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FCHR 101: The Legal Process
All Phases
Detailed Explanation

Definitions

DATA DEFINITIONS | FCHR 101 | LEGAL PROCESS FOR DISCRIMINATION CASES IN FLORIDA

Here’s a full glossary for the data/statistical categories used in this analysis/research/explanation.

Bankruptcy
a result in which the defendant/respondent fell into bankruptcy before the case could be concluded.
Dismissed
a result in which the DOAH ALJ entered an order of dismissal. Such dismissal could have been for a variety of reasons (eg, lack of jurisdiction, order to show cause, etc.).
Important Note: “dismissal” on account of a judgment declaring the defendant/respondent the winner does not get categorized here (see ‘Lost’ instead).
Dual-Filed
An employment discrimination charge that will fall under both the FCHR’s jurisdiction and the EEOC’s jurisdiction. Thereby giving litigants access to [both] the state courts and the federal courts. Pendent jurisdiction will keep both the state law (ie, the FCRA) and the federal law (ie, ADA/ADEA/Title VII/etc) alive at the same time. This is a very important distinction.
Florida-Based Employment Discrimination Case
An employment discrimination case that originated in the State of Florida (ie, the discriminatory events took place in Florida). The case might end up in the federal system; or it might stay within the state system. Nevertheless, the discriminatory events happened in Florida.
Implicitly Settled
a result in which the docket entries indicate that the case was amicably resolved. However, the explicit terminology [to confidently deem that the case was settled] was not present.
Lost
a result in which the DOAH ALJ entered a “Recommended Orderdeclaring the defendant/respondent the winner. A recommendation that the FCHR subsequently ratified with a “Final Order”.
contrast with “Victory
Released
a result in which the parties explicitly entered into a release (ie, an agreement/contract precluding litigation)
Relinquished
a result in which DOAH explicitly relinquished jurisdiction back to the FCHR; typically, for the purpose of the FCHR to continue processing the case.
Settled
a result in which the parties explictly resolved the case without the need for a judgment.
Unknown
a result in which the case terminated for some unknown reason
Victory
a result in which the DOAH ALJ entered a “Recommended Orderdeclaring the complainant/petitioner the winner. A recommendation that the FCHR subsequently ratified with a “Final Order”.
contrast with “Lost
Withdrawn
a result in which the complainant voluntarily withdrew the case. Such withdrawal could have been for a variety of reasons (eg, file in separate court, personal reasons, fear, logistical issues, etc.).
contrast with “Dismissal
Footnotes
The terms used in this analysis are only TBD's terminology. Although similar/identical to court terminology, they are not the official declarations from the authorities.

The disclaimer [to this analysis] might also be worth reading.

Phase 0
Representation

FCHR 101 | PHASE 0: REPRESENTATION

At the start of your Florida-based pursuit, you might want to get an attorney to help you with your discrimination lawsuit/charge.

0.0 | Intro

Good News: there are many civil rights attorneys in the state of Florida (who have experience with FCHR-DOAH cases).

Better News: TBD has listed all of them on this website (link).

Features of TBD's Listing:
✓ Free
✓ Detailed
✓ Statistical
✓ Objective
✓ Contains Contact Info
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No User Accounts


Best News: On 1/1/2024, TBD launched UniApp 1.0.

⇝ An online application that lets prospective litigants apply for legal representation with just one-click (ie, without having to fill out multiple client-intake applications).

Link

0.1 | Analysis of Case Outcomes: With vs Without Representation

Although many civil rights litigants have found success without an attorney, those that have secured legal representation have experienced [perceivably] more favorable results. To summarize it briefly, statistics [from FCHR-DOAH cases] show that having an attorney will:
  1. increase your chance at settlement (44% vs 18%); and
  2. decrease your chance of suffering a loss (22% vs 47%)
You can see these differences (and more) by flipping through the following graphs:

you'll score 1 point/flip


Deeper Analysis Available Of course, settlement might not be a goal of yours; and the prospects of losing might not be a deterrent. So, the above statistics might have little value to you.

Nevertheless, whether you obtain legal representation or not, you'll benefit from knowing more about the FCHR legal process...

0.2 | (Free) Pro Bono Legal Representation

Moreover, you might even be able to get free legal representation. Many attorneys offer this; it’s called Pro Bono Service. In fact, Florida attorneys are actually required to [annually] report whether or not they’ve provided pro bono legal service (and to what extent).

See Rule 4-6.1 RRTFB for more.

0.3 | Judicial Prejudice against Pro se Litigants

Also, take into consideration that Florida-based judges have shown a strong prejudice against pro se litigants.

In fact, USFLND has a local rule that prohibits pro se litigants (and only pro se litigants) from filing documents electronically. Although this may seem fairly innocuous, it has caused significant harm (read more here).

Plus, a DOAH Judge (ie, one of the judges you’ll likely encounter) has previously committed perjury (and evidence destruction) against a pro se civil rights litigant (read/watch here).

So, keep these anti-pro se prejudices in mind.

0.4 | Personal Resolve and Pro Se Success

Nevertheless, if you choose to proceed without an attorney then you are still in the right place. In fact, you might even take reassurance in the fact that self-represented litigants (ie, pro se litigants) have won their FCHR-DOAH cases at a higher rate than represented litigants (4% vs 2%)1.

Deeper Analysis Available.

0.5 | Sincere Justice

Plus – based on TBD’s experiences/vantage point – the pro se litigant is the legal participant who's best-suited to get sincere justice. In other words, he/she has the least incentive to perpetuate lawlessness.2

So, if you travel this road alone then please feel free to equip yourself with all of the skills/knowledge that this website has (and others have) to offer.

A key part of your journey will be knowing how to navigate through the FCHR legal process; and you can fortify that knowledge by learning about the next phase (ie, Phase 1: The Charge)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 Note: legal losses are not [statistical] complements of legal victories. In other words, there are “ties/etc” in civil litigation (see the analysis' disclaimer).

2 Of the people who walk into the courthouse (ie, the judges/lawyers/clerks/bailiffs/etc) the pro se litigant is the only one who has zero financial incentive to see more of his/her similarly-injured peers walk in (beside/behind him/her). In other words, everyone else [in that courthouse] benefits from your injuries; and - even worse - your future injuries are their livelihood.

So, potentially, you are best suited to reduce/eliminate injuries altogether (while getting justice for yourself - along the way).

Phase 1
COD

FCHR 101 | PHASE 1: CHARGE OF DISCRIMINATION

The first step in the FCHR process will be to write (and file) your Charge of Employment Discrimination. You must act fast, though, because there are strict deadlines.

1.0 | Intro

Good News: The FCHR accepts CODs in any format (eg, handwritten, on form, informal document, etc.).

Better News: TBD has a replica of the FCHR/EEOC standard Charge of Discrimination

Features:
✔ Free
✔ Comprehensive


Best News: As of November 1, 2023, the FCHR still accepts CODs by email (Clerk@FCHR.MyFlorida.com; FCHRInfo@FCHR.MyFlorida.com)

1.1 | Protected Characteristics (ie, ‘Charged Bases’)

Florida – under the FCRA – protects people from employment discrimination on the following bases:

age*colordisabilitymarital statusnational originpregnancy**racereligionretaliationsex

see §760.01(2) FS***

In short, you are covered (ie, you have an age; a skin color; a disability status; and so on). However, not every part of you is covered (eg, you're not protected from ‘height’ discrimination in Florida; etc.).

Nevertheless, things that are not specifically covered may still fall under a covered basis. For example, Florida’s statutes do not cover discrimination on transgender status. Yet, the circumstances surrounding such a charge may fit the fact pattern of sex discrimination – which is covered. The following cases establish this particular point:

Fishbaugh v Brevard County, 200434 TBD.F 002
Jacome v Victoria’s Secret, 201542 TBD.F 005
Shepley v Lazy Days RV, 200446 TBD.F 001


This is a very important point. So, keep these pseudo-protections (as well as the explicit protections - from above) in mind.
* note: the FCHR’s age protections cover all ages (ie, 10 year-olds, 20 year-olds, etc.). This is different from the EEOC’s age protections (which - according to the ADA - only cover people who are 40+).

** additional note: In practice, the FCHR often lumps pregnancy discrimination into sex discrimination; other times it lumps it into disability discrimination. Either way, if you’ve faced pregnancy discrimination then Florida law will cover you.

*** final note: there've been recent pushes to include protections for genetic information (a là GINA – a federal law). However, TBD hasn’t listed it here because Florida legislation has yet to explicitly include it (see FLSenate.gov). Nonetheless, since genetic information is closely tied to nationality/race/sex/etc, you can probably still file a Florida discrimination suit under those bases.

1.2 | Checklist for an FCHR Charge of Discrimination

As you draft your COD, check to make sure that you've supplied all of the following information:
☑ Contact Info
☑ Dated
☑ Employer Size (eg, 100 employees)
☑ Location of Events (eg, Florida, etc.)
☑ Signed
Verified
see Rule 60Y-5.001(5) FAC.

1.3 | Disclose the Adverse Employment Action

Concisely write the type of act that the defendant committed against you.
Reason: the investigators/officers will be looking for this. Plus, the type of adverse act will impact the type/amount of damages you can recover (eg, back pay vs reassignment, etc.).
Here’s a list of the most common types of adverse employment actions:

1.4 | Analysis of a Sample FCHR Charge of Discrimination

Here’s a real-live COD.1 TBD will analyze it to help illuminate this stage of the FCHR process for you.

Analysis of this Sample COD
#PointImage/Explanation
1✔ On Time
This litigant successfully filed his COD within Florida's 365-day statute of limitation.

snapshotOfCOD

4/10/19 vs 7/1/18 (283 days ≤ 365 days); or - alternatively -

4/10/19 vs 7/31/18 (253 days ≤ 365 days)

{§760.11(1) FS}
2✔ Verified
This litigant successfully signed this COD under penalty of perjury.

snapshotOfCOD

The COD explicitly cites §92.525 FS

Read this How-To Guide for more [on applying a verified oath without having to pay a notary]

Also, refer to 29 CFR §1601.3(a)
3✔ Dual-Filed
4/10/19 vs 7/1/18 (283 days ≤ 300 days); or - alternatively -

4/10/19 vs 7/31/18 (253 days ≤ 300 days)

{§2E 2023 EEOC-FCHR Workshare Agreement}

room for improvement: explicitly state that your COD is dual-filed (and include the days that have elapsed)
4✔ Charged Bases CheckedsnapshotOfCOD

protects against fraudulent defenses (ie, complainant didn't charge us with "sex" discrimination)
5✔ Employer Size
This COD successfully indicates the size of the employer.snapshotOfCOD

This is important because the FCHR only covers employers that have 15+ employees (see Phase 2: The Law for more).
6✔ Adverse ActionThis COD clearly states the adverse employment action (ie, 'termination').
7✔ Contact InfosnapshotOfCOD
snapshotOfCOD
room for improvement: include email addresses

reason: most FCHR communications will be via email (plus, emails are great sources of evidence)
8✔ Continuing ActionsnapshotOfCOD

protects against discovery abuses (eg, 'Plaintiff can request those records because the harassment he/she suffered was of a 'continuing nature'')
9✔ Short & Plain Statement
"Allstate only fires the black employees who fail exams"


see Rule 8 Fed. R. Civ. P.;
see Rule 12 Fed. R. Civ. P. (persuasive authority)
10✔ Substantiating Facts
"Complainant failed an actuarial exam. Respondent terminated him because of it.

Respondent has half-a-dozen other employees who have failed exams. Respondent did not fire any of them. All of whom were non-black.

In fact, Respondent has staff that have never even passed an exam; [they've kept] their jobs."


note: substantiating facts are not necessary, but they can help solidify the charge.
11✔ Brief✓ only one page
✓ quick narrative (corroborates the ultimate facts)

1.5 | TBD’s Recommendations

• Meet your filing deadline!
o Filing late can ruin your case
■ The 365-day window is paramount
■ The 300-day window is crucial
■ The 180-day window is important
(yet vital for litigants residing in certain US States).


o From TBD’s experience, one of the few noble things that the FCHR is empowered to do is check/administer the filing deadline.


• Use the Form (link)
o It’ll save you time
o It’ll save you money (no need to pay a notary public)
■ reason: it includes the legal citation (ie §92.525 FS) for self-verified oaths.
see this How-To Guide
also, refer to 29 CFR §1601.3(a)


• Keep your COD brief
o Only use 1 page
■ Providing too much detail will only aide your civil opponent (ie, the entity that discriminated against you)
• See Rule 8 Fed. R. Civ. P.
• See Rule 12 Fed. R. Civ. P.


■ Providing too much detail can potentially slow down your case


o Provide a short & plain statement
■ Example 1: Company XYZ fired me because I rejected my boss’ sexual/romantic advances

■ Example 2: Company ABC suspended me because I filed an internal discrimination complaint

■ Example 3: Corporation XYZ demoted me due to my age

■ Example 4: Corporation ABC refused to hire me because of my nationality

■ Example 5: Entity XYZ subjected me to a hostile work environment because of my disability


• Consider talking to one of the EEOC’s/FCHR’s employees beforehand
o Some of their Intake personnel will help litigants draft a proper complaint

■ FCHR Phone Number: 850.488.7082

■ EEOC Phone Number: 800.669.4000 | Miami District Office: 305.808.1740

■ Official Manual on EEOC Inquiries

1.6 | TBD’s Commentary

You are not alone.

It’s possible that you might feel as though no one will understand what you’ve gone through. However, your story – although unique – will be very similar to many other cases of employment discrimination.

In TBD’s words, different charges of discrimination are like different songs from the same genre of music. They have similar/identical patterns, but their specific facts/lyrics are different.

Suggestion: Read through TBD’s Index of Charges of Discrimination.
• Benefit #1: Morale
o You’ll see that many people have gone through what you’ve gone through


• Benefit #2: Effectiveness
o You’ll better understand how to articulate/litigate your case
So, whether you are alone and/or you just feel alone, get ready to get booked up on all of the knowledge/resources that this website has (and others have) to offer.

A key part of your journey will be knowing how to navigate through the FCHR legal process; and you can fortify that knowledge by learning about the next phase (ie, Phase 2: The Law)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 Redactions have been made to this document. Edits have also been made.
Purpose: Accentuate educational points.

Phase 2
The Law

FCHR 101 | PHASE 2: KNOWING THE LAW

As you contemplate/litigate your Florida discrimination charge, you’ll probably need to reference the state’s laws on discrimination.

2.0 | Intro

Good News: The FCRA (ie, the state law that protects against discrimination) is relatively short.

Better News: TBD has copied & re-formatted it on this website (along with all other laws pertinent to discrimination litigation) [link].

Features:
✔ Free
✔ Rewarding
o ie, you'll earn book points by reading/accessing these statutes
click here to learn more about book points

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: The FCRA is patterned after Title VII. Therefore, if you’re familiar with the federal laws on discrimination then you pretty much know the state laws on it.

Plus, discrimination cases get litigated the same way:
“Because the FCRA is modeled after Title VII, and claims brought under it are analyzed under the same framework [the] state-law claims do not need separate discussion and their outcome is the same as the federal ones.”
- Alvarez v Royal, 610 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. 2010)
Caveat #1 [Substantive]:
Age Discrimination is treated differently between the two laws. Under the FCRA, all ages are protected. Under Title VII, however, only people who are 40+ are protected.

Please read the following agency decisions to learn more:
o Clark v UF, 201806 TBD.F 004
o Grasso v AHCA, 201503 TBD.F 001
o Lopez v InSync Staffing, 201802 TBD.F 005
o Williams v First Commerce, 201744 TBD.F 008
Caveat #2 [Constitutional]:
the FCHR can [and will] bar you from filing a civil suit (ie, it’ll prevent you form entering court). The EEOC, on the other hand, cannot (highlights added):
“We also point out that, although in many respects the FCRA is patterned on Title VII, which is the federal statutory scheme, Title VII does not bar a federal lawsuit even if the EEOC issues a "no cause" determination...

Thus, the FCRA differs from Title VII, its federal counterpart, in that a "no cause" determination precludes a civil suit under the FCRA but not under Title VII.
- Woodham v BCBSFL, 829 So. 2d 891 (Fla. 2002)

2.1 | Protected Characteristics (ie, ‘Charged Bases’)

The FCRA covers a lot of protected characteristics. §760.01(2) lists them as follows (highlights added):
“(2) The general purposes of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 are to secure for all individuals within the state freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status and thereby to protect their interest in personal dignity, to make available to the state their full productive capacities, to secure the state against domestic strife and unrest, to preserve the public safety, health, and general welfare, and to promote the interests, rights, and privileges of individuals within the state.”
- §760.01(2) FS
Item 1.1 has more information on 'Charged Bases'.

2.2 | Statute of Limitations (365, 300, 180)

Under the FCRA, you have 365 days [from the date of the last adverse employment act] to file your charge of discrimination (highlights added):
“(1) Any person aggrieved by a violation of ss. 760.01-760.10 may file a complaint with the commission within 365 days of the alleged violation, naming the employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee, or, in the case of an alleged violation of s. 760.10(5), the person responsible for the violation and describing the violation...”
- §760.11(1) FS
Under Title VII (ie, the FCRA’s federal parent), you have 180 days [from the date of the last adverse employment act] to file your charge of discrimination (highlights added):
“(1) A charge under this section shall be filed within one hundred and eighty days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred and notice of the charge (including the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice)”
- 42 USC §2000e-5(e)(1)
For dual-file status (ie, simultaneous protection under the FCRA and Title VII), you have 300 days [from the date of the last adverse employment act] to file your charge of discrimination (highlights added):
“in a case of an unlawful employment practice with respect to which the person aggrieved has initially instituted proceedings with a State or local agency with authority to grant or seek relief from such practice or to institute criminal proceedings with respect thereto upon receiving notice thereof, such charge shall be filed by or on behalf of the person aggrieved within three hundred days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred, or within thirty days after receiving notice that the State or local agency has terminated the proceedings under the State or local law, whichever is earlier, and a copy of such charge shall be filed by the Commission with the State or local agency.”
- 42 USC §2000e-5(e)(1)
In short, you have the following time windows [to file your COD]:
EEOCDual-FiledFCHR Only
Time Window:180 Days300 Days365 Days
Upon receiving your COD, the FCHR will/should investigate your claims...

2.3 | Investigative Window

According to state law, the FCHR has 180 days to complete its investigation into your COD. Moreover, Florida’s Supreme Court has declared that the FCHR loses jurisdiction once this 180-day period ends:
“...whenever the FCHR fails to make its determination within 180 days, even if the untimely determination is made before the filing of the lawsuit, the claimant may proceed to file a lawsuit under [§760.11(4) FS]...

In the present case, it is undisputed that the EEOC dismissal and notice of rights was not issued within the 180 days provided by [§760.11(3) FS] and [§760.11(8) FS]. Thus, Woodham should have been permitted to proceed with her civil action even if EEOC Form 161 had satisfied the requirements of a "no cause" determination under section 760.11(3).”
- Woodham v BCBSFL, 829 So. 2d 891 (Fla. 2002)
In short, every late FCHR Determination is null & void.1 So, if 180 days pass [from the date of your filed COD], then you’re free to proceed under §760.11(4) (ie, you can file a civil suit in court; or you can proceed to a hearing at DOAH). Ideally, the FCHR will issue you an Election of Rights form; outlining these options for you.
However, the FCHR has its own agenda (and its own unique methods). So, you have to stay vigilant.
In fact – on many past occasions – the FCHR has issued late Determinations (thereby contravening §760.11 FS). TBD has:
(a) witnessed the FCHR perpetrate this subversion; and

(b) experienced it first hand
So, pay close attention to your investigative window!

2.4 | Timestamp

To help establish the beginning of that investigative window, state law requires the FCHR to place a timestamp on your COD (highlights added):
“On the same day the complaint is filed with the commission, the commission shall clearly stamp on the face of the complaint the date the complaint was filed with the commission. In lieu of filing the complaint with the commission, a complaint under this section may be filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or with any unit of government of the state which is a fair-employment-practice agency under 29 C.F.R. ss. 1601.70-1601.80. If the date the complaint is filed is clearly stamped on the face of the complaint, that date is the date of filing.”
- §760.11(1) FS
Thus, the FCHR’s investigative window begins on the date you file your complaint.

2.5 | Petition for Relief

According to §760.11(6),(7) FS, you’ll have 35 days to file your Petition for Relief. This PFR comes into play at the earlier of the following two dates:
1. the date listed on the FCHR’s Determination Letter; or

2. the date that ends your case's 180-day investigative window
remember: an untimely FCHR Determination is null & void. Therefore, these two dates (from above) are mutually exclusive.

Hopefully, the FCHR won’t saddle you with timeliness issues; please stay vigilant, nonetheless.

List of Civil Rights Attorneys.

2.6 | Quick Recap on Timeliness

This timeliness issue can get confusing; so, just remember...
□ if you file your COD within 365 days [of the last adverse act] then you’ve satisfied your FCHR filing burden; and

□ once 180 days have passed [since you filed your COD] the FCHR has to shut up (unless you ask it to do more for you). - loosely speaking

2.7 | DOAH Proceeding

As highlighted before [see Summary page – “Likelihoods” section), the FCHR will probably funnel your discrimination case into DOAH (86% chance). This transfer is governed by Florida’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Although it’ll help to read the entire APA, the following statutes will suffice for this stage [of the FCHR Legal Process]:
§120.569 FS
§120.57(1) FS

2.8 | Appellate Review

As similarly highlighted before [see Summary page – “State Appeal” section), you’ll have an opportunity to appeal the Final Order (and – potentially – some interlocutory orders) that the FCHR issues. Your appeal will be available under the following statute (which is also part of the APA):
§120.68 FS
At this stage, §120.68 FS won’t be very important to you (because it’ll take roughly 2 years before you get a chance to invoke it). So – for now – just know that it’s there.

2.9 | Constitutions

It’ll behoove you to keep your constitutional rights in mind at all times. Of course, your constitutional rights are available under the:
(a) United States Constitution; and
(b) Florida Constitution (yes, states have their own constitutions).
The following passages will be the most pertinent to your discrimination lawsuit:
1st Amendment (US Constitution)
7th Amendment (US Constitution)
10th Amendment (US Constitution)
11th Amendment (US Constitution)
14th Amendment (US Constitution)
Article III (US Constitution)

Art. I §24 (FL Constitution)
Although the FL Constitution is considerably larger than the US Constitution; its passages are hardly ever invoked in practice.
Note: “hardly ever” ≈ 0.01% of the time
referring to the percent of all docket entries which cite the FL Constitution
(aside from Art. I §24 (FL Constitution) – which gets invoked fairly often).

2.10 | Public Records

FCHR Discrimination cases frequently involve public records requests. In Florida, such requests are governed by §119 FS. These are the subsections that pop-up most often:
§119.07 FS
§119.071 FS
At this stage [of the FCHR Legal Process], §119 will not be very important. However, it’ll become quite important once the 180-day investigative window closes. So, for the time being, just know that §119 grants you the power to make public records requests.

In fact, here’s a How-To Guide (FCHR Public Records Requests).

2.11 | Evidence

Florida – unlike the federal government – does not have a Rules of Evidence (see Phase 4 for more). Instead, it’s codified most of those rules into law. The statutes that you’ll probably find most useful are:
§90.201 FS
§90.202 FS
§90.203 FS
§90.204 FS
§90.205 FS
Of course, you won’t need to invoke these statutes until your FCHR investigation ends. So, for the time being, just know that §90.201 FS - §90.205 FS will be useful statutes for evidentiary purposes.

2.12 | Miscellaneous Statutes (Indigence, Verified Oath)

Lastly, these two statutes will be very useful (at all times of your civil rights litigation):
§27.52 FS (28 USC §1915)
§92.52 FS (28 USC §1746)
§27.52 FS deals with civil indigence status (ie, poor person status).2 It’ll give you [virtually free] access to the legal system - if your financial situation renders you poor. You can request indigence from every tribunal that you encounter (ie, from: Appellate Court, DOAH, the FCHR, State Court, etc.).
28 USC §1915 is the federal equivalent to §27.52 FS
§92.52 FS, on the other hand, allows you to file a self-verified oath. This will save you the time & money needed to get a notarized statement. Plus, you’ll be able to issue self-verified oaths at every tribunal that you encounter (ie, from: Appellate Court, DOAH, the FCHR, State Court, etc.).
28 USC §1746 is the federal equivalent to §92.52 FS
Also, here are the how-to guides:
How-To: Civil Indigence (State)
How-To: Civil Indigence (Federal)

How-To: Verified Oath (state/federal)
Getting booked up on these two statutes will really boost your skills/knowledge. Also take note of the fact that none of the tribunals (which you’ll stand before) have disclosed these two important statutes to you. So, as you flip through these pages, be on the lookout for more useful revelations to add to your book of knowledge.

2.13 | TBD’s Commentary

I. Read the FCRA;
A. Also – as you read through it – ask yourself the following questions:
1. How much time do I have to file my COD with the FCHR?

2. What happens if the FCHR issues a “no reasonable cause” Determination?

3. What happens if the FCHR issues a “reasonable cause” Determination?

4. How much time does the FCHR have to enter that Determination?
a. What happens if the FCHR fails to issue me a Determination within that statutory window?
5. Is a civil action the same as an administrative action?

6. How much time do I have to request an administrative hearing (via a “Petition for Relief”)?
B. Also, be mindful of the FCHR’s statutory ability to accept bribes (see §760.06(4) FS).
II. Stay Vigilant
A. Try to do all of the following:
1. File your COD on time
a. Do so via email (Clerk@FCHR.MyFlorida.com; FCHRInfo@FCHR.MyFlorida.com)
2. Within 3 days of filing, ask the FCHR if they “actually received” your COD
a. see this sample email
3. Within 3 days of filing, ask the FCHR to disclose the date & time of its official timestamp
a. see Item 2.4
4. Within 14 days of filing, ask the FCHR if they’ve notified the defendant/respondent

5. Within 21 days of filing, ask the FCHR to agree to send you your Election of Rights form (in the event 180 days pass without an FCHR Determination).

6. Within 30 days of filing, ask the FCHR to refrain from manufacturing issues on timeliness

7. If you receive a Determination letter within the 180-day investigative window, read it promptly
a. Follow its directions
8. If you do not receive a Determination letter within the 180-day investigative window, ask for your Election of Rights form
a. Follow the directions on the Election of Rights form; and/or
i. File a timely civil suit; and/or

ii. File a timely Petition for Relief
B. Save Every Document
Keeping good records will make it easier to rectify/identify the clear errors/improprieties that will come your way.

On your computer, consider creating a file directory that's dedicated to your discrimination lawsuit.
Within that directory, create subfolders to house documents/pleadings for each tribunal that you traverse (eg, an "FCHR" folder, a "DOAH" folder, a "Duval" folder, a "USFLMD" folder, etc.)
Of course, staying vigilant goes hand-in-hand with getting booked up on all of the knowledge/resources that this website has (and others have) to offer.

A key part of your journey will be knowing how to navigate through the FCHR legal process; and you can fortify that knowledge by learning about the next phase (ie, Phase 3: The Regulations)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1Determination” – as used here – is a technical term. It refers to the investigative decision that the FCHR enters (see §760.11(3) FS). Do not confuse this “determination” with other decisions that the FCHR makes. It bears repeating: “Determination” – as used here – only refers to the FCHR’s aforementioned investigative decision.

List of Civil Rights Attorneys.

Phase 3
Regulations

FCHR 101 | PHASE 3: KNOWING THE REGULATIONS

After reading through those pertinent statutes/constitutional passages (in Phase 2), you’ll want to brush up on the regulations that govern your Florida-based discrimination lawsuit. Some of which you’ll benefit from knowing within days of filing your COD; others of which you’ll benefit from reading before the FCHR investigation ends.

3.0 | Intro

Good News: Dangerously speaking, 60Y-5.001 FAC is the only important state regulation that you’ll want to read prior to filing your COD.

Better News: TBD has copied & re-formatted all pertinent regulations on this website.

Features:
✔ Free
✔ Rewarding
o ie, you'll earn book points by reading/accessing these regulations
• learn more about book points here

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
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Best News: The regulations are much shorter than the laws/statutes. So, you’ll probably find them easier to utilize.
• This difference slightly highlights an important legal pillar (which is at play with your Florida-based discrimination case): Separation of Powers. The regulations are written by the executive branch; while the laws/statutes/rules are not.
Laws/Statutes:Legislative Branch
Regulations:Executive Branch
Rules:Judicial Branch

3.1 | Levels of Regulations

Roughly speaking, the regulations that you’ll come across will be on two levels. The difference between them is based on territory (federal vs state).
Level A (Federal) EEOC Regulations (29 CFR 1600 through 29 CFR 1695)
Level B (State) DOAH Regulations (ie, 28-106 FAC)*
FCHR Regulations (ie, 60Y-1 through 60Y-5)
*Although these are statewide regulations, they operate like local rules of court

The FCHR regulations tend to mimic their federal counterparts (ie, the EEOC regs). Sometimes, in fact, the state regs cite the federal regs. The relationship between these separate regulations is the product of another key legal pillar: Federalism...

3.2 | Federalism

As mentioned earlier (see Item 3.1), the difference between the two levels of regulation boils down to [territory-based] Federalism. In laymen’s terms, Federalism means that the child government can do what it wants – as long as it obeys the charters/constitutions of the parent government. Here’s a textbook definition:
A system of government wherein power is constitutionally divided between a central government and local governments.

The United States Supreme Court decides that the constitution does not protect a person’s privacy from a certain police tactic. Under the doctrine of federalism, though, a state court may nonetheless interpret its state constitution as prohibiting the same police conduct. The federal and state judicial systems are sufficiently separate so that a state court can afford greater protection to its citizens than the federal courts by a more liberal interpretation of its own constitution and laws. The state courts must observe any minimum federal rights, however, under the Supremacy Clause to the United States Constitution.
- Barron’s Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016
This is important to your Florida-based discrimination complaint; because it shows you that the FCHR might use its self-created regulations to subvert constitutional principles. One such incongruent regulation is 60Y-5.004 FAC. A regulation that allows the state agency to enter “no cause determinations” against you. Determinations, importantly, that obstruct/eliminate your right to a trial-by-jury (which is federally guaranteed by the 7th Amendment of the US Constitution).1 Determinations, importantly, that the FCHR brags about entering [at a high rate (ie, 86%)]; in order to save defendants “millions” of dollars.2 Obstructive determinations, importantly, that the EEOC shuns (ie, the EEOC does not author “no cause determinations”).3

So, as you read through the state regulations keep in mind that the FCHR has a federal counterpart that regulates certain things differently (in a material way).

3.3 | TBD’s Ranking of Regulations

Here’s a ranking of the regulations that you’ll encounter the most:
1. 60Y-5.001 FAC

2. 60Y-5.003 FAC

3. 60Y-5.004 FAC

4. 60Y-5.008 FAC

5. Chapter 28-106 FAC

6. 29 CFR 1601.76
Ranked first is 60Y-5.001 FAC (Complaints), because it’s the first regulation that’ll contact your cause of action. It – in effect – tells you who/what/where/when/&how to file your COD. Importantly, it helps establish the filing date of your charge. A filing date that defendants/respondents typically aim to impugn. Typical attacks which, unfortunately, the FCHR aides/prepares them to make.4

In second place is 60Y-5.003 FAC (Investigations), because it outlines how the investigation will go. Phase 5 of this TBD walkthrough will delve into that topic, but you can read the entire regulation right now (note: you'll score points by reading it).

Third is 60Y-5.004 FAC (Determination), because the determination will come after the complaint (as well as the investigation). Reading this regulation before the event takes place should prepare you for the next steps.

Chronological order also places 60Y-5.008 (Petition for Relief) in its own slot (which is 4th place). You won’t have to file a PFR until the investigation ends; and, in fact, you might not have to file one at all (14% chance). Your PFR is conditioned on the preceding Determination. Historically, 86% of FCHR determinations have funneled complainants into DOAH; where your PFR will be met. This regulation also spells out what will happen after that DOAH proceeding concludes.

What also spells out the DOAH proceeding is Chapter 28-106 FAC; which is ranked 5th on this list of pertinent regulations. These regs go into greater detail; and they encompass most-of-what-you’ll-need-to-know to complete the DOAH process. Afterwards, you’ll return to the FCHR (unless you settle/withdraw/etc.); who’ll draft a Final Order ("FO") for you (see 60Y-5.008(5) FAC).

Finally – and ranked sixth here – is 29 CFR 1601.76. An important federal regulation that lays out the welcome mat for your 'Request for a Substantial Weight Review'. A document that you must file within 15 days of receiving your FO. A request that’ll yield your Right-to-Sue Letter. A letter, importantly, that will be your ticket to federal court. Here’s a how-to guide for requesting an SWR:

How-To Guide: Request a Substantial Weight Review

Your access to federal court (which 29 CFR 1601.76 provides) will likely be your first/only chance to get a trial-by-jury. A constitutional right that helps protect against perjurous/evidence-destroying judges (such as DOAH ALJ Edward Gary Early).

3.4 | Constitutionality

Pursuant to the democratic principles of the United States, none of the regulations are allowed to be unconstitutional. Thus, the essential requirements of law (which even the FCHR [purportedly] reviews – at the FO stage) entail constitutional protections. Your Due Process rights (5th Amendment) and your Equal Protection rights (14th Amendment) live within that ambit.

So, if you get grazed/injured by an unconstitutional regulation (of any variety), then you can challenge that regulation. In fact, you can even initiate an appeal on its unconstitutionality.

Real-World Example (caveat = this was for a rule instead of a regulation):
TBD’s Founder has suffered injuries at the hands of an unconstitutional local rule. To be specific, USFLND Local Rule 5.4(A) places different terms & conditions on pro se litigants. TBD’s statistical analysis shows that pro se civil rights litigants are disproportionately black. And given the lack of a compelling government interest [for the disparity in treatment], the local rule violates the 14th Amendment (Equal Protections Clause). Thus, USFLND’s local rule is just a disguised method to discriminate against black people.

For that reason, TBD’s Founder exercised his 1st Amendment right; by petitioning the government for redress. The courts, however, did not respond by addressing the facts of the case. Rather, the courts responded by trying to punish TBD’s Founder; an ill that continues to this day.
So, keep in mind that seeking redress from unconstitutional rules/regulations may lead the government to commit more unconstitutional acts against you. Nevertheless, to help you guard against unconstitutional abuses, TBD has copied/re-formatted the US Constitution (and the FL Constitution) here for your benefit (note: you'll score points by reading them).

3.5 | TBD’s Recommendations

Within days of (or even before) filing your COD, have a full understanding of the following regulations:
Chapter 60Y-5 FAC

29 CFR 1601.70

29 CFR 1601.76

Chapter 60Y-1 FAC through Chapter 60Y-4 FAC
Before you file your PFR at DOAH (or your civil complaint in state court), have a full understanding of the following regulation:
Chapter 28-106 FAC
As your FO looms near, keep an SWR Request at-the-ready; which you’ll load with this [aformentioned] regulation:
29 CFR 1601.76
That's it. As you read through these regulations you’ll be “getting booked up” on the knowledge/resources that you’ll need to get justice.

Thus, this growing knowledge of yours 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 4: The Rules)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 The FCHR accomplishes this obstruction by virtue of the fact that “no cause determinations” (as opposed to “cause determinations”) bar litigants from going to court. Instead, litigants must navigate through an administrative proceeding from a sister agency. A [dependent] sister agency (ie, DOAH) that gets a large percent of its funding from its transferring sister (ie, the FCHR). DOAH proceedings, of course, prohibit trials-by-jury.

2 See Page 8 of the FCHR's 2019 Annual Report (as well as identical sections from other reports). A section in which the FCHR religiously extolls its defendant-protecting triumphs.

3 See EEO Law Basic 12-B(10), American Bar Association. Unlike the FCHR, the EEOC does not enter trial-hampering "no cause" determinations.

4 In Summer 2023, TBD witnessed the FCHR try to obfuscate the filing date of a COD. Consequences for the infraction are still pending; so, contact TBD for more details.

Phase 4
Rules

FCHR 101 | PHASE 4: KNOWING THE RULES

Once you get into the heart of your Florida-based discrimination lawsuit you’ll encounter the procedural rules. So, it’ll behoove you to know what they are (and where to find them).

4.0 | Intro

Good News: You won’t need to use the rules of procedure until your FCHR investigation ends.

Better News: TBD has copied & re-formatted all pertinent rules on this website.

Features:
✔ Free
✔ Rewarding
o ie, you'll earn book points by reading/accessing these rules
• learn more about book points here

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: The rules are written more clearly than the laws/regulations (well, in TBD’s opinion at least). So, you’ll probably find them easier to sift through.
• This [difference in clarity] slightly highlights an important legal pillar (which is at play with your Florida-based discrimination case): Separation of Powers. The rules of procedure are written by the judiciary; while the laws/statutes/regulations are not.
Laws/Statutes:Legislative Branch
Regulations:Executive Branch
Rules:Judicial Branch

4.1 | Kinds of Rules

Roughly speaking, there are two groups of rules that you’ll come across ((1) widespread rules; and (2) local rules). The difference between them is based on scope.
Group A (Widespread) Rules of Appellate Procedure
Rules of Civil Procedure
Rules of Evidence
Rules of Judicial Administration
Group B (Local) Local Rules of Court
DOAH’s Uniform Rules of Procedure*
*These are actually statewide regulations, but they operate like local rules of court

4.2 | Scope

As mentioned earlier (see Item 4.1), the difference between the two groups of rules is scope (widespread vs local). Generally speaking, local rules only apply to the locale that created them. For instance, DOAH’s Uniform Rules of Procedure only apply to DOAH; USFLMD’s Local Rules of Court only apply to USFLMD; and so on. Thus, the tribunal that you’re in won’t be bound by the local rules of another tribunal.

Nonetheless, each tribunal - at its own [requested] discretion – will consider another tribunal’s rule as “persuasive authority”. Which means that you can cite an outside rule and ask your judge to assess it for your case/filing.
For example: Jane Doe is litigating a case at USFLMD. That Court, however, doesn’t have a local rule on civil cover sheets. Yet, USFLSD does (ie, Rule 3.3). So, within her USFLMD motion, Ms. Doe cites USFLSD Local Rule 3.3. Therein, she points out that she’s proffering that outside rule as persuasive authority only.
The group of widespread rules, on the other hand, bind multiple tribunals of a shared territory. For instance, the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure cover all of the judicial circuit courts of Florida; the Federal Rules of Appellate procedure cover all of the US Circuit Courts of Appeal; and so on.

Plus, as highlighted above, you can proffer one territory’s widespread rules as “persuasive authority” at a different territory’s tribunal.
For example: Jane Doe is litigating a case at USFLMD. The Federal Rules – which bind USFLMD – do not have a provision for “Choice of Forum”. Yet, the Florida Rules do (ie, Rule 1.061). So, within her USFLMD motion, Ms. Doe cites Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.061. Therein, she points out that she’s proffering that outside rule as persuasive authority only.
All in all, the scope of a set of rules dictates which tribunal you should cite them in.

Note: from tribunal to tribunal, the local rules are very similar. And although they predominately mimic the broader (ie, “widespread”) rules of procedure, they still manage to expound on those broader topics. Plus, the courts often use their local rules to formulate how you should handle a particular procedure.

4.3 | TBD’s Ranking of Rules

Here’s a ranking of the rules that you’ll encounter the most:
1. Rules of Civil Procedure

2. DOAH’s Uniform Rules of Procedure

3. Local Rules of Court

4. Rules of Appellate Procedure

5. Rules of Judicial Administration

6. Rules of Evidence
Ranked first are the Rules of Civil Procedure, because they’ll definitely govern your civil rights proceeding (except for cases that end within the FCHR’s clutches). If you traverse to DOAH (or a state court of Florida), then you’ll need the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Alternatively, if you enter the federal system, then you’ll need the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Regardless of where you go, though, you’ll have to know some rules of civil procedure.

Next, you’ll probably also need to know DOAH’s Uniform Rules of Procedure, because there’s an 86% chance that the FCHR will funnel you into DOAH (see Summary pageLikelihood” section). Therefore, those rules will govern your civil rights proceeding for many months. And although these are actually state regulations, they operate like rules of court. So, as your FCHR investigation approaches the finish line, begin to read these rules (good news: they’re relatively short; available here).

No matter which tribunal you enter, though, you’ll encounter a set of Local Rules. As mentioned earlier, DOAH’s local rules are its Uniform Rules of Procedure. Similarly, the state courts in Florida have their own local rules (which they sometimes give unnecessary names). Bottom line, you’ll need to know your court’s local rules (good news: TBD has copied/re-formatted them here).

Ranked fourth are the Rules of Appellate Procedure, because you’ll only need them if you file an appeal. Also, since appeals experience little activity (ie, few motions/notices/etc), you’ll only need a few of these rules. The most important ones deal with initiating an appeal (Rule 9.030, 9.110, 9.190). Along those lines, you might find the following how-to guide useful.

Speaking of lines, the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure are much farther down the line (due to the FCHR's administrative delays). So, by the time you approach that finish line you'll have acquired much knowledge. Knowledge that TBD has housed here for your convenience (note: you'll score points by reading them).

Ranked fifth are the Rules of Judicial Administration. Florida has them, but the federal system does not. The one that’ll pop up most often will be Rule 2.514 (Computation of Time). This is a very important rule; which you’ll use even if you’re in a DOAH proceeding.

The second most useful rule [from this set] is Rule 2.516 Fla. R. Jud. Admin.. However, if you're at DOAH then you won’t need this rule, because it deals with service of pleadings (a burden that you don’t have to carry in Florida’s administrative setting). As always, TBD has copied/re-formatted these rules here for your benefit (note: you'll score points by reading them).

The reason TBD has ranked the Rules of Evidence last is because it’ll take a long time (roughly 2 years) before you get a chance to use them. But for the FCHR's administrative delays, TBD would place these in the 4th spot. Nevertheless, Rule 201 will play a big role in your federal civil rights litigation; while Rules 401 through 405 will play large roles as well.

Important Note: At DOAH, the rules that deal with discovery will be paramount (Rules 1.280 through 1.410 Fla. R. Civ. P.).

4.4 | Summons

The rules on summonses will be the first rules that you’ll want to read. Reason: effectuating a summons will be the first thing you do (besides drafting your civil complaint) → if-&-only-if the FCHR allows you to go to state court [at the conclusion of its investigation].1
Rule 1.080 Fla. R. Civ. P.
Rule 2.516 Fla. R. Jud. Admin.
Rule 4 Fed. R. Civ. P.
In laymen’s terms, the summons is an official way to tell your civil opponent that you’ve sued him/her/it. Here’s a textbook definition:
a mandate requiring the appearance of the defendant under penalty of having judgment entered against him or her for failure to appear. The object of the summons is to notify the defendant that he has been sued.
- Barron’s Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016
The summons process is rather arcane; and it’s even worse for pro se litigants. So, to make things easier, TBD has published this How-To Guide for Effectuating a Summons:
Federal Version(Effectuating a Federal Summons)
Florida Version(Effectuating a Florida Summons)
Of course, you don’t need to bother with summonses while at DOAH. Reason: your civil opponent will already be aware of the lawsuit (by virtue of the preceding FCHR investigation).

So, as your FCHR investigation nears its conclusion, begin reading about summonses (and use TBD’s synthesized how-to guides to draft one).

4.5 | Constitutionality

Pursuant to the democratic principles of the United States, none of the local rules (or the rules of procedure) are allowed to be unconstitutional. Thus, the essential requirements of law (which even the FCHR [purportedly] reviews) entail constitutional protections. Your Due Process rights (5th Amendment) and your Equal Protection rights (14th Amendment) live within that ambit.

So, if you get grazed/injured by an unconstitutional rule (of any variety), then you can challenge that rule. In fact, you can even initiate an appeal on its unconstitutionality.

Real-World Example:
TBD’s Founder has suffered injuries at the hands of an unconstitutional local rule. To be specific, USFLND Local Rule 5.4(A) places different terms & conditions on pro se litigants. TBD’s statistical analysis shows that pro se civil rights litigants are disproportionately black. And given the lack of a compelling government interest [for the disparity in treatment], the local rule violates the 14th Amendment (Equal Protections Clause). Thus, USFLND’s local rule is just a disguised method to discriminate against black people.

For that reason, TBD’s Founder exercised his 1st Amendment right; by petitioning the government for redress. The courts, however, did not respond by addressing the facts of the case. Rather, the courts responded by trying to punish TBD’s Founder; an ill that continues to this day.
So, keep in mind that seeking redress from unconstitutional rules may lead the government to commit more unconstitutional acts against you. Nevertheless, to help you guard against unconstitutional abuses, TBD has copied/re-formatted the US Constitution (and the FL Constitution) here for your benefit (note: you'll score points by reading them).

4.6 | TBD’s Recommendations

Before the end of your FCHR investigation, 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.
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
That's it. As you read through these rules you’ll be “getting booked up” on the knowledge/resources that you’ll need to get justice.

Thus, this growing knowledge of yours 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 5: The Investigation)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 The legal mechanisms in Florida don’t require specific complaint forms for pro se civil rights litigants. However, the Federal courts within the State of Florida do.

Phase 5
Investigation

FCHR 101 | PHASE 5: UNDERSTANDING THE 180-DAY INVESTIGATION

Now that you’ve filed your COD (and briefed yourself on the pertinent statutes/regulations/rules), it’s time to get the scoop on the FCHR’s investigation.

5.0 | Intro

Good News: The FCHR has created a high-level flowchart of its investigative phase

Better News: TBD has copied & re-formatted it on this website.

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

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on this 180-day process

5.1 | Diligence & Vigilance

It’ll behoove you to remain vigilant throughout the FCHR investigation. In fact, you should maintain your vigilance through your entire legal pursuit. You can enhance your vigilance by:
(1) knowing what to expect;
(2) knowing what to request; and
(3) diligently litigating your case.

5.2 | Dual-File Notification

Within 10 days of receiving your dual-filed COD, the FCHR has to notify you (and your civil opponent) that they’ve received it.1
§2E of the 2023 EEOC-FCHR Workshare Agreement
This notification is important, because it’ll you help guard against FCHR obstructions (or defendant arguments) about timeliness.

Tip from TBD: Within 3 days of filing your COD, email the commission to ask it to:
(1) Confirm that they’ve "actually received" it; and
(2) Disclose what the filing date is

1 There is no such requirement for single-filed CODs (ie, FCHR only complaints – those which were filed within 301-365 days of the last discriminatory act).

5.3 | General Notification

Within 25 days of receiving your COD, the FCHR has to notify your civil opponent (ie, employer) that it’s been sued.
60Y-5.0011
During this period, you’ll have little-to-no duties to perform. Nevertheless, you can stay vigilant.

Tip from TBD: Within 14 days of filing your COD, ask the FCHR whether-or-not it has tried to notify the defendant/respondent

Tip from TBD: Within 21 days of filing your COD, ask the FCHR to agree to send you your Election of Rights form (in the event 180 days pass without an FCHR Determination).

Tip from TBD: Within 30 days of filing your COD, ask the FCHR to refrain from manufacturing issues on timeliness.

Sometime near the end of the first 30 days, the FCHR will likely contact you for an interview...

5.4 | Interview

Pursuant to state regulation (see 60Y-5.003(3) FAC and 60Y-5.003(5) FAC), an FCHR investigator will interview you about your discrimination charge. Based on TBD’s experience, the FCHR will always seek to record the conversation.

Often, the investigator will also interview the people who you’ve named in your charge. Based on TBD’s experience, the FCHR never seeks to record those conversations.
Equal Protections under the Law
Tip from TBD: ask the FCHR to respect the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution (14th Amendment).

Tip from TBD: ask the FCHR whether it will record the conversations of your civil opponent.

Tip from TBD: determine whether [the FCHR’s responses to your request for equal treatment mean that] the FCHR is going to respect your right to receive equal protection under the law.

Tip from TBD: tell the FCHR whether you believe that the state agency is respecting your 14th amendment right to equal protections under the law

Tip from TBD: decide whether you will allow the FCHR to record your conversation (given its responses to your 14th Amendment questions).

5.5 | Cooperation

After your interview, the FCHR might ask you for additional information. Make sure to provide it. State regulation gives the FCHR the power to dismiss complaints that suffer from a lack of complainant cooperation (see 60Y-5.003(5) FAC).

As always, keep all of the documents/items that are related to your charge.

5.6 | TBD’s Recommendations

Before the end of your FCHR investigation, 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.
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
That's it. As you read through these rules you’ll be “getting booked up” on the knowledge/resources that you’ll need to get justice.

Thus, this growing knowledge of yours 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 6: The Determination)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Phase 6
Determination

FCHR 101 | PHASE 6: UNDERSTANDING THE FCHR'S DETERMINATION

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.

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

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ 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 | Cooperation

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
Governor
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)
How
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
Benefit
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, this growing knowledge of yours 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.
Footnotes
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).

Phase 7
PFR

FCHR 101 | PHASE 7: UNDERSTANDING THE FCHR-DOAH PETITION FOR RELIEF

Upon receiving the FCHR’s Determination (see Phase 6)1 you’ll be able to file your Petition for Relief (“PFR”).

7.0 | Intro

Good News: TBD has a free PFR template that you can use (linked here).

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

Features:
✔ Free
✔ Rewarding
o ie, you will score book points by reading/accessing the Petitions for Relief
• learn more about book points here

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on the FCHR-DOAH Petition for Relief.

7.1 | The Law that Governs Petitions for Relief

§120.569(2) FS explains that the FCHR must send your PFR to DOAH within 15 days of receiving it (paraphrasing added):2
“(a) Except for any proceeding conducted as prescribed in s. 120.56, a petition or request for a hearing under this section shall be filed with the [FCHR]. If the [FCHR] requests an administrative law judge from [DOAH], it shall so notify [DOAH] by electronic means through [DOAH]’s website within 15 days after receipt of the petition or request. A request for a hearing shall be granted or denied within 15 days after receipt. On the request of any agency, [DOAH] shall assign an administrative law judge with due regard to the expertise required for the particular matter. The [FCHR] shall take no further action with respect to a proceeding under s. 120.57(1), except as a party litigant, as long as [DOAH] has jurisdiction over the proceeding under s. 120.57(1).”
While this law explains how timely the agency must act, there are other statutes/rules/regulations that explain how timely you must act.

7.2 | Filing Window

You will have 35 days to file your Petition for Relief (as you might remember from Phase 6 (Determination)). For the sake of convenience, here’s quick a recitation:
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).
Please know that these filing windows are crucial. DOAH will [strive to] dismiss your complaint/petition if you file your PFR late (ie, if you file it after your window closes).

7.3 | Protected Characteristics (‘Charged Bases’)

Your PFR should only contain the protected characteristics that are covered under the FCRA:
age*colordisabilitymarital statusnational originpregnancy**racereligionretaliationsex
see §760.01(2) FS***

Moreover, DOAH (ie, the agency that will receive/handle your PFR) will [probably] strike discrimination bases that were not in your original COD (and/or FCHR Determination). Therefore, do not add any bases that were not in your COD/Determination.
* note: the FCHR’s age protections cover all ages (ie, 10 year-olds, 20 year-olds, etc.). This is different from the EEOC’s age protections (which - according to the ADA - only cover people who are 40+).

** additional note: In practice, the FCHR often lumps pregnancy discrimination into sex discrimination; other times it lumps it into disability discrimination. Either way, if you’ve faced pregnancy discrimination then Florida law will cover you.

*** final note: there've been recent pushes to include protections for genetic information (a là GINA – a federal law). However, TBD hasn’t listed it here because Florida legislation has yet to explicitly include it (see FLSenate.gov). Nonetheless, since genetic information is closely tied to nationality/race/sex/etc, you can probably still file a Florida discrimination suit under those bases.

7.4 | Checklist for a DOAH/FCHR Petition for Relief

As you draft your PFR, check to make sure that you’ve supplied all of the following information:
☑ Your Signature
☑ Your Name
☑ Your Opponent’s Name (ie, your employer)
☑ Contact Info (yours; and your opponent’s)
☑ The style of the proceeding (eg, Employment Discrimination, Housing Discrimination, etc.)
see 28-106.104(2) FAC (via 60Y-5.008 FAC).

Note: if you just fill out the Template, then you’ll satisfy each of these filing requirements.

7.5 | Disclose the Adverse Employment Action

Concisely write the type of act that the defendant/respondent committed against you.
Reason: your DOAH ALJ will be looking for this. Plus, the type of adverse act will impact the type/amount of damages you can recover (eg, back pay vs reassignment, etc.)
Here’s a list of the most common types of adverse employment actions:
• Constructive Discharge
• Demotion
• Denied Reasonable Accommodation
• Disparate Terms & Conditions
• Failure to Hire
• Failure to Promote
• Hostile Work Environment
• Retaliation
• Suspension
• Termination
• Unequal Pay
You can make this disclosure by filling out Section 5 of the Template.

7.6 | Analysis of a Sample FCHR Petition for Relief

Here’s a real-live PFR.2 TBD will analyze it to help illuminate this stage of the FCHR/DOAH process for you.

Analysis of this Sample PFR
#PointImage/Explanation
1✔ On Time
This litigant successfully filed his PFR within the 35-day statutory window
snapshotOfPFR

snapshotOfPFR

7/3/20 vs 5/29/20 (35 days ≤ 35 days);{§760.11(6) FS}
2✔ Case Style
This PFR identifies the type of case that this is.

snapshotOfPFR
3✔ Adverse ActionThis PFR clearly states the adverse employment action (ie, 'termination').

snapshotOfPFR
4✔ Short & Plain Statement
This litigant successfully gave a short & plain statement of the case:snapshotOfPFR
He also gave a short & plain statement of the subsequent retaliation (see Opposition vs Participation Clause):
snapshotOfPFR
5✔ Statutes Listed
This litigant successfully invoked the state laws that gave rise to this action
snapshotOfPFR
6✔ Substantiating FactssnapshotOfPFR

note: substantiating facts are not necessary, but they can help solidify your PFR
7✔ Brief
✔ only 4 pages (the remaining 4 pages were just exhibits)

✔ quick narrative (corroborates the ultimate facts)

8✔ Contact InfoThis litigant successfully disclosed the contact information for both parties:
snapshotOfPFR

7.7 | TBD’s Recommendations

Meet your filing deadline!
• Filing late can ruin your case
o The 35-day window is crucial
Use the Template! (linked here)
• It’ll save you time
Keep your PFR Brief
• Only use 4 pages
o Providing too much detail will only aide your civil opponent (ie, the entity that discriminated against you)
‣ See Rule 8 Fed. R. Civ. P. (and Rule 1.100 Fla. R. Civ. P.)
‣ See Rule 12 Fed. R. Civ. P. (and Rule 1.140 Fla. R. Civ. P.)
o Providing too much detail can potentially slow down your case
• Provide a Short & plain statement
o Example 1: Company XYZ fired me because I rejected my boss’ sexual/romantic advances

o Example 2: Company ABC suspended me because I filed an internal discrimination complaint

o Example 3: Corporation XYZ demoted me due to my age

o Example 4: Corporation ABC refused to hire me because of my nationality

o Example 5: Entity XYZ subjected me to a hostile work environment because of my disability
Use the FCHR’s Official Guidelines to help you draft your PFR
FCHR's Official PFR Guidelines
➄ 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.
➅ Plus, before you file your PFR at DOAH, have a full understanding of the following rules:
Rules 1.280 through 1.410 Fla. R. Civ. P.
DOAH’s Uniform Rules of Procedure

7.8 | TBD’s Commentary

You are not alone.

It’s possible that you might feel as though no one will understand what you’ve gone through. However, your story – although unique – will be very similar to many other cases of employment discrimination.

In TBD’s words, different discrimination cases are like different songs from the same genre of music. They have common patterns, but their specific facts/lyrics are different.
Suggestion: Read through TBD’s Index of Petitions for Relief.
• Benefit #1: Morale
o You’ll see that many people have gone through what you’ve gone through
• Benefit #2: Effectiveness
o You’ll better understand how to articulate/litigate your case
So, whether you are alone and/or you just feel alone, get ready to get booked up on all of the knowledge/resources that this website has (and others have) to offer.

Of course, a key part of your journey will be knowing how to navigate through the FCHR/DOAH legal process; and you can fortify that knowledge by learning about the next phase (ie, Phase 8: DOAH Proceeding)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 you’ll also be allowed to file your PFR under the following [alternate] condition:
(a) 180 days passed since you filed your COD; and
(b) The FCHR failed to issue a Determination before this 180-day window closed.
see Woodham v BCBSFL, 829 So.2d 891 (Fla. 2002)

2 note: TBD has paraphrased this regulation/statute in order to minimize ambiguity (ie, DOAH vs FCHR vs Agency). So, please feel free to consult the originating text (here; and here).

3 Redactions have been made to this document.
Purpose: accentuate educational points.

Phase 8
DOAH

FCHR 101 | PHASE 8: UNDERSTANDING THE DOAH PROCEEDING

Shortly after you file your Petition for Relief, your DOAH case will proceed.

8.0 | Intro

Good News: You will have an opportunity to conduct discovery, testify, and present evidence.

Better News: TBD has created many how-to guides, templates, and tools that you can use to navigate through your DOAH proceeding.

Features:
✔ Free
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on the DOAH proceeding.

8.1 | The Laws that Govern DOAH Proceedings

§120.569(2) FS explains why the FCHR is transmitting your case to DOAH (paraphrasing added):1
“(a) ...petition or request for a hearing under this section shall be filed with the [FCHR]. If the [FCHR] requests an administrative law judge from [DOAH], it shall so notify [DOAH] by electronic means through [DOAH]’s website within 15 days after receipt of the petition or request. A request for a hearing shall be granted or denied within 15 days after receipt. On the request of [the FCHR], [DOAH] shall assign an administrative law judge with due regard to the expertise required for the particular matter. The [FCHR] shall take no further action with respect to a proceeding under s. 120.57(1)...”
In laymen’s terms, the FCHR sends your discrimination charge to DOAH.

From there, DOAH will conduct a quasi-judicial proceeding; as explained by §120.57(1)(b) FS:
“(b) All parties shall have an opportunity to respond, to present evidence and argument on all issues involved, to conduct cross-examination and submit rebuttal evidence, to submit proposed findings of facts and orders, to file exceptions to the presiding officer’s recommended order, and to be represented by counsel or other qualified representative. When appropriate, the general public may be given an opportunity to present oral or written communications. If the agency proposes to consider such material, then all parties shall be given an opportunity to cross-examine or challenge or rebut the material.”
§120.57(1)(k) FS outlines what DOAH will produce at the end of this proceeding:
“(k) The presiding officer shall complete and submit to the agency and all parties a recommended order...”
Finally, §120.57(1)(l) brings the whole transmitted proceeding full circle (paraphrasing added):
“(l) The [FCHR] may adopt the recommended order as the final order of the [FCHR]. The [FCHR] in its final order may reject or modify the conclusions of law over which it has substantive jurisdiction and interpretation of administrative rules over which it has substantive jurisdiction...”
All of these above-listed statutes fall under Florida’s Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”; §120 FS). Of course, the APA covers DOAH’s procedural jurisdiction. The FCRA (§760 FS) still covers the substantive jurisdiction of your charge. In laymen’s terms, the FCRA governs the subject matter (ie, the “particular matter” – see §120.569(2)(a) FS) of your case, while the APA [temporarily] governs the proceeding of your case.

These statutes bring up an important distinction between the two administrative agencies (which will control your DOAH case).

8.2 | DOAH, the FCHR, and Your Discrimination Case

DOAH and the FCHR are both children of Florida’s Department of Management Services (DMS) (see §760.04 FS; §120.65(1); and §20.22(2)(f) FS), and they rely on one another. Here’s a quick rundown of the two administrative agencies:
DOAHFCHR
Jurisdiction:StateState
Territory:FLFL
Laws:§120 FS§760 FS
Branch:ExecutiveExecutive
Duty:Hold HearingsInvestigate Discrimination
Regulations:Chapter 28-106 FAC60Y-1 through 60Y-25
As you can see, DOAH holds hearings on many topics; while the FCHR focuses on the topic of discrimination (along with whistleblower violations). The FCHR sends its cases to DOAH; who conducts quasi-judicial proceedings on those cases. In return for that work, the FCHR pays DOAH money.

Of course, DOAH has similar arrangements with many other state agencies. Yet the FCHR is one of its biggest financial providers (see DOAH Reports2). Plus – and unlike most of the other state agencies – the FCHR lives under the same roof as DOAH (ie, under DMS’ roof).

In laymen’s terms, DOAH is the FCHR’s hungry brother. To quench his hunger, the FCHR pays him money. And, in turn, he tells her a story about you. A story, importantly, that almost always reinforces her arbitrary/false inclinations (see Phase 6: Determination). A story, importantly, that is never evaluated/proofread by a jury of your peers. A story, additionally, that has – on at least one occasion – been based a judge’s perjury (as well as a judge’s destruction of evidence) [read | watch].

8.3 | The Rules & Regulations that Govern your DOAH Proceeding

As you probably remember from Phase 3 (Regulations), your discrimination case will be governed by numerous regulations. Once it enters DOAH, it’ll be governed by the following:
Chapter 28-106 FAC
Also – and as you probably remember from Phase 4 (Rules) – your discrimination case will be governed by various rules of procedure. At DOAH, it’ll be governed by the following:
Rules 1.280 through 1.410 Fla. R. Civ. P.

8.4 | The Docket (Motions, Notices, Orders, Responses, and more)

Once you enter DOAH’s doors you will get access to your case docket. This is where all of the pertinent documents will reside.

One of the first documents that you’ll receive is the Initial Order (which comes from DOAH itself).3 This short document just serves to orient you to the proceeding. From there, you’ll file motions, notices, responses, subpoena/discovery requests, and more.

Some documents won’t require any action from you, while others will. So, stay cognizant of:
(a) the docket;

(b) the judge’s orders; and

(c) the governing rules/regulations/statutes.
To help you get the justice that you deserve, TBD has put together many how-to guides:
How-To Guides for Discovery
How-To Guides for Requesting Civil Indigence
How-To Guides for Requesting Issuance of a Subpoena
How-To Guides for Various Motions
How-To Guides for Various Responses
How-To Guide for Writing a Notice of Appeal
Plus, TBD has amassed some useful handbooks:
Official Handbooks on Civil Discovery
Official Handbooks for Pro Se Litigation

8.5 | TBD’s Recommendations

Meet your deadlines!
• Your DOAH proceeding will require you to respond/appear on time
o Typically, you’ll have to respond to motions within 7 days (see 28-106.204(1) FAC)

o Also, you’ll have to appear at your hearing
‣ If you fail to do so, then you will probably lose your case
› Note: Failure to Appear is a routine reason for case dismissal
Stay Vigilant!
DOAH Judges have a history of letting their biases impact civil rights litigants
o For instance: In 2019, Judge Edward Gary Early (a DOAH ALJ) committed perjury to impair a discrimination lawsuit (he also destroyed evidence). [read | watch]
‣ He did so, notably, in order to cover for the preceding judge’s improprieties.
• Dissuade these government officials (ie, your DOAH ALJ) from violating your constitutional rights
o 1st Amendment (Petition the Government)
o 7th Amendment (Trial by Jury)
o 14th Amendment (Due Process)
o 14th Amendment (Equal protection)
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
• Your DOAH case is governed by the State of Florida (ie, not the federal government of the United States)

• You are still in the executive branch of government
o DOAH is part of the executive branch (not the judicial!)

o The FCHR is also part of the executive branch
• You might still get access to the federal government
o If you have a dual-filed case, then you will be able to enter the federal court system
‣ You’ll accomplish this by Requesting a Substantial Weight Review; which will [almost automatically] give you your ticket to federal court.
How To Request a Substantial Weight Review
• You might still get access to the judicial branch (and a subsequent trial-by-jury)
o If you win your DOAH/FCHR case, then you will be able to enter the state court system (eg, the 4th Judicial Circuit Court [in-and-for] Duval County).

o If you have a dual-filed case, then you will be able to [legally] withstand whatever happens in the DOAH proceeding
‣ You’ll accomplish this by Requesting a Substantial Weight Review; which will [almost automatically] give you your ticket to the federal judiciary.
How To Request a Substantial Weight Review
➃ Have a strong understanding of the following rules:
Rules 1.280 through 1.410 Fla. R. Civ. P.
DOAH’s Uniform Rules of Procedure (ie, Chapter 28-106 FAC)
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.

8.6 | TBD’s Commentary

The DOAH proceeding will be the most action-packed leg of your journey. So, make sure to get booked up on all of the knowledge/resources that this website has (and others have) to offer.

A key part of your journey will be knowing how to navigate through the final stage of the DOAH proceeding (ie, the Recommended Order); and you can fortify that knowledge by learning about the next phase (ie, Phase 9: Recommended Order)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 note: TBD has paraphrased these statutes in order to minimize ambiguity (ie, DOAH vs FCHR vs Agency). So, please feel free to consult the originating text (here).

2 review the "Analysis of Agency Request for Fiscal Year YYYY - YYYY" (eg, Page 10 of the 2020 Report).

3 here's a recent sample (Montero v. Comcast, DOAH 23-1324 (4/7/23)).

Phase 9
RO

FCHR 101 | PHASE 9: UNDERSTANDING THE RECOMMENDED ORDER

At the end of your DOAH proceeding, you will receive a Recommended Order (“RO”).1

9.0 | Intro

Good News: You will have an opportunity to present evidence, testify, and make a proposal beforehand.

Better News: TBD has copied, re-formatted, and published [almost] all publicly available ROs on this website (linked here).

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

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on the DOAH Recommended Order.

9.1 | The Laws that Govern DOAH Recommended Orders

§120.52(15) FS gives the definition of a “Recommended Order” (paraphrasing added):2
“(15) “Recommended order” means the official recommendation of an administrative law judge assigned by [DOAH] or of any other duly authorized presiding officer, other than an agency head or member of an agency head, for the final disposition of a proceeding under ss. 120.569 and 120.57.”
§120.57(1)(k) FS outlines what constitutes an RO:
“(k) The presiding officer shall complete and submit to the agency and all parties a recommended order consisting of findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommended disposition or penalty, if applicable, and any other information required by law to be contained in the final order.”
Please take note that there are only three things that constitute an RO:
  1. the Findings of Fact;
  2. the Conclusions of Law; and
  3. the Recommended Disposition
There is value in recognizing this, because DOAH has a custom/practice of adding unwarranted sections to its ROs. Most notably, the “Statement of the Issues” and the “Preliminary Statement”. In fact, these were the two [statutorily-unprescribed] sections that a DOAH ALJ authored his perjury in (read | watch).

Nevertheless, these statutes can help frame your understanding of a Recommended Order.

9.2 | Proposed Order

While those state statutes dictate what a DOAH RO is, there are state regulations that dictate what a Proposed Recommended Order is (often referred to as a “Proposed Order”; and abbreviated as “PO”).

28-106.215 FAC reads as follows:
“All parties may submit proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, orders, and memoranda on the issues within a time designated by the presiding officer. Unless authorized by the presiding officer, proposed orders shall be limited to 40 pages.”
The PO is – as it sounds – your proposed verdict of the case.3 Typically, you’ll get to submit it after you’ve had your hearing. Usually, your DOAH ALJ will set the deadline for it.

Generally speaking, you’ll model your PO after the DOAH ROs (see this index of DOAH Recommended Orders).

Also, feel free to use this how-to guide:
How to Write a Proposed Order for your DOAH Case
Once you submit your PO you’ll just have to await the RO.

9.3 | Reading your Recommended Order

Open your Recommended Order as soon as you get it, and read it with a critical eye.

Statement of the Issues
Check this section to make sure it:
(a) correctly lists your case type (eg, employment discrimination, etc.); and

(b) correctly lists all of your charged bases (eg, age + sex; etc.)
Keep in mind, this section is not statutorily prescribed (see §120.57(1)(k) FS). Therefore, any lies/falsehoods (which the DOAH ALJ might insert here) are illegitimate.
Preliminary Statement
Check this section to make sure it:
(a) accurately recounts the procedural steps in your case; and

(b) does not omit any material information
Once again, keep in mind that this section is not statutorily prescribed (see §120.57(1)(k) FS). Therefore, any lies/falsehoods/mischaracterizations (which the DOAH ALJ might insert here) are illegitimate.
Findings of Fact
Now that you’ve reached the true part of the RO, prepare to chart the truths and the falsehoods. For starters, take note at how each paragraph is numbered (see §120.57(1)(k) FS).

Then – for each numbered paragraph – do the following:
(a) determine whether the finding is false or true;
i. if the finding is false, then:
1. locate the evidence that proves its falsehood; and

2. take note of (ie, write down):
a. the paragraph number;
b. the falsehood; and
c. the evidence
Keep in mind that the DOAH ALJ has the statutory authority to weigh evidence with grave partiality. For instance, if the majority of the evidence/testimony falls in your favor then the DOAH ALJ can use the remaining [minority of evidence] to rule against you.

Thus, be cognizant of the requirement/doctrine of “competent substantial evidence” (see §120.57(1)(l) FS). The ALJ’s findings of fact are bound by this requirement (which is what you’ll want to highlight during your critical review of this RO section).
Conclusions of Law
The next section of the RO also deserves your critical attention (see §120.57(1)(k) FS). Although it’ll mainly be cookie-cutter material (ie, ‘boilerplate material’; ‘copy & paste material’), you should analyze it for:
(a) irrationality (ie, the ALJ used the wrong statute/case-law); and

(b) inaccuracy (ie, the ALJ mischaracterized case-precedent/legislation);
According to §120.57(1)(l) FS, the RO can be reversed if this section misfires. That misfire occurs if the ALJ misinterprets/misapplies the substantive law (ie, §760 FS). That substantive law, importantly, falls under the FCHR’s jurisdiction. The FCHR, of course, is the audience for this document.
Recommended Disposition
Towards the end of the RO you’ll find the ALJ’s recommended disposition. This is where he/she requests that the FCHR takes his/her desired action (ie, dismissal, approval, etc.). In other words, this is the recommended verdict. So, you’ll just want to double-check to make sure it aligns with the ALJ’s conclusions of law (and findings of fact).
Footnote
Lastly, the RO will [most likely] include a footnote informing you of your subsequent duties. It’ll tell you that you have 15 days to file exceptions to the RO. You’ll send those exceptions (if any) to the FCHR (not to DOAH). DOAH’s job is thereby done, and it’ll relinquish jurisdiction back to the FCHR.

9.4 | TBD’s Recommendations

Stay Vigilant!
DOAH Judges have a history of letting their biases impact civil rights litigants
o For instance: In 2019, Judge Edward Gary Early (a DOAH ALJ) committed perjury to impair a discrimination lawsuit (he also destroyed evidence). [read | watch]
‣ He did so, notably, in order to cover for the preceding judge’s improprieties.
Know the Audience!
• Know that this RO is directed towards the FCHR.
o The DOAH ALJ is asking the FCHR to take this action against/for you
• Knowing the audience will help you formulate a proper response (ie, your exceptions)
How To Write Exceptions to DOAH's Recommended Order
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
• Your DOAH case is governed by the State of Florida (ie, not the federal government of the United States)

• You might still get access to the federal government
o If you have a dual-filed case, then you will be able to enter the federal court system
‣ You’ll accomplish this by Requesting a Substantial Weight Review; which will [almost automatically] give you your ticket to federal court.
How To Request a Substantial Weight Review
• You are still in the executive branch of government
o DOAH is part of the executive branch (not the judicial!)

o The FCHR is also part of the executive branch
• You might still get access to the judicial branch (and a subsequent trial-by-jury):
o If you win your DOAH/FCHR case, then you will be able to enter the state court system (eg, the 4th Judicial Circuit Court [in-and-for] Duval County).

o If you have a dual-filed case, then you will be able to [legally] withstand whatever happens in the DOAH proceeding (and thereby enter the federal judiciary).
‣ You’ll accomplish this by Requesting a Substantial Weight Review; which will [almost automatically] give you your ticket to the federal judiciary.
How To Request a Substantial Weight Review
Know Your Constitutional Rights:
• Remember that the 7th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the opportunity to have a trial-by-jury

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to due process (ie, fundamental fairness)

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to the equal protections under the law
Know the Seminal Case (ie, McDonnell-Douglas v Green):
• Understand how it is used for adjudicating cases of employment discrimination
Info: The McDonnell-Douglas Framework
• Read the pertinent appellate court opinions here
Know how FCHR Final Orders operate:
• It’ll help you contextualize the RO
FCHR Final Orders
Also, if time permits, begin reading the following provisions:
§120.68 FS

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.
They will help you see the path that’s ahead of you.

9.6 | TBD’s Commentary

Congratulations on making it this far. It’s probably taken you roughly 600 days to get to this stage, and you still haven’t seen a courtroom (or a jury). Yet, you’re still fighting!

Well, the fight will continue [as you nudge closer to a judicial proceeding]. And you can get there more smoothly by fortifying your knowledge of the next phase (ie, Phase 10: The Final Order)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 unless, of course, you terminate your DOAH case (via settlement, withdrawal, etc.) before allowing the ALJ to render a decision.
see this analysis on Case Outcomes
2 note: TBD has paraphrased these statutes in order to minimize ambiguity (ie, DOAH vs FCHR vs Agency). So, please feel free to consult the originating text (here).

3 here's a recent sample (Guinn v. AGR, DOAH 22-3434 (3/20/23)).

Phase 10
FCHR FO

FCHR 101 | PHASE 10: UNDERSTANDING THE FCHR FINAL ORDER

Once the DOAH ALJ closes your DOAH case (via its Recommended Order – see Phase 9) you will be primed for the FCHR Final Order (“FO”).

10.0 | Intro

Good News: You will have an opportunity to impact the FO by correcting the RO’s errors/omissions.

Better News: TBD has copied, re-formatted, and published [almost] all publicly available FOs on this website (linked here).

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

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on the FCHR Final Order.

10.1 | The Laws that Govern FCHR Final Orders

§120.52(7) FS defines what a Final Order is (paraphrasing added):1
“(7) “Final order” means a written final decision which results from a proceeding under s. 120.56, s. 120.565, s. 120.569, s. 120.57, s. 120.573, or s. 120.574 which is not a rule, and which is not excepted from the definition of a rule, and which has been filed with the [FCHR] clerk, and includes final agency actions which are affirmative, negative, injunctive, or declaratory in form. A final order includes all materials explicitly adopted in it. The clerk shall indicate the date of filing on the order.”
§120.569(2)(l) FS states that the FCHR must render its FO within 90 days of receiving the DOAH RO (paraphrasing added):
“(l) Unless the time period is waived or extended with the consent of all parties, the final order in a proceeding which affects substantial interests must be in writing and include findings of fact, if any, and conclusions of law separately stated, and it must be rendered within 90 days:

... 2. After a recommended order is submitted to the [FCHR] and mailed to all parties, if the hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge;...”
§120.57(1)(f) FS delineates what constitutes the “entire record”:
“(f) The record in a case governed by this subsection shall consist only of:

1. All notices, pleadings, motions, and intermediate rulings.

2. Evidence admitted.

3. Those matters officially recognized.

4. Proffers of proof and objections and rulings thereon.

5. Proposed findings and exceptions.

6. Any decision, opinion, order, or report by the presiding officer.

7. All staff memoranda or data submitted to the presiding officer during the hearing or prior to its disposition, after notice of the submission to all parties, except communications by advisory staff as permitted under s. 120.66(1), if such communications are public records.

8. All matters placed on the record after an ex parte communication.

9. The official transcript.”
§120.57(1)(l) FS outlines the FO’s purpose (paraphrasing added):
“(l) The [FCHR] may adopt the recommended order as the final order of the [FCHR]. The [FCHR] in its final order may reject or modify the conclusions of law over which it has substantive jurisdiction and interpretation of administrative rules over which it has substantive jurisdiction. When rejecting or modifying such conclusion of law or interpretation of administrative rule, the [FCHR] must state with particularity its reasons for rejecting or modifying such conclusion of law or interpretation of administrative rule and must make a finding that its substituted conclusion of law or interpretation of administrative rule is as or more reasonable than that which was rejected or modified. Rejection or modification of conclusions of law may not form the basis for rejection or modification of findings of fact. The [FCHR] may not reject or modify the findings of fact unless the [FCHR] first determines from a review of the entire record, and states with particularity in the order, that the findings of fact were not based upon competent substantial evidence or that the proceedings on which the findings were based did not comply with essential requirements of law.”
§760.11 FS describes – in more pertinent form – what this Final Order stage entails (paraphrasing added):
“(6)... If the administrative law judge, after the hearing, finds that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the administrative law judge shall issue an appropriate recommended order in accordance with chapter 120 prohibiting the practice and providing affirmative relief from the effects of the practice, including back pay. Within 90 days of the date the recommended or proposed order is rendered, the [FCHR] shall issue a final order by adopting, rejecting, or modifying the recommended order as provided under ss. 120.569 and 120.57...

(7)... [If] the final order issued by the [FCHR] determines that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the aggrieved person may bring, within 1 year of the date of the final order, a civil action under subsection (5) as if there has been a reasonable cause determination or accept the affirmative relief offered by the commission, but not both...

(13) Final orders of the [FCHR] are subject to judicial review pursuant to s. 120.68... Unless specifically ordered by the court, the commencement of an appeal does not suspend or stay the order of the [FCHR], except as provided in the Rules of Appellate Procedure.”
Please take note that there are three elements of the RO that the FO can target for rejection/modification. Briefly put, the FO can reject/modify:
1. the RO’s findings of fact (which are not based on “competent substantial evidence”);

2. the RO’s conclusions of law that pertain to §760 FS (ie, the FCHR’s “substantive jurisdiction” – see §120.57(1)(l) FS); and/or

3. the actions [of/from/at DOAH] that did not comport with the “essential requirements of law” (ie, Due Process, Equal Protection, etc.)
In short, these statutes can help you understand how to approach your upcoming Final Order. There are regulations, notably, that further expound on FCHR FOs.

10.2 | The Rules & Regulations that Govern your FCHR Final Order

60Y-4.029 FAC proclaims what the FCHR will do to produce its Final Order (paraphrasing added):1
“After the issuance of the hearing officer’s recommended order, if any, and following the filing of exceptions, briefs and presentation of oral argument, if any, the [FCHR] shall consider the record and issue a written decision resolving the issues before it.”
60Y-4.028 FAC outlines what material the FCHR will consider when producing its FO (paraphrasing added):
“(1) When a recommended order is before the [FCHR], a party filing an exception or brief may also request oral argument.”
28-106.217 FAC instructs you on filing exceptions to your DOAH RO (paraphrasing added):
“(1) Parties may file exceptions to findings of fact and conclusions of law contained in recommended orders with the [FCHR] within 15 days of entry of the recommended order... Exceptions shall identify the disputed portion of the recommended order by page number or paragraph, shall identify the legal basis for the exception, and shall include any appropriate and specific citations to the record...

(3) Any party may file responses to another party’s exceptions within 10 days from the date the exceptions were filed with the [FCHR].”
These state regulations highlight three things:
(1) You can file exceptions to the RO

(2) You can request oral argument on the FO; and

(3) The FCHR conducts a public meeting on your FO.

10.3 | Filing Exceptions to the Final Order

As the statewide provisions have foretold (ie, §120.57(1), Chapter 60Y-4 FAC, etc.), you can impact the FCHR Final Order by filing exceptions to the DOAH Recommended Order (“RO”).

When you previously read that RO, you probably took well-trained notes (see Phase 9.3: Reading the Recommended Order). Now, you can put those notes into action by writing your Exceptions.

Simply speaking, you will want to articulate the three elements which the FO targets; namely:
1. the RO’s Findings of Fact;

2. the RO’s Conclusions of Law; and/or

3. the DOAH proceeding’s compliance with the Essential Requirements of Law.
As you are well-aware by now, the FCHR will be looking for specific types of legal attacks (see 10.2; §120.57(1)(l) FS; etc.). Nevertheless, here is a how-to guide for drafting your document:
How To Write Exceptions to DOAH's Recommended Order

10.4 | Requesting Oral Argument on the FCHR Final Order

Also – and as the FCHR regulations have foretold (ie, 60Y-4.028 FAC, etc.) – you can impact the FCHR Final Order by providing oral argument.

First, you’ll have to ask the FCHR to allow you to provide oral argument. Doing so via motion. To help you with that process, TBD has created the following how-to guide:
How-To Request Oral Argument for your FCHR Final Order
Please note, however, that the FCHR has habituated a [reinforced] pattern & practice of shunning oral argument. Since June 23, 2021, the agency has prevented litigants from making oral argument (or adding public commentary) at its case disposition (ie, Final Order) meetings. Nevertheless, whether the FCHR grants your request [for oral argument] or not, the agency will still hold a case disposition meeting.

10.5 | The Case Disposition Meeting

A quorum of FCHR Commissioners will vote on your final order. This quorum must consist of three people (see §760.03(5) FS).

Please take note that your FO will be drafted by an FCHR staff attorney (eg, Stanley Gorsica, etc.). This staff attorney – as you might know by now – is neither an appointed official nor an elected official (see 6.5: The Who). Instead, he/she is just someone who wants to get involved in other people’s business (without their consent/approval). Whether this individual is helping (or hurting) you (ie, the unwitting public) is a major point of concern.

Next, please take note that the FCHR will notify you of this meeting ahead of time (typically, via postal mail). Therefore, make sure that the FCHR still has your correct address (and stay vigilant, because the agency has previously sent litigants’ crucial documents to the wrong people – read).

The FCHR will also publish notice of your case disposition meeting in two other places:
1. the Florida Administrative Register (see 28-102.001 FAC); and

2. the FCHR’s website (FCHR.MyFlorida.com)
TBD has copied those public notices for your convenience. Contained therein, you’ll find audio recordings of some of the recent case disposition meetings. Listening to them might help you know what to expect.

10.6 | Analysis on Final Order Voting

These freely published notices will also link you to TBD’s Analysis on FCHR Final Order Voting. An analysis which reveals that FCHR commissioners rubber stamp whatever the FCHR staff attorney writes. Statistically/Historically speaking, there’s a 98% chance that the commissioners will approve the staff attorney’s proffered decision. Statistics also show, that 95% of the staff attorneys’ submissions are approvals of the preceding DOAH Recommended Order (even in the face of clear impropriety/illegality – watch, read).

10.7 | TBD’s Recommendations

Stay Vigilant!
• The FCHR Final Order might disregard fact in exchange for its desired result (ie, covering up the defendant’s discrimination)
o In 2019, a two-commissioner panel ratified a judge’s perjury (watch, read).
‣ That judge (ie, Edward Gary Early) committed perjury to impair a discrimination lawsuit (he also destroyed evidence).

‣ Moreover, the two-commissioner panel violated state law (which requires a minimum of 3 commissioners to conduct official state business)
• See §760.03(5) FS
• Make sure the FCHR has your contact information
o In the past, the state agency has sent crucial documents to the wrong people (see this example)
• Beware that the FCHR has a statutory ability to accept bribes

• Beware that the FCHR’s agenda is centered around saving civil rights defendants “millions” of dollars (see Page 8 of the 2019 Annual Report)
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
• Your FCHR case is governed by the State of Florida (ie, not the federal government of the United States)

• You might still get access to the federal government
o If you have a dual-filed case, then you will be able to enter the federal court system
‣ You’ll accomplish this by Requesting a Substantial Weight Review; which will [almost automatically] give you your ticket to federal court.
How To Request a Substantial Weight Review
• You are still in the executive branch of government
o Both DOAH and the FCHR are part of the executive branch (not the judicial!)
• You might still get access to the judicial branch (and a subsequent trial-by-jury):
o If you win your FCHR case, then you will be able to enter the state court system (eg, the 4th Judicial Circuit Court [in-and-for] Duval County).

o If you have a dual-filed case, then you will be able to [legally] withstand whatever happens in the DOAH proceeding (and thereby enter the federal judiciary).
‣ You’ll accomplish this by Requesting a Substantial Weight Review; which will [almost automatically] give you your ticket to the federal judiciary.
How To Request a Substantial Weight Review
Prepare to Request a Substantial Weight Review:
• Dual-Filed Cases are subject to the EEOC’s review
o You will have to act fast, though
‣ The guiding regulation (ie, 29 CFR 1601.76) gives you only 15 days to file (and you must do so via postal mail).
Know Your Constitutional Rights:
• Remember that the 7th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the opportunity to have a trial-by-jury

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to due process (ie, fundamental fairness)

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to the equal protections under the law
Know the Seminal Case (ie, McDonnell-Douglas v Green):
• Understand how it is used for adjudicating cases of employment discrimination
Info: The McDonnell-Douglas Framework
• Read the pertinent appellate court opinions here
Know how FCHR Final Orders operate:
• It’ll help you write your exceptions
How To Write Exceptions to DOAH's Recommended Order
• It’ll help you provide strong oral argument
How-To Request Oral Argument for your FCHR Final Order
• Indexed Here:
Index of FCHR Final Orders
Also, if time permits, begin reading the following provisions:
§120.68 FS

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.
They will help you see the path that’s ahead of you.

10.8 | TBD’s Commentary

Mature Content

Hover to Reveal
• Keep in mind that – at this point – the FCHR Commissioners are the only appointed officials whom you’ve dealt with on your case (the rest have been unappointed/unelected individuals)
o Yet – based on TBD’s experience – most of them operate with ignorance. Which means that they’re highly susceptible to riding the traincar that’ll railroad you.

o Everyone else (ie, the clerks, the investigators, the executive directors, the judges, the staff attorneys, etc) are unelected/un-appointed individuals whom you’ve [probably] never sought.
TBD has witnessed these individuals (especially the judges/clerks/directors lie, mislead, and cover for other people’s transgressions/lawlessness). Then – when confronted with their improprieties – TBD has witnessed them retreat (run & hide).
o So, please beware that the actual commission has been overrun (and undermined) by a group of lawless individuals.
Congratulations! You’ve made it even further, and you’re inching closer to a ‘court of competent jurisdiction’!

Of course, your feet will have to travel many more inches [to get you to your destination]. So, get ready to step into the shoes of your predecessors as you learn about the next phase(s) (ie, Phase A-1: Substantial Weight Review and/or Phase B-1: State Appeal)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 note: TBD has paraphrased these statutes in order to minimize ambiguity (ie, DOAH vs FCHR vs Agency). So, please feel free to consult the originating text (here).


Phase A-1
SWR

FCHR 101 | PHASE A-1: UNDERSTANDING THE SUBSTANTIAL WEIGHT REVIEW

Upon receiving the Final Order (on your dual-filed discrimination case), you'll be allowed to Request a Substantial Weight Review (“SWR”) from the EEOC.

A-1.0 | Intro

Good News: Your Final Order will [probably] alert you to this possibility.

Better News: TBD has copied, re-formatted, and published [almost] all publicly available FOs on this website (linked here).

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

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on this SWR Request.

A-1.1 | The Rules & Regulations that Govern your Substantial Weight Review

29 CFR §1601.76 is the provision that makes SWRs possible (paraphrasing added):1
“The [EEOC] shall notify the parties whose cases are to be processed by the [FCHR] of their right, if aggrieved by the [FCHR]'s final action, to request review by the [EEOC] within 15 days of that action. The [EEOC], on receipt of a request for review, shall conduct such review in accord with the procedures set forth in the Substantial Weight Review Procedures.”
It basically means that the EEOC will review the FCHR’s Final Order. It’s important to remember, however, that this provision is for dual-filed cases (ie, the EEOC might ignore requests for cases that are not dual-filed). The EEOC reviews these cases because it has a workshare agreement with the FCHR (see the most recent contract).

By the way, the FCHR (according to 60Y-5.002 FAC) has similar workshare agreements with local agencies (paraphrasing added):
“(1) The [FCHR] Executive Director is authorized to negotiate agreements of referral with other public agencies having authority and resources to investigate allegations of unlawful employment practices...

(4) Upon fulfillment of the criteria set forth in subsections 60Y-5.002(2) and (3), F.A.C., the [FCHR] shall approve the negotiated agreement of referral. When an agreement has been approved by the [FCHR], all complaints filed with the [FCHR] which are subject to the agreement shall be referred to the referral agency. The referral agency shall report its action on the complaint to the [FCHR] Executive Director. Substantial weight shall be accorded to any final findings and orders of the referral agency.”
By the way, the EEOC (according to 29 CFR §1601.78) gathers the SWRs that people submit. Then it uses them to evaluate the FCHR’s performance/compliance:
“(b) Each designated FEP agency certified by the Commission shall be evaluated when, as a result of a substantial weight review requested as provided in § 1601.76 of this part or required in regard to cases closed as a result of unsuccessful conciliation or for lack of jurisdiction as provided in § 1601.77 of this part, the Commission rejects more than 5% of a designated FEP agency's findings at the end of the year or 20% or more of its findings for two consecutive quarters. When the Commission rejects 20% or more of a designated FEP agency's findings during any quarter, the Commission shall initiate an inquiry and may conduct an evaluation.”
Nevertheless, you can use 29 CFR §1601.76 to ask the EEOC to perform a Substantial Weight Review on your FCHR Final Order. Whereby you can alert the federal agency (ie, the EEOC) to the state agency’s (ie, the FCHR’s) improprieties. Here’s a how-to guide to help you get through this step:
How To Request a Substantial Weight Review

A-1.2 | Right-to-Sue Letter

Your next step will be to await your Right-to-Sue Letter (“RTS”) from the EEOC. Once it arrives, you’ll have 90 days to file your federal lawsuit (see 29 CFR §1601.19 and 29 CFR §1601.21).

Upon filing your complaint, you’ll pretty much be done with the FCHR.2

A-1.3 | TBD’s Recommendations

Meet your Filing Deadline!
• You must file your SWR within 15 days of the date listed on your Final Order (see 29 CFR §1601.76)
o Plus, you have to mail it to the EEOC’s Miami District Office:
EEOC Miami District Office
100 SE 2nd St. 1500
Miami, FL
Know Your Constitutional Rights:
• Remember that the 7th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the opportunity to have a trial-by-jury

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to due process (ie, fundamental fairness)

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to the equal protections under the law
Know the Seminal Case (ie, McDonnell-Douglas v Green):
• Understand how it is used for adjudicating cases of employment discrimination
Info: The McDonnell-Douglas Framework
• Read the pertinent appellate court opinions here
Also, if time permits, begin reading the following provisions:
Fed. R. Civ. P.
Local Rules of Court
USFLMD
USFLND
USFLSD
ADA
ADEA
EPA
Title VII

Fed. R. Evid.
Fed. R. App. P.
They will help you see the path that’s ahead of you.

A-1.4 | TBD’s Commentary

Congratulations! You’ve pretty much shed yourself of the FCHR’s tentacles.2

Now, with its spineless slime at your feet, get ready to break into the next phase (ie, Phase A-2: Federal Lawsuit)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 note: TBD has paraphrased these regulations in order to minimize ambiguity (ie, DOAH vs FCHR vs Agency). So, please feel free to consult the originating text (here).

2 At this stage, the only way the FCHR can still retain jurisdiction over your case is if:
(a) you simultaneously filed an appeal in one of Florida’s appellate courts (see Phase B-1); and

(b) your appellate court ordered the FCHR to retain jurisdiction (ie, conduct more proceedings)

Phase A-2
Federal Case

FCHR 101 | PHASE A-2: YOUR FEDERAL CASE

Once you get your Right-to-Sue Letter (“RTS”) you’ll get to enter the federal court system.

A-2.0 | Intro

Good News: Your RTS Letter will [probably] alert you to this possibility.

Better News: TBD has copied, re-formatted, and published many publicly available civil complaints [of discrimination] on this website (linked here).

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

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on your federal case.

A-2.1 | The Rules & Regulations that Govern the Filing of Your Federal Case

29 CFR §1614.407 states that you must file your federal lawsuit within 90 days of receiving your RTS Letter:
“A complainant who has filed an individual complaint, an agent who has filed a class complaint or a claimant who has filed a claim for individual relief pursuant to a class complaint is authorized under title VII, the ADEA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to file a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court:

(a) Within 90 days of receipt of the agency final action on an individual or class complaint;”
29 CFR §1626.18 does the same (paraphrasing added):1
“(c) The right of an aggrieved person to file suit expires 90 days after receipt of the Notice of Dismissal or Termination or upon commencement of an action by the [EEOC] to enforce the right of such person.”
29 CFR §1601.19 commands the EEOC to notify you of this 90-day filing deadline:
“The letter of determination shall inform the person claiming to be aggrieved or the person on whose behalf a charge was filed of the right to sue in Federal district court within 90 days of receipt of the letter of determination.”
Thus, once you get your RTS Letter, you’ll have 90-days to file your civil complaint (in a US District Court).

A-2.2 | The Laws that Govern your Federal Case

28 USC §1331 is the federal statute that dictates the type of court that you’ll have to file your civil complaint in:
“The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 USC §1332 will help you [enter a federal court of competent jurisdiction] if your civil opponent resides in a different US State/Territory than you do:
“(a) The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between —

(1) citizens of different States;”
28 USC §1391 dictates the location/venue in which you will need to file your lawsuit:
“(b) Venue in General. — A civil action may be brought in —

(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in which the district is located;

(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated; or...”
These three statutes serve to get you in the door (ie, procedural jurisdiction). The underlying laws that govern your case, on the other hand, will get you the justice that you seek (ie, substantive jurisdiction). Those laws include:
• the ADA;
• the ADEA;
• the EPA;
GINA; and/or
Title VII
Thus, be sure to refresh your knowledge of those statutes.

A-2.3 | The Complaint

You’ll have to file your federal complaint directly (ie, there’s no longer an administrative agency that’ll be the middleman). Most district courts want civil rights litigants to use a court-issued form (when filing discrimination complaints) (sample USFLND form). At the same time, though, they will accept/use a free-form complaint. Either way, TBD’s put together a free how-to guide to help you accomplish this task:
How to File a Federal Civil Rights Complaint
As you write your complaint, quickly brush up on the key tenet that’s referred to as “the exhaustion of administrative remedies”. In a nutshell, it’s the gauntlet that you just went through (ie, FCHR Investigation, DOAH Proceeding, SWR Request, RTS Letter, etc.). The District Court will be looking for this; as it serves to certify the ripeness of your complaint.

A-2.4 | The Summons

In addition to your complaint, you’ll need to effectuate a summons. This is an important document; it notifies your civil opponent that he/she/it has been sued. The process of effectuating a summons can be bothersome/cumbersome. Luckily, TBD has put together this how-to guide so that you won’t have to be over-bothered with it:
How to Effectuate a Federal Summons
Also, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (as well as your District Court) implore you to seek a waiver of the summons service. You’ll seek this waiver by asking your civil opponent directly. Here’s a how-to guide:
How to Request a Waiver of Summons Service

A-2.5 | TBD’s Recommendations

Meet your Filing Deadline!
• You must file your Federal Complaint within 90 days of receiving your Right-to-Sue Letter. See:
o 29 CFR §1601.19; and
o 29 CFR §1601.21
• Do not let the burden of effectuating a summons interfere with your 90-day filing window
Know Your Constitutional Rights:
• Remember that the 7th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the opportunity to have a trial-by-jury

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to due process (ie, fundamental fairness)

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to the equal protections under the law
Know the Seminal Case (ie, McDonnell-Douglas v Green):
• Understand how it is used for adjudicating cases of employment discrimination
Info: The McDonnell-Douglas Framework
• Read the pertinent appellate court opinions here
Prepare to face a Motion to Dismiss
• Attorneys tend to file them with little regard for facts/truth/logic.

• Here’s a how-to guide for drafting a response to such a document:
How to Respond to a Motion to Dismiss
• In fact, being cognizant of this event will help you formulate your civil complaint.
Keep your Civil Complaint as brief as possible
• Providing too much detail will only aide your civil opponent (ie, the entity that discriminated against you)
o See Rule 8 Fed. R. Civ. P. (and Rule 1.100 Fla. R. Civ. P.)
o See Rule 12 Fed. R. Civ. P. (and Rule 1.140 Fla. R. Civ. P.)
‣ Plus, providing too much detail can potentially slow down your case
• Provide a Short & plain statement
o Example 1: Company XYZ fired me because I rejected my boss’ sexual/romantic advances

o Example 2: Company ABC suspended me because I filed an internal discrimination complaint

o Example 3: Corporation XYZ demoted me due to my age

o Example 4: Corporation ABC refused to hire me because of my nationality

o Example 5: Entity XYZ subjected me to a hostile work environment because of my disability
Also, become well-versed in the following provisions:
Fed. R. Civ. P.
Local Rules of Court
USFLMD
USFLND
USFLSD
ADA
ADEA
EPA
Title VII

Fed. R. Evid.
Fed. R. App. P.

USFLMD’s Official Handbook on Civil Discovery
They will help you see the path that’s ahead of you.

A-2.6 | TBD’s Commentary

Congratulations! You’ve finally made it into the court system. This will be your first chance – after roughly 2 years – to get access to a [constitutionally-guaranteed] jury-of-your peers.

Along your way, please try to help the civil rights litigants that will follow in your footsteps. One easy way that you can do that is by selling your court documents to TBD (learn how). Reason: real-live sample court documents are some of the most helpful (and sought after) resources for civil rights litigants.

Well, Congratulations on making it this far; and Best Wishes on your journey!
Before you go, though, review this alternate/additional path to justice (ie, Phase B (State Appeal ± State Court)).
Sincerely,



www.TextBookDiscrimination.com
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 note: TBD has paraphrased these regulations in order to minimize ambiguity (ie, DOAH vs FCHR vs Agency). So, please feel free to consult the originating text (here).


Phase B-1
Appeal

FCHR 101 | PHASE B-1: APPEALING THE FCHR FINAL ORDER

Alternatively – yet additionally1 – you can appeal the Final Order that the FCHR issues to you.

B-1.0 | Intro

Good News: Your Final Order will [probably] alert you to this possibility.

Better News: TBD has copied, re-formatted, and published [almost] all publicly available FOs on this website (linked here).

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

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on this State Appeal.

B-1.1 | The Rules & Regulations that Govern your State Appeal

Rule 9.030(b) Fla. R. App. P. states that you can appeal the Final Order in one of Florida’s District Courts of Appeal:
“(1) Appeal Jurisdiction. District courts of appeal shall review, by appeal:
...
(C) administrative action if provided by general law.”
Rule 9.110(b) Fla. R. App. P. states how you can appeal your FCHR Final Order:
“(c) Exception; Administrative Action. In an appeal to review final orders of lower administrative tribunals, the appellant shall file the notice with the clerk of the lower administrative tribunal within 30 days of rendition of the order to be reviewed, and shall also file a copy of the notice, accompanied by any filing fees prescribed by law, with the clerk of the court.”
Regulation 60Y-2.005 FAC reinforces the fact that you can initiate your appeal by emailing the FCHR Clerk:
“(5) All complaints, petitions for relief, and appeals from final Commission action may be mailed, sent by facsimile to (850) 488-5291, or e-mailed to fchrinfo@fchr.myflorida.com.”
Notably, 60Y-4.030 FAC invokes the statute that governs your appeal:
“Appeals from final Commission action shall be in accordance with Section 120.68, F.S., and the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.”

B-1.2 | The Laws that Govern your State Appeal

As mentioned in your Final Order (as well as in 60Y-4.030 FAC), your appeal is covered by §120.68 FS:
“(1)(a) A party who is adversely affected by final agency action is entitled to judicial review...

(2)(a) Judicial review shall be sought in the appellate district where the agency maintains its headquarters or where a party resides or as otherwise provided by law. All proceedings shall be instituted by filing a notice of appeal or petition for review in accordance with the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure within 30 days after the rendition of the order being appealed.”
This statute mentions the Notice of Appeal; which is the customary document that people file in order to initiate their appeals.

B-1.3 | Notice of Appeal

TBD has put together this how-to guide for filing a Notice of Appeal:
How to Initiate an Appeal
The templates (and samples) contained therein are tailored towards appealing FCHR Final Orders.

B-1.4 | Appellate Briefs

At the appellate court, you will have to file at least one brief (the initial/principal brief). TBD has put together this how-to guide for doing so:
How to Write an Initial Brief
If your civil opponent responds to your initial brief (with an “Answer Brief”) then you’ll have the option of filing a “Reply Brief”. TBD has a how-to guide for accomplishing that as well:
How to Write a Reply Brief

B-1.5 | TBD’s Recommendations

Meet your Filing Deadline!
• You must file your Notice of Appeal within 30 days of the date listed on your Final Order (see §120.68(2)(a) FS)
o You must email it to the FCHR Clerk
Clerk@FCHR.MyFlorida.com; and/or
FCHRInfo@FCHR.MyFlorida.com
Know Your Constitutional Rights:
• Remember that the 7th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the opportunity to have a trial-by-jury

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to due process (ie, fundamental fairness)

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to the equal protections under the law
Know the Seminal Case (ie, McDonnell-Douglas v Green):
• Understand how it is used for adjudicating cases of employment discrimination
Info: The McDonnell-Douglas Framework
• Read the pertinent appellate court opinions here
Also, begin reading the following provisions::
Fla. R. App. P.
1DCA’s Internal Operating Procedures
They will help you see the path that’s ahead of you.

B-1.4 | TBD’s Commentary

Congratulations! You’ve pretty much shed the FCHR’s tentacles off of you.2

Now, with its spineless slime at your feet, get ready to sprint into the next phase (ie, Phase B-2: State Case)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 this terminology was used (“alternatively – yet additionally”) to indicate that these two final paths (ie, A-1: SWR vs B-1: State Appeal) are not mutually exclusive. In other words, you can file an SWR and a State Appeal; and, notably, you can do so at the same time (for the same case). Please take note, however, that it might not be advisable to do both.

2 At this staage, the only way the FCHR can still retain jurisdiction over your case is if:
(a) your appellate court orders the FCHR to retain jurisdiction (ie, conduct more proceedings)

Phase B-2
State Case

FCHR 101 | PHASE B-2: YOUR STATE CASE

If the State of Florida gives you the opportunity to enter state court (via Final Order, “Cause Determination”, or Appellate Mandate) then you’ll be able to file your complaint in one of Florida’s judicial circuit courts (listed here).

B-2.0 | Intro

Good News: Your received document (eg, Final Order; “Cause Determination” Letter; or Appellate Mandate) will [probably] alert you to this possibility.

Better News: TBD has copied, re-formatted, and published many publicly available civil complaints [of discrimination] on this website (linked here).

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

✔ Complete
✔ Comprehensive
✔ Interactive
✔ Uninvasive
✓ No Ads
✓ No Contracts
✓ No Signups


Best News: In this walkthrough, TBD will expound on your state case.

B-2.1 | The Rules & Regulations that Govern the Filing of Your Federal Case

60Y-5.004 FAC states that you have 1 year to file your state court lawsuit
“(4) A Notice of Determination of Reasonable Cause shall include an invitation to participate in conciliation and shall advise the complainant of the elective right to file either a Petition for Relief, pursuant to Rule 60Y-5.008, F.A.C., within 35 days of the date of determination or a civil action within one year of the date of determination.”

B-2.2 | The Laws that Govern your State Case

§760.11 FS also states that you have 1 year to file your state court lawsuit [upon getting a “Cause Determination”] (paraphrasing added):
“(4) If the [FCHR] determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory practice has occurred in violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, the aggrieved person may either:

(a) Bring a civil action against the person named in the complaint in any court of competent jurisdiction;...

(5)... A civil action brought under this section shall be commenced no later than 1 year after the date of determination of reasonable cause by the [FCHR].”
§760.11(8) FS further states that this 1-year window applies to cases in which the FCHR fails to render any determination [within its statutorily-prescribed 180-day investigation] (paraphrasing added):
“(8) If the commission fails to conciliate or determine whether there is reasonable cause on any complaint under this section within 180 days after the filing of the complaint:

(a) An aggrieved person may proceed under subsection (4) as if the commission determined that there was reasonable cause.

(b) The commission shall promptly notify the aggrieved person of the failure to conciliate or determine whether there is reasonable cause. The notice shall provide the options available to the aggrieved person under subsection (4) and inform the aggrieved person that he or she must file a civil action within 1 year after the date the commission certifies that the notice was mailed.”
§760.11(7) FS goes on to say that the 1-year window also applies to cases in which the FCHR enters a Final Order in your favor (paraphrasing added):
“In the event the final order issued by the [FCHR] determines that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the aggrieved person may bring, within 1 year of the date of the final order, a civil action under subsection (5) as if there has been a reasonable cause determination or accept the affirmative relief offered by the commission, but not both.”
Altogether, these laws mean that you’ll have one year to file your state court action:
IF you get a “Reasonable Cause” Determination within the FCHR’s 180-day investigative window (real-live sample); or

IF you do not get any determination within the FCHR’s 180-day investigative window (real-live sample); and/or

IF the FCHR issues you a Final Order in your favor (ie, that you were subjected to discrimination) (real-live sample).

B-2.3 | The Complaint

You will have to file your state complaint directly (ie, there’s no longer an administrative agency that’ll be the middleman). TBD’s put together a free how-to guide to help you accomplish this task:
How to File a State Civil Rights Complaint
As you write your complaint, quickly brush up on the key tenet that’s referred to as “the exhaustion of administrative remedies”. In a nutshell, it’s the gauntlet that you just went through (ie, FCHR Investigation, DOAH Proceeding, etc.). Your State Court (eg, “4th Judicial Circuit Court in and for Duval County, Florida”) will be looking for this; as it serves as a certification of your complaint’s ripeness.

B-2.4 | The Summons

In addition to your complaint, you’ll need to effectuate a summons. This is an important document; it notifies your civil opponent that he/she/it has been sued. The process of effectuating a summons can be bothersome/cumbersome. Luckily, TBD has put together this how-to guide to help you remain unbothered by this step:
How to Effectuate a State Summons
Also, the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure (as well as your State Court) implore you to seek a waiver of the summons service. You’ll seek this waiver by asking your civil opponent directly. Here’s a how-to guide:
How to Request a Waiver of Summons Service

B-2.5 | TBD’s Recommendations

Meet your Filing Deadline!
• You must file your State Court Complaint within 1 year of receiving your ‘ticket’. See
o Item B-2.1; and
o Item B-2.2 (above)
• Do not let the burden of effectuating a summons interfere with your 1-year filing window
Know Your Constitutional Rights:
• Remember that the 7th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the opportunity to have a trial-by-jury

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to due process (ie, fundamental fairness)

• Remember that the 14th Amendment (US Constitution) guarantees you the right to the equal protections under the law
Know the Seminal Case (ie, McDonnell-Douglas v Green):
• Understand how it is used for adjudicating cases of employment discrimination
Info: The McDonnell-Douglas Framework
• Read the pertinent appellate court opinions here
Prepare to face a Motion to Dismiss
• Attorneys tend to file them with little regard for facts/truth/logic.

• Here’s a how-to guide for drafting a response to such a document:
How to Respond to a Motion to Dismiss
• In fact, being cognizant of this event will help you formulate your civil complaint.
Keep your Civil Complaint as brief as possible
• Providing too much detail will only aide your civil opponent (ie, the entity that discriminated against you)
o See Rule 1.100 Fla. R. Civ. P.
o See Rule 1.140 Fla. R. Civ. P.
‣ Plus, providing too much detail can potentially slow down your case
• Provide a Short & plain statement
o Example 1: Company XYZ fired me because I rejected my boss’ sexual/romantic advances

o Example 2: Company ABC suspended me because I filed an internal discrimination complaint

o Example 3: Corporation XYZ demoted me due to my age

o Example 4: Corporation ABC refused to hire me because of my nationality

o Example 5: Entity XYZ subjected me to a hostile work environment because of my disability
Also, become well-versed in the following provisions:
Fla. R. Civ. P.
Local Rules of Court:
Broward County;
Duval County;
etc.
FCRA

Fla. R. Jud. Admin.
Fla. R. App. P.

USFLMD’s Official Handbook on Civil Discovery
They will help you see the path that’s ahead of you.

B-2.6 | TBD’s Commentary

Congratulations! You’ve finally made it into the court system. This will be your first chance – after roughly 2 years – to get access to a [constitutionally-guaranteed] jury-of-your peers.

Along your way, please try to help the civil rights litigants that will follow in your footsteps. One easy way that you can do that is by selling your court documents to TBD (learn how). Reason: real-live sample court documents are some of the most helpful (and sought after) resources for civil rights litigants.

Well, Congratulations on making it this far; and Best Wishes on your journey!
Before you go, though, review this alternate/additional path to justice (ie, Phase A (SWR ± Federal Court)).
Sincerely,



www.TextBookDiscrimination.com
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2024. All Rights Reserved.
Footnotes
1 note: TBD has paraphrased these statutes in order to minimize ambiguity (ie, DOAH vs FCHR vs Agency). So, please feel free to consult the originating text (here).

Congratulations! You're now booked up on all of the phases of the FCHR Legal Process!

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.

Please get the justice you deserve.

Sincerely,



www.TextBookDiscrimination.com
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