INJUNCTIONS: RESTRAINING ORDERS: MOTION TO DISSOLVE RESTRAINING ORDER: CIVIL PROCEDURE: DUE PROCESS: TRIAL COURT ERRED BY CONDUCTING HEARING ON INMATE’S MOTION TO DISSOLVE RESTRAINING ORDER BECAUSE TRIAL COURT’S FAILURE TO FOLLOW DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS PROCEDURES PRECLUDED INMATE FROM PARTICIPATING BY TELEPHONE

Butler v. Norton, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D493 (Fla. 1st DCA February 23, 2015)

A prison inmate filed a motion to dissolve a restraining order against him and a motion to appear telephonically. The trial court set the motion to dissolve for hearing in the morning and denied the motion when prison staff did not answer the telephone. The motion to appear telephonically was denied in the afternoon. The appellate court reversed. “[T]he Department of Corrections requires institutional staff to initiate all [telephone hearings].” By attempting to initiate the telephone call herself, the judge precluded the inmate “from participating in the hearing.”

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