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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2013 / FCHR Order No. 13-050

FCHR Order No. 13-050

Date of Release: 07/23/2013

STATE OF FLORIDA

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

 

ELA M. LUGO AND MARIA MARTINEZ

HUD Case No. 04-11-0186-8

 

Petitioner

FCHR Case No. 2011H0163

   

DOAH Case No.

11-1116

 

v.

FCHR Order No. 13-050

 

MARK HAYNES, DEVELOPER

 
 

Respondent

 
     

FINAL ORDER AWARDING AFFIRMATIVE RELIEF

FROM A DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICE

Preliminary Matters

Petitioners Ela M. Lugo and Maria Martinez filed a housing discrimination complaint pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, Sections 760.20 - 760.37, Florida Statutes (2010), alleging that Respondent, Mark Haynes, Developer, committed unlawful employment practices on the basis of Petitioners’ handicap / disability by installing gates that obstruct Petitioners’ access to their residence and failing to provide Petitioners a reasonable accommodation for their handicap / disability regarding modifications to the gates to allow them access to their residence.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on February 3, 2011, 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 on July 30 through August 2, 2012, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and by teleconference on August 3, 2012, before Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins.

Judge Watkins issued an Amended Recommended Order, dated January 28, 2013, recommending that the Commission find that a discriminatory housing practice occurred and recommending affirmative relief.

The Commission issued an “Interlocutory Order Awarding Affirmative Relief from a Discriminatory Housing Practice and Remanding Case to Administrative Law Judge for Issuance of Recommended Order Regarding Amount of Costs Owed Petitioners,” FCHR Order No. 13-027, dated April 4, 2013.

Judge Watkins issued a “Recommended Order for Reasonable and Allowable Costs,” dated May 16, 2013, recommending the Commission issue a final order awarding Petitioners costs in the amount of $6,881.00.

FCHR Order No. 13-050

Page 2

The Commission panel designated below considered the record of this matter and determined the action to be taken on the “Recommended Order for Reasonable and Allowable Costs,” dated May 16, 2013.

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.

Exceptions

None of the parties filed exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s “Recommended Order for Reasonable and Allowable Costs,” dated May 16, 2013.

Affirmative Relief / Costs

Through our adoption of the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact and conclusions of law, as set out above, we have adopted the Administrative Law Judge’s recommendation for the amount of costs owed Petitioner.

We note that Respondent has already been ordered by FCHR Order No. 13-027: (1) to cease and desist from discriminating further in the manner it has been found to have unlawfully discriminated against Petitioners (Section 760.35(3)(b), Florida Statutes (2010)); (2) to immediately remove Gates 2 through 4 as identified in the Amended Recommended Order and to refrain from taking any action that would impede Petitioners’ travel along ingress/egress #1 and #2, as identified in the Amended Recommended Order, as recommended by the Administrative Law Judge; and (3) to pay to Petitioners quantifiable damages in the amount of $1522.90, as computed in the Amended Recommended Order and as recommended by the Administrative Law Judge, with interest accruing at the applicable statutory rate upon the date of FCHR Order No. 13-027, April 4, 2013.

Respondent, Mark Haynes, Developer, is hereby ORDERED to pay Petitioners costs in the amount of $6,881.00, as recommended by the Administrative Law Judge in the “Recommended Order for Reasonable and Allowable Costs,” dated May 16, 2013.

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

FCHR Order No. 13-050

Page 3

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 23rd day of July , 2013.

FOR THE FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS:

Commissioner Gilbert M. Singer, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Lizzette Romano; and

Commissioner Mario M. Valle

Filed this 23rd day of July , 2013,

in Tallahassee, Florida.

____________/s/_______________

Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Ela M. Lugo and Maria Martinez

c/o Jamison Jessup, Qualified Representative

557 Noremac Avenue

Deltona, FL 32738

Mark Haynes, Developer

c/o Robert Thurlow, Esq.

Robert S. Thurlow, P.A.

415 Canal Street

New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

W. David Watkins, III, Administrative Law Judge, DOAH

James Mallue, Legal Advisor for Commission Panel

FCHR Order No. 13-050

Page 4

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed to the above listed addressees this 23rd day of July , 2013.

By: _________/s/_______________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations