Hello? New Procedures for Formal Review Hearings by Telephone

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2019: According to the State of Florida, DHSMV, Statewide Reorganization of the Bureau of Administrative Reviews Research in conjunction with the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program written by Joshua Winograd, Class XIII 3/16/2018:

  1. Hearing officers have the power to swear witnesses and take their testimony under oath.Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 15A-6.014 (2007).
  2. Despite there being no law that prohibits administering oaths via communicative technology, the BAR manual requires that witnesses in a telephonic hearing be sworn in-person by a licensed notary. Bureau of Administrative Reviews Operations Manual. Ch 10. (2017).
  3. This current practice is not a promulgated rule.
  4. The one exception is LEOs who may swear in each other.
  5. F.A.C. states that hearing officers are authorized to conduct all hearings using communications technology approved by the department. Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 15A-6.009 (2013).
  6. Hardship hearings are to be held pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act which permits “means of communications media technology”. Fla.Stat.§120.54(2017)

Original blog post:

We just received the following memorandum from the Bureau of Administrative Reviews (BAR) of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV). The BAR is quickly rolling out telephone conferences across the state.

Witnesses will be testifying by phone, at least in certain offices including Pasco County, Manatee County, and Hardee County, FL.

Hopefully, these new procedures will result in more attorneys requesting formal review hearings, serving subpoenas on all of the witnesses (unless an essential element is missing from the packet), and obtaining a subpoena duces tecum for the DUI video, Intoxilyzer records and other documents necessary for the defense of the case.

The chaos that results during these transitions often gives the petitioner a big advantage.

Can someone explain to me how the petitioner is going to get the items listed in the subpoena duces tecum? If you subpoena a video, the witness is supposed to bring it an hour in advance. Even if the hearing is telephonic, you can still show up at the BAR to sit in the room with the hearing officer.

Criminal defense attorneys that focus on DUI cases will have to quickly adjust their strategies to maintain every advantage of getting the administrative suspensions invalidated while still preserving the testimony of the witnesses.

So make sure you review the new rules carefully.

Bureau of Administrative Reviews

TO: Counsel for the Petitioner
FROM: Cindy VanDunk, HSMV Field Supervisor
Date: October 17, 2014
RE: New Telephone Formal Procedures

Effective immediately this office will no longer be holding formal review hearings at the following locations:

  • [PASCO COUNTY] Pasco County Tax Collector, 4720 U.S. Highway 19 North, New Port Richey
  • [HARDEE COUNTY] Hardee County Tax Collector, 110 W. Oak Street, Suite 102, Wauchula
  • [MANATEE COUNTY] Judicial Center, 8th Floor/Room 8032, 1051 Manatee Ave W., Bradenton

All formal review hearings at those locations will be held telephonically. When requesting a formal review hearing, please include a phone number for the hearing officer to call you.

Witnesses will also be appearing by phone. Attached is a copy of the subpoena format for telephonic hearings. Please begin using this format immediately. If a subpoena is received that is not the correct format, it will be returned to you unsigned.

We hope to make this transition as easy as possible. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at 727-507-4405.

Telephone Formal Review Hearings in DUI Cases in Florida

Read more about the rules for obtaining and serving the subpoena / subpoena duces tecum for the formal review hearing.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] At least in the Tampa Bay area, if the hearing is being conducted in a county outside of the county where the arresting agency is located then the BAR will schedule a telephonic formal review hearing after the DUI arrest. […]

  2. […] « Hello? New Procedures for Formal Review Hearings by Telephone A Prosecutor’s Obligation to Gag Sheriff Grady Judd with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office » […]

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