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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2010 / FCHR Order No. 10-011

FCHR Order No. 10-011

Date of Release: 02/16/2010

STATE OF FLORIDA

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

DONALD TRAVIS AND LISA HARRELL

HUD Case No. 04-09-0826-8

Petitioner

 

v.

FCHR Case No. 2009H0207

   

ANNE AND JOHN CUTLER

DOAH Case No. 09-3577

Respondent

FCHR Order No. 10-011

   

FINAL ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR

RELIEF FROM A DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICE

Preliminary Matters

Petitioners Donald Travis and Lisa Harrell filed a housing discrimination complaint pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, Sections 760.20 - 760.37, Florida Statutes (2007), alleging that Respondents Anne and John Cutler committed discriminatory housing practices on the basis of Petitioners’ race (biracial couple – African American and white, respectively) by denying Petitioners maintenance on their apartment, by not responding to service requests in a timely manner, and by denying availability upon Petitioners’ request to relocate to a better-maintained apartment.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on June 19, 2009, the Executive Director issued a determination finding that there was no reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory housing practice had occurred.

Petitioners 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 27, 2009, before Administrative Law Judge Robert S. Cohen.

Judge Cohen issued a Recommended Order of dismissal, dated November 25, 2009.

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

Findings of Fact

A transcript of the proceeding before the Administrative Law Judge was not filed with the Commission. In the absence of a transcript of the proceeding before the

Administrative Law Judge, the Recommended Order is the only evidence for the Commission to consider. See National Industries, Inc. v. Commission on Human

FCHR Order No. 10-011

Page 2

Relations, et al., 527 So. 2d 894, at 897, 898 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988). Accord, Hall v. Villages of West Oaks HOA, FCHR 08-007 (January 14, 2008), Beach-Gutierrez v. Bay

Medical Center, FCHR Order No. 05-011 (January 19, 2005), and Waaser v. Streit’s Motorsports, FCHR Order No. 04-157 (November 30, 2004).

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.

Exceptions

None of the parties filed exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s Recommended Order.

Dismissal

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 16th day of February , 2010.

FOR THE FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS:

Commissioner Billy Whitefox Stall, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Lizzette Gamero; and

Commissioner Patty Ball Thomas

Filed this 16th day of February , 2010,

in Tallahassee, Florida.

FCHR Order No. 10-011

Page 3

________________________________

Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 200

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Donald Travis

Lisa Harrell

1008 West Young Street

Pensacola, FL 32501

Anne Cutler

John Cutler

5970 Limestone Road

Pensacola, FL 32504

Robert S. Cohen, 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 16th day of February , 2010.

By: _____________________________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations