At some point, we all handle cases where the opposing party is incarcerated and pro se. The recent case of Camp v. Camp, No. 07-11-00282-CV (Tex. App. – Amarillo 8/3/2012, no. pet.)(mem. op.) summarizes the law on when the inmate is entitled to be present at trial. The Texas Supreme Court in the case of In re Z.L.T., 124 S.W.3d 163, 165-6 (Tex. 2003) also noted the factors courts should consider in making arrangements for the inmate to be brought to court or to participate in some alternate fashion (by telephone, deposition or even affidavit):
Following the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Stone v. Morris, 546 F.2d 730, 735-36 (1976), Texas courts of appeals have recognized a variety of factors that trial courts should consider when deciding whether to grant an inmate’s request for a bench warrant. These factors include the cost and inconvenience of transporting the prisoner to the courtroom; the security risk the prisoner presents to the court and public; whether the prisoner’s claims are substantial; whether the matter’s resolution can reasonably be delayed until the prisoner’s release; whether the prisoner can and will offer admissible, noncumulative testimony that cannot be effectively presented by deposition,telephone, or some other means; whether the prisoner’s presence is important in judging his demeanor and credibility; whether the trial is to the court or a jury; and the prisoner’s probability of success on the merits.