Frequently Asked Questions About Hearings

What do I do if I want a hearing but the Department has not provided me with instructions?

  • In the rare occasion where a Department notice of decision does not include instructions, you can use the following instructions: 

NOTIFICATION OF RIGHTS UNDER CHAPTER 120, FLORIDA STATUTES

IF YOU BELIEVE THE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION IS IN ERROR, YOU MAY REQUEST AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING UNDER SECTIONS 120.569 AND 120.57, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO CONTEST THE DECISION.  YOUR REQUEST FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT BY 5:00, P.M., NO LATER THAN 21 CALENDAR DAYS AFTER YOU RECEIVED NOTICE OF THE DEPARTMENT’S DECISION. 

You must submit your request for an administrative hearing to the Department at the following addresses:

Agency Clerk
Department of Children and Families
1317 Winewood Boulevard, Building 2, Room 204
Tallahassee, Florida  32399-0700
Fax: 850-922-3947
Agency.Clerk@myflfamilies.com

IF YOUR REQUEST FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING IS NOT RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT BY THE ABOVE DEADLINE, YOU WILL HAVE WAIVED YOUR RIGHTS TO A HEARING AND THE DEPARTMENT’S PROPOSED ACTION WILL BE FINAL.

If you disagree with the facts stated in the Department’s decision, you may request a formal administrative hearing under section 120.57(1), Florida Statutes. At a formal hearing, you may present evidence and arguments on all issues involved, and question the witnesses called by the Department.

If you do not disagree with the facts stated in the notice, you may request an informal administrative hearing under section 120.57(2), Florida Statutes. At an informal hearing, you may present your argument or a written statement for consideration by the Department.

Your request for an administrative hearing must meet the requirements of Rule 28-106.201(2) or Rule 28-106.301(2), Florida Administrative Code, depending on whether you request a formal hearing or an informal hearing.  In either event, your request for an administrative hearing must:

  1. Include a copy of the decision received from the Department;
  2. Be prepared legibly on 8½ by 11 inch white paper, and
  3. Include all of the following items:
    • The Department’s file or identification number, if known;
    • Your name, address, email address (if any) and telephone number and the name, address, email address ( if any) and telephone number of your representative, if any;
    • An explanation of how your rights or interests will be affected by the action described in the notice of the Department’s decision;
    • A statement of when and how you received notice of the Department’s decision;
    • A statement of all facts in the notice of the Department’s decision with which you disagree.  If you do not disagree with any of the facts stated in the notice, you must say so;
    • A statement of the facts you believe justify a change in the Department’s decision;
    • A statement of the specific rules or statutes you believe require reversal or modification of the Department’s proposed action;
    •  A statement explaining how the facts you have alleged above relate to the specific rules or statutes you have identified above; and
    • A statement of the relief you want, including precisely the action you want the Department to take.

Section 120.569, Florida Statutes, and rule 28-106.201(4), Florida Administrative Code, require the Department to dismiss your request for hearing if it is not in substantial compliance with the requirements above.

Mediation as described in section 120.573, Florida Statutes, is not available.  However, other forms of mediation or informal dispute resolution may be available after a timely request for an administrative hearing has been received, if agreed to by all parties, and on such terms as agreed to by all parties.  The right to an administrative proceeding is not affected when mediation or informal dispute resolution does not result in a settlement.