Witt-Bahls v. Bahls (Fourth DCA, November 16, 2016)
The parties’ final judgment of divorce limited the mother to supervised visitation with her son but failed to provide a specific means by which the mother could regain her rights to unsupervised timesharing. On review, the Fourth DCA reversed the judgment and remanded the case for the trial court to enumerate the specific acts that the mother was required to take to re-establish timesharing and to allow a successor judge to monitor her progress. Subsequently, the trial court entered an amended final judgment which is the subject of the instant appeal.
In its amended judgment, the trial court ruled that the mother could have unsupervised timesharing once the child’s therapist agreed that it would be appropriate. The Fourth DCA once again reversed.
First, the District Court noted that this amendment did not comply with its mandate, which ordered only that the trial court explain the steps required for the mother to reestablish unsupervised visitation (for example, anger management, specific types of therapy, etc.).
Second, the Court held that the amended judgment failed to “provide the mother with the key to reconnecting with her son,” because it left reconciliation in the hands of a third-party. Instead, the judgment needed to provide with specificity what the mother herself could do to reconnect with her son, such that she could “walk out of the courtroom knowing that if she satisfactorily accomplishes relatively specific tasks, she will be able to reestablish unsupervised timesharing.”

Gear v. Gear (Second DCA, November 18, 2016)
The trial court entered an injunction requiring the former wife to remain 100 feet away from the minor children at all extracurricular activities. The injunction was entered after a hearing on multiple motions, none of which directly requested the relief awarded. The former husband argued on appeal that this was appropriate because the former wife had essentially opened the door by including within her prayer for a relief a request that the court grant “such further relief as the court deems equitable and appropriate under the circumstances.”
The District Court disagreed and reversed, noting that it is an abuse of discretion for a trial court to grant unrequested relief and that the “generic, boilerplate language” cited above did not constitute proper notice. Although a trial court may grant an injunction without notice, it may do so only if the moving party complies with Rule 1.610 which requires, among other things, that the moving party file a verified pleading showing a risk of irreparable harm and that the moving party’s attorney certify in writing why it is appropriate to grant the requested relief without notice to the non-moving party. Neither of these requirements was satisfied in the instant case, nor was the requirement that the order granting the injunction “specify the reasons for entry.” Accordingly, the District Court reversed the injunction.

Baldwin, Jr., v. Baldwin (Fifth DCA, November 18, 2016)
At trial in the parties’ divorce case, the judge became concerned that the husband had not disclosed all of his assets. After reviewing his financial affidavit, the judge ordered the husband to show cause as to why he should not be held in indirect civil contempt for failing to comply with mandatory disclosure. After hearing from the husband, the court held him in indirect civil contempt and incarcerated him. The husband appealed, arguing that the trial court violated his due process rights by failing to allow him sufficient time to prepare a defense to the contempt charge. The Fifth DCA agreed.
Although the issue was technically moot, the District Court wrote to ensure that the trial court would not make a similar mistake in the future. In doing so, it explained that it is a “fundamental principle” of law that a party must be given notice and time to prepare for a civil contempt hearing. The trial court had therefore violated the husband’s due process rights, and the District Court remanded the case with instructions for the trial court to vacate its contempt order.