2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
120.68 Judicial review.—
(1)(a) A party who is adversely affected by final agency action is entitled to judicial review.
(b) A preliminary, procedural, or intermediate order of the agency or of an administrative law judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings is immediately reviewable if review of the final agency decision would not provide an adequate remedy.
(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. If the appeal is of an order rendered in a proceeding initiated under s. 120.56, the agency whose rule is being challenged shall transmit a copy of the notice of appeal to the committee.
(b) When proceedings under this chapter are consolidated for final hearing and the parties to the consolidated proceeding seek review of final or interlocutory orders in more than one district court of appeal, the courts of appeal are authorized to transfer and consolidate the review proceedings. The court may transfer such appellate proceedings on its own motion, upon motion of a party to one of the appellate proceedings, or by stipulation of the parties to the appellate proceedings. In determining whether to transfer a proceeding, the court may consider such factors as the interrelationship of the parties and the proceedings, the desirability of avoiding inconsistent results in related matters, judicial economy, and the burden on the parties of reproducing the record for use in multiple appellate courts.
(3) The filing of the petition does not itself stay enforcement of the agency decision, but if the agency decision has the effect of suspending or revoking a license, supersedeas shall be granted as a matter of right upon such conditions as are reasonable, unless the court, upon petition of the agency, determines that a supersedeas would constitute a probable danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the state. The agency also may grant a stay upon appropriate terms, but, whether or not the action has the effect of suspending or revoking a license, a petition to the agency for a stay is not a prerequisite to a petition to the court for supersedeas. In any event the court shall specify the conditions, if any, upon which the stay or supersedeas is granted.
(4) Judicial review of any agency action shall be confined to the record transmitted and any additions made thereto in accordance with paragraph (7)(a).
(5) The record for judicial review shall be compiled in accordance with the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.
(6)(a) The reviewing court’s decision may be mandatory, prohibitory, or declaratory in form, and it shall provide whatever relief is appropriate irrespective of the original form of the petition. The court may:
1. Order agency action required by law; order agency exercise of discretion when required by law; set aside agency action; remand the case for further agency proceedings; or decide the rights, privileges, obligations, requirements, or procedures at issue between the parties; and
2. Order such ancillary relief as the court finds necessary to redress the effects of official action wrongfully taken or withheld.
(b) If the court sets aside agency action or remands the case to the agency for further proceedings, it may make such interlocutory order as the court finds necessary to preserve the interests of any party and the public pending further proceedings or agency action.
(7) The court shall remand a case to the agency for further proceedings consistent with the court’s decision or set aside agency action, as appropriate, when it finds that:
(a) There has been no hearing prior to agency action and the reviewing court finds that the validity of the action depends upon disputed facts;
(b) The agency’s action depends on any finding of fact that is not supported by competent, substantial evidence in the record of a hearing conducted pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57; however, the court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the agency as to the weight of the evidence on any disputed finding of fact;
(c) The fairness of the proceedings or the correctness of the action may have been impaired by a material error in procedure or a failure to follow prescribed procedure;
(d) The agency has erroneously interpreted a provision of law and a correct interpretation compels a particular action; or
(e) The agency’s exercise of discretion was:
1. Outside the range of discretion delegated to the agency by law;
2. Inconsistent with agency rule;
3. Inconsistent with officially stated agency policy or a prior agency practice, if deviation therefrom is not explained by the agency; or
4. Otherwise in violation of a constitutional or statutory provision;
but the court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the agency on an issue of discretion.
(8) Unless the court finds a ground for setting aside, modifying, remanding, or ordering agency action or ancillary relief under a specified provision of this section, it shall affirm the agency’s action.
(9) A petition challenging an agency rule as an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority shall not be instituted pursuant to this section, except to review an order entered pursuant to a proceeding under s. 120.56 or s. 120.57(1)(e)1. or (2)(b) or an agency’s findings of immediate danger, necessity, and procedural fairness prerequisite to the adoption of an emergency rule pursuant to s. 120.54(4), unless the sole issue presented by the petition is the constitutionality of a rule and there are no disputed issues of fact.
(10) If an administrative law judge’s final order depends on any fact found by the administrative law judge, the court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the administrative law judge as to the weight of the evidence on any disputed finding of fact. The court shall, however, set aside the final order of the administrative law judge or remand the case to the administrative law judge, if it finds that the final order depends on any finding of fact that is not supported by competent substantial evidence in the record of the proceeding.
History.—s. 1, ch. 74-310; s. 13, ch. 76-131; s. 38, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 11, ch. 78-425; s. 4, ch. 84-173; s. 7, ch. 87-385; s. 36, ch. 90-302; s. 6, ch. 91-30; s. 1, ch. 91-191; s. 10, ch. 92-166; s. 35, ch. 96-159; s. 15, ch. 97-176; s. 8, ch. 2003-94; s. 5, ch. 2016-116.