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F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Division of Regulation Complaint Process Division.

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Presentation on theme: "F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Division of Regulation Complaint Process Division."— Presentation transcript:

1 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Division of Regulation Complaint Process Division of Regulation Complaint Process June 23, 2011

2 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Executive agency of the Governor Charged with regulating more than 1 million businesses and professions Formed by the Florida Legislature in 1993 as a result of the merger between the Department of Professional Regulation and the Department of Business Regulation Issues more than 200 distinct license types; regulates 24 professions; and multiple industries

3 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Department Mission and Goals License efficiently. Regulate fairly. Enhance the Quality of Customer Service Increase Consumer & Community Protection

4 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Division of Regulation Enforcement Division for the professional boards, council and commissions. Responsible for analyzing complaints, conducting inspections, opening investigations, fighting unlicensed activity (ULA) and initiating alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Also responsible for enforcement of Farm Labor and Child Labor laws.

5 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N ComplaintProcess Complaint Process Complaints can be initiated in three different ways by a consumer: The complainant can mail a Uniform Complaint Form (UCF) to the Division Faxing a UCF to the Division a UCF to an employee of the Division

6 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Complaint Process Complaints can also be initiated by field investigators, inspectors, board staff, anonymous sources, or from the unlicensed activity hotline which is Upon receipt of a complaint it is turned over to a complaint analyst who will determine if the complaint falls under the jurisdiction of the Division.

7 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Complaint Process If the complaint analyst determines the complaint can be handled by the Division, the complaint is prepared for review. If the complaint is against a profession that is not regulated by the Division, the complaint will be forwarded to the entity with jurisdiction.

8 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Complaint Process Once the complaint received, it is distributed to a complaint analyst. The analyst reviews the complaint for “legal sufficiency”. Legal sufficiency occurs when the allegation, if true, is a violation of the statute or rule of the profession.

9 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Complaint Process If violations exist the followings steps are taken: The analyst gathers the appropriate supporting documentation to establish legal sufficiency (i.e. contracts, proof of payment, etc.) Recommends the action to be taken on the case, including opening an investigation or if the complaint should be closed.

10 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Investigative Process When an investigation is undertaken, the department shall promptly furnish to the subject or their attorney a copy of the complaint. The subject may submit a response within 20 days for the consideration by the probable cause panel. The department shall prepare a report to the panel. Upon completion of the investigation and pursuant to a request, the department shall forward to the subject or their attorney a copy of the report.

11 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Investigative Process Building Officials (4) The investigation of a complaint against an enforcement official is subject to the time restrictions set forth in this subsection, and failure to comply with any time restriction set forth in this subsection shall result in dismissal of the complaint against the enforcement official. An investigation of a complaint against an enforcement official that was dismissed for failure to comply with a time restriction set forth in this subsection may not be reopened. However, in any instance of an additional complaint being initiated, information or investigation related to the dismissed complaint may be used. (a) The department must inform the enforcement official of any legally sufficient complaint received, including the substance of the allegation, within 10 days after receipt of the complaint by the department. (b) The enforcement official shall be given 30 days to respond to any legally sufficient complaint. (c) No longer than 180 days from the date of the receipt of the complaint, the department shall submit the investigation, whether complete or not, to the probable cause panel for review. In the event the investigation is not complete, the probable cause panel shall review and instruct the department to complete the investigation within a time certain and, in no event, greater than 90 days or dismiss the complaint with prejudice.

12 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Section (10) F.S. states; “The complaint and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation by the department are confidential and exempt from S (1) until 10 days after probable cause has been found to exist by the probable cause panel or by the department, or until the regulated professional or subject of the investigation waives his or her privilege of confidentiality, whichever occurs first.

13 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Legal Review Once investigation is complete, case transferred to the Office of the General Counsel Case reviewed by attorney for dismissal or drafting of administrative complaint Complaint presented to board Probable Cause panel for review. Department acts as panel if there is no board. Panel can dismiss or find probable cause Administrative complaint is filed with the Agency Clerk

14 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N WHAT IS AN ELECTION OF RIGHTS? By law, the Subject is given the right to choose how to proceed on the administrative complaint filed by the department. An election of rights is similar to a criminal defendant choosing whether to plead guilty or not guilty. An election of rights offers three basic choices: A straight plea to the board, or the department when there is no board, meaning that the respondent is not contesting the charges in the administrative complaint and is leaving any penalty up to the board, usually without further input from the respondent. An informal hearing where the respondent (the individual or business you complained about who is responding to the complaint) does not want to contest the facts of the case, but the respondent wants to present mitigation of any penalty that may be imposed by the board. A formal hearing where the respondent requests a hearing on the charges before a court of administrative law known as the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH).Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH).

15 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N WHERE MAY I GO TO OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION? Online Businesses and consumers may perform functions such as search for information on a licensee, apply for a license, or file a complaint at Please send your comments and/or questions to In order to better serve you, please include your daytime telephone number in your Phone Our Customer Contact Center may be reached at The hours of operation are Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Fax Our Customer Contact Center fax number is Mail Department of Business and Professional Regulation 1940 N. Monroe Street Tallahassee, Florida

16 F L O R I D A D E P A R T M E N T O F B U S I N E S S A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L R E G U L A T I O N Comments/Questions/Concerns Contact: Jerry Wilson Director, Division of Regulation Phone: Cell: Linda Butler Program Lead, Consumer Complaints Section Phone: Linda.


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