Administrative Law Attorney Gainesville, FL

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Administrative Law Attorneys in Gainesville, FL

What is Administrative Law?

Administrative Law describes the legal field related to the operation and procedures of government agencies.  When a government agency proposes to take some action that adversely affects a person, that person can request an administrative hearing to determine whether the agency made the correct decision.  Administrative law attorneys represent clients in applying for permits, challenging the denial of permits, or challenging rules created by agencies to govern their conduct.

A small sample of administrative agencies in Florida include:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection

  • The Department of Children and Family Services

  • The Department of Transportation

  • The Department of Business and Professional Regulation

  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

  • The Suwannee River Water Management District

  • The St. Johns River Water Management District

  • The Southwest Florida Water Management District

At Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates in Gainesville, FL our administrative law attorneys are knowledgeable regarding the procedures to challenge administrative decisions at the state and local level in Florida.

What is the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings?

If the facts surrounding the issuance of the permit are not in dispute, the hearing will take place before the agency that made the adverse decision.  However, if the affected person disputes the facts alleged by the agency, the claim will be brought before the Division of Administrative Hearings (abbr. DOAH), where an independent and neutral Administrative Law Judge is assigned to review all of the facts, and make a final decision in regards to the case. The headquarters of DOAH is located in Tallahassee, but DOAH will hold its hearings in courtrooms, city or county commission chambers, conference rooms in state office buildings, or similar facilities in different cities throughout the state if appropriate for the parties.

Question: What does DOAH mean?
Answer: Division of Administrative Hearings.

What is the Florida Administrative Code?

Chapter 120 of the Florida Statutes directly affect and govern proceedings before an Administrative Law Judge.  Additionally, all conduct of government agencies in Florida is held accountable by the Florida Administrative Code.  The Code provides very specific standards that each agency must follow when issuing permits or engaging in its day-to-day activities.  For example, development that will affect wetlands requires an application for an Environmental Resource Permit with the local Water Management District or, in some cases, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  The Florida Administrative Code defines exactly what the WMD or FDEP must consider in approving or denying your application.

How does Division of Administrative Hearings work?  Can I appeal DOAH decisions?

Division of Administrative Hearings functions like all other courthouses throughout the state, but it has its own rules of procedure provided in Chapter 28 of the Florida Administrative Code.  Also, an Administrative Law Judge must issue the findings of the case in a written decision, which will result in a Recommended Order.  Parties may file exceptions to the Recommended Order if they disagree with its findings, and this process culminates in the issuance of a Final Order within 90 days. The agency is then required by law to follow Final Order.  If the final decision is not in your favor, you may appeal to the appropriate District Court of Appeal within 30 days of the date of the Final Order.

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The Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates provides legal advice and representation for individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners in Gainesville, Florida, and communities throughout north central Florida, including cities such as Ocala, Starke, Palatka, Lake City, Middleburg, Trenton, Bronson, Lake Butler, Cross City, Williston, Chiefland, Alachua, Jasper, Live Oak, and Jacksonville, Florida.

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