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Icon-UpArrow FCHR 101 | Phase 6 | Determination
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At the end of the FCHR’s handling of your COD, it will issue you a Determination. This Determination will be your ticket into a subsequent tribunal (ie, Court and/or Administrative Hearing).

6.0 | Intro

Good News: The FCHR has recently begun emailing these Determinations to would-be litigants.

Better News: TBD has copied, re-formatted, and published [almost] all publicly available Determination letters on this website.

✔ Free
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o ie, you will score book points by reading/accessing the determinations
• learn more about book points here

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✓ No Signups

Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on the FCHR’s determination letter.

6.1 | Cause vs No Cause

The most important thing in the Determination Letter is whether the agency decided to rule in your favor.
• If the FCHR rules in your favor then its Determination Letter will say “Cause” (ie, “Reasonable Cause”).

• If, on the other hand, the FCHR rules against you then its Determination letter will say “No Cause” (ie, “No Reasonable Cause”).
Note: the FCHR rendersNo Cause” determinations 86% of the time (see TBD’s analysis).

6.2 | Arbitrary Nature

Moreover, TBD’s research has shown that the FCHR’s determinations are often arbitrary; and sometimes false. Case in point: most of the agency’s determinations (74%) are just one page in length. Thereby providing zero findings of fact; and zero rationale for the decision.

All of the FCHR’s determination, however, mark the agency’s relinquishment of its subject matter jurisdiction over your case (ie, the FCHR will temporarily/permanently stop processing your COD).

Notwithstanding its arbitrary nature, the determination will play a pivotal role in your lawsuit. Importantly, the agency’s decision (ie, “cause” vs “no cause”) will heavily impact whether you will get a [constitutionally-guaranteed] trial-by-jury.

Although undisclosed in the Determination itself, the determination’s effect will be explained in the accompanying Notice of Determination.

6.3 | Accompanying Notice

Accompanying the FCHR’s Determination letter will be the FCHR’s Notice of Determination (see index here). Although seemingly redundant, the Notice will outline your next steps (while implicitly closing certain legal doors on you – 86% of the time).

Please be mindful, you will have a limited amount of time to act.

6.4 | Filing Window

Administrative Hearing
According to §760.11 FS, you will have 35 days to file a petition for relief (in order to proceed to an administrative hearing).
Important Note: this 35-day window exists regardless of the determination (ie, cause vs no cause). Meaning:
➫ If the FCHR issues you a “Cause” Determination then you will have 35 days to request an administrative hearing (see §760.11(6) FS); plus

➫ If the FCHR issues you a “No Cause” Determination then you will [still] have 35 days to request an administrative hearing (see §760.11(7) FS).
State Court
According to §760.11 FS, you will have 1 year to file a civil complaint (in order to proceed to state court).
Important Note: this 1-year window does not exist if the FCHR issues you a “No Cause” determination (see §760.11(4) FS)
➳ see Phase 10: Final Order for more
EEOC Review
Based on recently published FCHR Determinations (see 202331 TBD.N 005 for example), you will have 50 days to ask the EEOC to review the FCHR’s Determination. Apparently, this request will operate the same as a Request for a Substantial Weight Review (see this how-to guide).
How-To Write a Request for a Substantial Weight Review
Please know that these filing windows are crucial. Subsequent tribunals (ie, DOAH, state court, etc.) will [seek to ] dismiss your complaint/petition if you file your case late (ie, if you file after your window closes).

6.5 | The Who

The Determination letter will also reveal to you – perhaps for the first time – who has been (and probably will be) involved in your case. The names of roughly 14 state officials will appear on it (1 executive director; [up to] 12 FCHR commissioners; and 1 state governor).2
Executive Director
Notably, the FCHR Executive Director will be the person who authors (and signs) your Determination letter.

The Executive Director (eg, Cheyanne Costilla) is not an elected official. In fact, he/she is not even an appointed official (someone directly hired by an elected official). Instead, the FCHR’s agency head is just a person who was hired by an appointed official (ie, a person-hired by a person hired by an elected official). In laymen’s terms, the Executive Director is just some Joe Schmoe who involves himself/herself in other people’s business (without their consent/input).

Importantly, this unappointed/unelected individual is the person deciding your fate.
FCHR Commissioners
Your determination letter will also name the agency’s commissioners (eg, Angela Primiano). Pursuant to §760.03(1) FS, up to 12 of them can serve at a given time.3 The names of the active commissioners will appear on your letter.

Similar to the Executive Director, these commissioners are not elected officials. However – and unlike the FCHR’s director – they are appointed officials (appointed by the state governor – an elected official). Moreover, these appointed officials are the people who are responsible for hiring/monitoring the Executive Director.

Nonetheless, at this stage, none of these commissioners have participated in the FCHR’s Determination.4 A few of them, however, might play a decisive role later on (via the Final Order).
➳ see Phase 10: Final Order for more
The final person who appears on your Determination letter (other than you and your civil opponent) is the state governor.

Of course – and unlike the others – the Governor is an elected official. Moreover, this elected official selects the FCHR Commissioners (who – in turn – hire the [acting] executive director). By law, the Governor is entitled to an annual report5 from the FCHR (see §760.06(11) FS).

As you might suspect, this elected official [probably] has not participated in your FCHR determination. Moreover, he/she might never play a decisive role in your case.
All-in-all, the public officials named in this Determination letter will have an impact on your subsequent legal course of action. So, seeing their names now (and understanding what roles they [might] play) can help ground you in the path that you are traveling. Importantly, please note how the only person deciding your fate is an unappointed/unelected individual (who acts while the appointed/elected officials look the other way).

6.6 | TBD’s Recommendations

Promptly ask the FCHR for your complete charge file (it’ll help you with your lawsuit).
When to Ask:
IF you get a timely Notice of Determination, ask for your charge file immediately after receiving it. IF you do not get a timely Notice of Determination, then ask for your charge file immediately after your 180-day investigative window closes (ie, on day 181)
You can use the attached template to request your charge file.
Alternatively: you can use this how-to guide for making a public records request.
How-To Make a Public Records Request with the FCHR
Your charge file will provide you with some important documents. One such document is the Investigative Memorandum (which will reveal the points your investigator opted to make regarding your case).
Certificate of Authenticity
Upon transmitting your charge file, the FCHR will probably produce a short document titled “Certificate of Authenticity”.
It’ll merely say that the agency’s clerk has certified that he/she has sent you true & correct copies of the original documents.
Make sure the document discloses that the FCHR has sent you the “entire record”. If the certificate does not disclose that, then ask the FCHR to send you everything that it has failed to supply (ie, the “entire record”).

Note: This certificate will help you guard against any [manufactured] issues on timeliness/jurisdiction.
Also, if time permits, begin reading the following rules:
Rules 1.280 through 1.410 Fla. R. Civ. P.
DOAH’s Uniform Rules of Procedure
Rule 9.030 Fla. R. App. P.
Rule 9.110 Fla. R. App. P.
Rule 9.120 Fla. R. App. P.
Rule 9.190 Fla. R. App. P.
Rule 2.514 Fla. R. Jud. Admin.
Rule 201 Fed. R. Evid.
Plus, before you file your PFR at DOAH (or your civil complaint in state court), have a full understanding of the following rules:
Rules 1.280 through 1.410 Fla. R. Civ. P.
DOAH’s Uniform Rules of Procedure

6.7 | TBD’s Commentary

As you read through these rules you’ll be “getting booked up” on the knowledge/resources that you’ll need to get justice.

Thus, your growing knowledge will be an asset to you as you navigate through the FCHR legal process. And you can further expand that knowledge by learning about the next phase (ie, Phase 7: The Petition for Relief)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
1 dual-filed means a case that falls under: (a) the FCHR’s jurisdiction; and (b) the EEOC’s jurisdiction. To receive this status, you must file your COD within 300 days of the last known act of discrimination.

2 your Notice of Determination, on the other hand, will list the name of the Agency Clerk. The Clerk signs your Notice of Determination (while the Executive Director signs the actual Determination).

3 Please note that this is the actual commission. Up until now, you’ve just been working with FCHR staff. The 12 commissioners (or however many are actually listed) are the actual commission (see §760.03(1) FS)

4 From TBD’s point-of-view, the presence of these commissioners’ names [on your determination letter] serves as a tacit approval of the executive director’s decision. Thereby glossing a false coat of legitimacy onto an otherwise unconstitutional act of interference (from an unappointed/unelected individual). An act that impairs your 7th Amendment right to a trial-by-jury (among other things).

5 an annual report, remarkably, which the FCHR hasn’t produced since 2019 (see index).
Congratulations! You're now booked up on Phase 6 (The Determination) regarding the way the legal process operates within the State of Florida!

Keep this in mind while you litigate your civil rights case in the sunshine state. Also, keep in mind the FCHR's statutory ability to accept bribes.

Plus - at all times - keep the 7th Amendment of the US Constitution (your right to a trial-by-jury) in mind.

As always, please get the justice you deserve.


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