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"Competent Substantial Evidence"

COMPETENT SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

We have used the term "competent substantial evidence" advisedly. Substantial evidence has been described as such evidence as will establish a substantial basis of fact from which the fact at issue can be reasonably inferred. We have stated it to be such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind would accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Becker v. Merrill, 155 Fla. 379, 20 So. 2d 912; Laney v. Board of Public Instruction, 153 Fla. 728, 15 So. 2d 748. In employing the adjective "competent" to modify the word "substantial," we are aware of the familiar rule that in administrative proceedings the formalities in the introduction of testimony common to the courts of justice are not strictly employed. Jenkins v. Curry, 154 Fla. 617, 18 So. 2d 521. We are of the view, however, that the evidence relied upon to sustain the ultimate finding should be sufficiently relevant and material that a reasonable mind would accept it as adequate to support the conclusion reached. To this extent the "substantial" evidence should also be "competent." Schwartz, American Administrative Law, p. 88; The Substantial Evidence Rule by Malcolm Parsons, Fla. Law Review, Vol. IV, No. 4, p. 481; United States Casualty Company v. Maryland Casualty Company, Fla. 1951, 55 So. 2d 741; Consolidated Edison Co. of New York v. National Labor Relations Board, 305 U.S. 197, 59 S. Ct. 206, 83 L. Ed. 126. Source: De Groot v Sheffield, 95 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1957)

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