Porras v. Univ. of Fla., 1D21-1660

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtPer Curiam.
Docket Number1D21-1660
PartiesAllison K. Porras, Appellant, v. University of Florida, Appellee.
Decision Date23 March 2022

Allison K. Porras, Appellant,

University of Florida, Appellee.

No. 1D21-1660

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

March 23, 2022

Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

On appeal from The University of Florida Board of Trustees.

Byron Flagg of Byron Flagg, PA, Gainesville, for Appellant.

Mary Ashley McCollough, Office of Vice President and General Counsel, University of Florida, Gainesville, for Appellee.

Per Curiam.

Allison K. Porras appeals a final decision of the University of Florida denying her request to be reclassified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes. Porras argues that UF failed to: (1) hold a hearing on her reclassification request, (2) explain in writing why it denied her request, and (3) ensure that the committee considering the appeal of her request consisted of at least three members. Finding no merit in Porras' arguments, we affirm.

Porras, who grew up in Missouri, enrolled at UF as a nonresident student for the 2018 fall semester. After her admission, Porras twice applied for reclassification as a Florida resident so that she could pay in-state tuition. UF denied both requests, concluding that Porras failed to provide documentation to show that her presence in Florida was to maintain a bona fide domicile


rather than a temporary residence or abode incident to her enrollment at UF. In 2021, Porras filed a third request for reclassification. UF again denied the request for lack of documentation. Porras sought review of the denial before the residency appeal commission. But the commission agreed with UF's decision to deny her request for reclassification. This timely appeal follows.

This Court reviews UF's factual findings for competent, substantial evidence. MB Doral, LLC v. Dep't of Bus. & Pro. Regul., 295 So.3d 850, 853 (Fla. 1st DCA 2020). We review its legal conclusions de novo. Id.

First, Porras argues that UF violated her right to due process by not affording her a hearing under the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 120, Florida Statutes. Her argument fails because UF did not need to comply with the APA hearing requirements. See Matar v. Fla. Int'l Univ., 944 So.2d 1153, 1157 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006) (recognizing that higher education institutions follow different procedures than other administrative agencies). This is because "[s]ections 120.569 and 120.57 do not apply to any proceeding in which the substantial...

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