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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2014 / FCHR Order No. 14-021

FCHR Order No. 14-021

Date of Release: 06/11/2014

STATE OF FLORIDA

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

SUSANNE GOSS

EEOC Case No.

510201000872

Petitioner

FCHR Case No.

2010-00663

v.

DOAH Case No.

10-10699

KAZI FOODS OF FLORIDA, INC., d/b/a KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN

FCHR Order No. 14-021

Respondent

 

ORDER REMANDING PETITION FOR

RELIEF FROM AN UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE

This matter is before the Commission for consideration of the “Response of Kazi Foods of Florida, Inc. to Order Requiring Respondent to Show Cause Why Case Should Not be Remanded for Administrative Hearing on the Merits,” received by the Commission on April 23, 2014.

Preliminary Matters

The record reflects that Respondent filed a notice of bankruptcy and automatic stay with the Division of Administrative Hearings on March 10, 2011.

The case was automatically stayed on March 14, 2011, pursuant to the bankruptcy stay provisions of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(1).

On January 27, 2014, Administrative Law Judge Cathy M. Sellers issued an “Order Closing File and Relinquishing Jurisdiction,” relinquishing jurisdiction of the matter to the Commission, “with leave to reopen it should the parties determine that it should go forward to administrative hearing.”

In response to this Order, the Commission issued an “Order Requiring Respondent to Show Cause Why Case Should Not Be Remanded for Administrative Hearing on the Merits,” dated March 26, 2014.

In response to the “show cause” Order, Respondent filed “Response of Kazi Foods of Florida, Inc. to Order Requiring Respondent to Show Cause Why Case Should Not be Remanded for Administrative Hearing on the Merits,” received by the Commission on April 23, 2014.

Response to “Show Cause” Order

The “Response of Kazi Foods of Florida, Inc. to Order Requiring Respondent to Show Cause Why Case Should Not be Remanded for Administrative Hearing on the Merits” states that the bankruptcy court closed Respondent’s Chapter 11 case on May 10, 2013, and maintains that

FCHR Order No. 14-021

Page 2

this proceeding be permanently closed because Petitioner no longer maintains a valid claim against Respondent “on account of her failure to act to preserve her claim within the bankruptcy case as required by the Bankruptcy Code.”

Specifically, Respondent’s response to the Commission’s “show cause” Order states that Petitioner had notice of the bankruptcy proceedings, but never filed a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court, or otherwise asserted in any manner or form any claim against Respondent within the bankruptcy case related to the claims raised with the Commission in this proceeding. Respondent argues, “Accordingly, by virtue of the confirmed liquidation plan of Kazi Florida (and its affiliated entities) entered November 1, 2012, Ms. Goss is precluded and barred from asserting or continuing to pursue any claims against Kazi Florida in this, or any other tribunal, based on the allegations raised in her petition.”

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

We believe it is necessary to remand the case to the Administrative Law Judge for further proceedings on the Petition for Relief.

While closure / dismissal of the case without a hearing on the merits might be the ultimate appropriate disposition of the case as argued by Respondent in its response to the Commission’s “show cause” Order, the record as it exists before the Commission contains insufficient filings to support such an action. The record contains merely the representations and arguments of Respondent as set out in its response to the Commission’s “show cause” Order.

If closure / dismissal is warranted for the reasons set out in Respondent’s response to the Commission’s “show cause” Order, the documentation in support thereof can be made part of the record through motion practice or other means before the Administrative Law Judge. If a record justifying closure / dismissal cannot be established, the matter should proceed to a hearing on the merits.

Remand

The Petition for Relief and Complaint of Discrimination are REMANDED to the Administrative Law Judge for further proceedings on the Petition for Relief consistent with this Order.

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

FCHR Order No. 14-021

Page 3

Filed this 11th day of June , 2014,

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:

Susanne Goss

6226 County Road 92

Greenwood, MS 38930

Kazi Foods of Florida, Inc., d/b/a

Kentucky Fried Chicken

c/o Jeffrey S. Grasl, Esq.

McDonald Hopkins PLC

39533 Woodward Avenue, Suite 318

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

Cathy M. Sellers, 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