McGory v. SLS Landscaping

In a fact-sensitive workers compensation matter, the workers comp judge was concerned that the petitioner would perjure himself if he testified, so the judge continued the matter. In the interim, motions were filed such that at the next hearing, without giving the petitioner a chance to testify, the judge dismissed the case without prejudice. Neither party took and immediate action, but the judge scheduled a new hearing, supposedly for the petitioner to testify. The petitioner filed an appeal to the Appellate Division, and the following day the judge held another hearing, this time dismissing the case without prejudice. The Appellate Division ruled that it violated petitioner’s Due Process rights to decide a fact-sensitive case without affording the petitioner a chance to testify or offer evidence. And the judge then lacked jurisdiction to enter his “with prejudice” order.