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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2010 / FCHR Order No. 10-002

FCHR Order No. 10-002

Date of Release: 01/13/2010




HUD Case No. 04-09-0541-8




FCHR Case No. 2009H0132




DOAH Case No. 09-2393


FCHR Order No. 10-002




Preliminary Matters

Petitioner Susan M. Walters filed a housing discrimination complaint pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, Sections 760.20 - 760.37, Florida Statutes (2007), alleging that Respondents The Pines at Warrington, LP et al. and Pinnacle, an American Management Service Company, committed discriminatory housing practices on the bases of Petitioner’s sex (female) and handicap by harassing Petitioner with false allegations about her dog barking, by perhaps knowing about unauthorized entries into Petitioner’s apartment resulting in property destruction and theft, by failing to send a timely notice of damages to be assessed against Petitioner’s security deposit, and by being unclear about accepting Petitioner’s notice of termination of lease.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on March 26, 2009, the Executive Director issued a determination finding that there was no reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory housing practice had occurred.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Relief from a Discriminatory Housing Practice and the case was transmitted to the Division of Administrative Hearings for the conduct of a formal proceeding.

An evidentiary hearing was held in Pensacola, Florida, on August 21, 2009, before Administrative Law Judge Harry L. Hooper.

Judge Hooper issued a Recommended Order of dismissal, dated October 16, 2009.

The Commission panel designated below considered the record of this matter and determined the action to be taken on the Recommended Order.

FCHR Order No. 10-002

Page 2

Findings of Fact

We find the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact to be supported by competent substantial evidence.

We adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact.

Conclusions of Law

We find the Administrative Law Judge’s application of the law to the facts to result in a correct disposition of the matter.

We adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s conclusions of law.


Petitioner filed exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s Recommended Order in a document received by the Commission on or about October 19, 2009.

Petitioner’s exceptions document contains exceptions to the Preliminary Statement section of the Recommended Order, and the following Recommended Order paragraph numbers: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28.

In each instance the exceptions paragraphs in the document take issue with facts found (2, 4, 8, 10, 12), inferences drawn from the evidence presented (11, 17), statements of the law applicable to the case (20, 25), the application of the law (21, 22, 26, 27, 28), and / or simply contain argument or comment about the Recommended Order paragraph excepted to (exceptions to Preliminary Statement, 5, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 23, 24) [references are to Recommended Order paragraph numbers to which exceptions were made in Petitioner’s exceptions document].

The Commission has stated, “It is well settled that it is the Administrative Law Judge’s function ‘to consider all of the evidence presented and reach ultimate conclusions of fact based on competent substantial evidence by resolving conflicts, judging the credibility of witnesses and drawing permissible inferences therefrom. If the evidence presented supports two inconsistent findings, it is the Administrative Law Judge’s role to decide between them.’ Beckton v. Department of Children and Family Services, 21 F.A.L.R. 1735, at 1736 (FCHR 1998), citing Maggio v. Martin Marietta Aerospace, 9 F.A.L.R. 2168, at 2171 (FCHR 1986).” Barr v. Columbia Ocala Regional Medical Center, 22 F.A.L.R. 1729, at 1730 (FCHR 1999). Accord, Bowles v. Jackson County Hospital Corporation, FCHR Order No. 05-135 (December 6, 2005).

Based on the foregoing, and noting that we have found, above, the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact to be supported by competent substantial evidence, and the Administrative Law Judge’s application of the law to the facts to result in a correct disposition of the matter, Petitioner’s exceptions are rejected.

FCHR Order No. 10-002

Page 3


The Petition for Relief and Housing Discrimination Complaint are DISMISSED with prejudice.

The parties have the right to seek judicial review of this Order. The Commission and the appropriate District Court of Appeal must receive notice of appeal within 30 days of the date this Order is filed with the Clerk of the Commission. Explanation of the right

to appeal is found in Section 120.68, Florida Statutes, and in the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure 9.110.

DONE AND ORDERED this 13th day of January , 2010.


Commissioner Donna Elam, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Watson Haynes, II; and

Commissioner Mario M. Valle

Filed this 13th day of January , 2010,

in Tallahassee, Florida.


Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 200

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Susan M. Walters

1112 Bartow Avenue

Pensacola, FL 32507

The Pines at Warrington, LP et al.

and Pinnacle, an American Management

Service Company

c/o Monica Jerelle Williams, Esq.

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, and Stewart, P.C.

100 North Tampa Street, Suite 3600

Tampa, FL 33602

FCHR Order No. 10-002

Page 4

Harry L. Hooper, Administrative Law Judge, DOAH

James Mallue, Legal Advisor for Commission Panel

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed to the above listed addressees this 13th day of January , 2010.

By: _____________________________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations