3) In any proceeding under this section, the respondent may request, before any responsive pleading is due, that a hearing be held no earlier than 5 days but no more than 30 days after the filing of the complaint, at which hearing the court shall determine whether the complaint on its face makes a prima facie showing that a pattern or practice of discrimination exists or that, as a result of discrimination, an issue of great public interest exists.
(4) The prevailing party in an action brought under this section is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
(5) Any damages recovered under this section shall accrue to the injured party.