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Part 6: A consumer guide to save

This is the sixth installment of Action's clip-and-save Guide to Consumer Services.

LANDLORD-TENANT DISPUTES:

+ Division of Hotels and Restaurants, 1313 N Tampa St., Room 106, Tampa, FL 33602, (813) 272-2200, (800) 880-7753.

+ Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, (800) 435-7352 (to get a free copy of Florida's landlord/tenant law); Web site: http://www.800helpfla.com.

+ Florida Public Interest Research Group, 704 W Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32304 (send $10 for an easy-to-understand Renters' Rights Handbook); (850) 224-3321; the handbook is also available on the Web site: http://www.pirg.org/

floridapirg.

+ Bay Area Apartment Association, 4509 George Road, Tampa, FL 33634; (813) 882-0222.

LAWYERS:

+ American Bar Association, 750 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611; (800) 285-2221; Web site: http://www.abanet.

org.

+ Florida Bar Association, 650 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300; (850) 561-5600; (850) 561-5834 (for consumer pamphlets); (800) 342-8011, (850) 561-5844 (for lawyer referral); (850) 561-5839 (for complaints against attorneys); Web site: http://www.

flabar.org.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE:

+ Mediation services:

Hillsborough, (813) 272-5642;

Pasco, (727) 847-8174;

South Pinellas, (727) 582-7250;

+ Small Claims Courts:

Citrus, (352) 641-6453;

Clearwater, (727) 464-3267;

Hernando, (352) 754-4201;

Hillsborough, (813) 276-8100;

St. Petersburg, (727) 582-7771.

+ Free legal services for qualified, low-income residents:

Citrus, (352) 726-8512;

Hernando, (352) 796-7238;

Hillsborough, (813) 232-1343;

Dade City, (352) 567-9044;

New Port Richey, (727) 847-5495;

North Pinellas, (727) 443-0657;

South Pinellas, (727) 821-0726.

+ Lawyer referral services:

Hillsborough, (813) 221-7780;

Clearwater, (727) 461-4880;

St. Petersburg, (727) 821-5450;

West Pasco, (727) 848-7433.

All other areas: Florida Bar Association, (800) 342-8011.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE _ CIVIL RIGHTS:

+ American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, 3000 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 215, Miami, FL 33137; (305) 576-2336; (800) 775-2258 (ACLU, to order publications); Web site: http://www.

aclufl.org.

+ Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 501 E Polk St., Timberlake Federal Building Annex, Room 1020, Tampa, FL 33602, (813) 228-2310, (800) 669-4000; Web site: http://www.

eeoc.gov.

+ Equality Florida (formerly the Human Rights Task Force of Florida), (813) 870-3735; Web site: http://eqfl.org.

+ Florida Commission on Human Relations, 325 John Knox Road, Building F, Suite 240, Tallahassee, FL 32303-4149; (850) 488-7082, (800) 342-8170 (for forms to file a discrimination complaint); Web site: http://fchr.state.

fl.us.

+ Human Relations/Community Affairs Departments:

Pinellas, (727) 893-7345;

Tampa, (813) 274-5835;

Hillsborough, (813) 272-6554.

+ Department of Corrections, Inmate Grievances, (850) 488-0094.

+ Florida Justice Institute (private organization dealing with prisoner mistreatment), 200 S Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2870, Miami, FL 33131, (305) 358-2081.

LEGISLATION:

For information on the status (but not interpretations) of current or past bills:

+ Florida Legislative hotline, (800) 342-1827; Web site: http://www.leg.state.fl.us.

+ U.S. legislative information, (202) 225-1772; Web site: http://www.clerkweb.house.

gov.

Action solves problems and gets answers for you. If you have a question, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write Times Action, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, or, outside of Pinellas, (800) 333-7505, ext. 8171, to leave a recorded request.

Requests will be accepted only by mail or voice mail; calls cannot be returned. We will not be responsible for personal documents, so please send only photocopies. If your complaint concerns merchandise ordered by mail, we need copies of both sides of your canceled check.

We may require additional information or prefer to reply by mail; therefore, readers must provide a full mailing address, including ZIP code. Names of letter writers will not be omitted except in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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