Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Kanter Real Estate, LLC v. Department of Environmental Protection

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20021
Nos. 1D17-5096, (Fla. 1st DCA, 02/05/2019)

A state appellate court reversed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's order denying an oil and gas permit to a real estate company to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades. The company argued that the Department erred in substituting its factual findings for the administrative law judge's (ALJ's) factual findings about the nature of the company's land when it denied the permit. The court agreed, finding the Department completely set aside the ALJ's findings without any suggestion that they were unsupported by competent, substantial evidence, and relied on facts from outside the record to reach its decision. Because the court concluded that the Department abused its discretion to reject, modify, or substitute the ALJ's factual findings, it reversed the Department's order, remanded for entry of an order consistent with the ALJ's recommended order, and directed the Department to issue the permit.