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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2014 / FCHR Order No. 14-002

FCHR Order No. 14-002

Date of Release: 02/19/2014




HUD Case No. 04-13-0636-8


FCHR Case No. 2013H0224


DOAH Case No. 13-3283


FCHR Order No. 14-002





Preliminary Matters

Petitioner Denise Johnson-Acosta filed a housing discrimination complaint pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, Sections 760.20 - 760.37, Florida Statutes (2012), alleging that Respondent Cordell John, Property Owner, committed discriminatory housing practices relating to the lease of a residential townhome on the bases of the disability of Petitioner and the disability of Petitioner’s daughter. Specifically, Petitioner alleges that Respondent unlawfully assessed a pet deposit for her daughter’s emotional support animal, and unlawfully refused to make needed repairs as a reasonable accommodation.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on July 26, 2013, 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 by video teleconference at sites in Orlando and Tallahassee, Florida, on November 14, 2013, before Administrative Law Judge R. Bruce McKibben.

Judge McKibben issued a Recommended Order of dismissal, dated December 3, 2013.

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

FCHR Order No. 14-002

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Administrative Law Judge, the Recommended Order is the only evidence for the Commission to consider. See National Industries, Inc. v. Commission on Human Relations, et al., 527 So. 2d 894, at 897, 898 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988). Accord, Mack v.

Agency for Persons with Disabilities, FCHR Order No. 11-026 (March 17, 2011), Hall v. Villages of West Oaks HOA, FCHR Order No. 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).

The Administrative Law Judge found, “Johnson submitted a letter into evidence from a behavioral health care employee. The letter, dated some five months after Johnson vacated the unit, said that Ashley would benefit from having a companion dog as she did not have many friends.” Recommended Order, ¶ 11. It would appear from the record that this document was actually the Respondent’s Exhibit O. It further appears that Petitioner submitted a document dated 10-1-12, Petitioner’s Exhibit 1, relating to this issue. Nevertheless, in the absence of a transcript of the proceeding before the Administrative Law Judge we are unable to determine the application of these documents to the testimony provided.

With these comments, 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.


Neither of the parties filed exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s Recommended Order.


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 19th day of February , 2014.


FCHR Order No. 14-002

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Commissioner Mario M. Valle, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Onelia Fajardo-Garcia; and

Commissioner Gilbert M. Singer

Filed this 19th day of February , 2014,

in Tallahassee, Florida.


Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Denise Johnson-Acosta

Post Office Box 453347

Kissimmee, FL 34745

Cordell John, Property Owner

2921 Swoops Circle

Kissimmee, FL 34741

R. Bruce McKibben, 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 19th day of February , 2014.

By: ___________/s/_____________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations