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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2014 / FCHR Order No. 14-018

FCHR Order No. 14-018

Date of Release: 06/11/2014

STATE OF FLORIDA

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

JORGE AND ALQUIDANIA RODRIGUEZ

HUD Case No. 04-13-1119-8

Petitioner

FCHR Case No. 2014H0052

v.

DOAH Case No. 14-0201

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, INC.

FCHR Order No. 14-018

Respondent

 

FINAL ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR

RELIEF FROM A DISCRIMINATORY HOUSING PRACTICE

Preliminary Matters

Petitioners Jorge and Alquidania Rodriguez filed a housing discrimination complaint pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, Sections 760.20 - 760.37, Florida Statutes (2012), alleging that Respondent Housing Development Corporation of Southwest Florida, Inc., committed a discriminatory housing practice on the basis of Petitioners’ National Origin (Hispanic / Mexican) and on the basis of Petitioner Jorge Rodriguez’s disability by denying Petitioners’ application for participation in a program that provided financial assistance for those struggling to pay their home mortgage.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on December 18, 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 Fort Myers and Tallahassee, Florida, on March 26, 2014, before Administrative Law Judge D. R. Alexander.

Judge Alexander issued a Recommended Order of dismissal, dated April 4, 2014.

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. 14-018

Page 2

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).

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 11th day of June , 2014.

FOR THE FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS:

Commissioner Michael Keller, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Donna Elam; and

Commissioner Rebecca Steele

Filed this 11th day of June , 2014,

in Tallahassee, Florida.

FCHR Order No. 14-018

Page 3

____________/s/________________

Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Jorge and Alquidania Rodriguez

207 Northeast 24th Terrace

Cape Coral, FL 33909-4216

Housing Development Corporation

of Southwest Florida, Inc.

c/o Michael Puchalla, Executive Director

3200 Bailey Lane, Suite 109

Naples, FL 34105-8522

D. R. Alexander, 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 11th day of June , 2014.

By: ___________/s/______________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations