Procedural Distinctions When Appealing A Final Agency Order
When appealing a final agency order in Florida, you must be aware of certain procedural aspects unique to administrative appeals.
First, with limited exception, the appealing party can choose where to file the appeal: the District Court of Appeal where the agency is headquartered or the District Court of Appeal where the party resides. § 120.68(2)(a), Fla. Stat. The ability to choose the DCA can potentially be rewarding, as one DCA may have a decision more favorable to your case.
A second distinction to administrative appeals is that motions for rehearing are generally unauthorized and do not toll the 30-day appeal deadline. City of Palm Bay v. Palm Bay Greens, LLC, 969 So. 2d 1187 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007); Dep’t of Corr. v. Saulter, 742 So. 2d 368 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999).
However, the Third DCA has held that motions for rehearing are allowed and toll the appeal deadline, when the agency has enacted an administrative rule authorizing such motions. Crawford v. Dep’t of Child. & Families, 785 So. 2d 505 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000) (holding that rehearing is allowed when the agency has enacted a rule authorizing such motions). If you reside in the Third DCA’s jurisdiction, then Crawford becomes important when considering rehearing and the 30-day appeal deadline.
The last distinction discussed in this post is where to file the notice of appeal. For administrative appeals, the notice of appeal is filed with both the agency and the DCA. Fla. R. App. P. 9.110(c). This is different than civil appeals, where the notice of appeal is filed with only the lower tribunal. Fla. R. App. P. 9.110(b).
Jonathan Taylor is a senior attorney with The Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A. Mr. Taylor concentrates in the areas of Florida tax appeals and general administrative appeals. Mr. Taylor also volunteers with Guardian ad Litem to handle appellate matters. Mr. Taylor can be reached at 954-234-2884 or email@example.com.