Shiver v. Education Affiliates, Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER directing that the defendants 73 MOTION in Limine and the plf's 79 MOTION in Limine be and are hereby GRANTED in part and DENIED in part, as further set out in order. Signed by Honorable Judge Charles S. Coody on 1/6/16. (djy, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
STACIE LASHAY SHIVER,
CAREER CONSULTANTS, INC.,
doing business as
FORTIS COLLEGE DOTHAN,
) CIVIL ACT. NO. 1:14cv1165-CSC
MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER
This case is presently set for trial on January 11, 2016. Pending before the court are the
defendant’s motion in limine (doc. # 73) and the plaintiff’s motion in limine (doc. # 79) filed
on December 21, 2015. The court heard oral arguments on the motions on January 5, 2016.
Upon consideration of the motions, as stated in open court, and for good cause, the motions will
be granted in part and denied in part.
In her motion in limine, the plaintiff seeks to prohibit the defendant from referring to any
findings of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) related to her EEOC
charges. See Doc. # 79. As stated in court, this aspect of the motion be and is hereby
The plaintiff also sought to “bind the defendant” to prior sworn testimony related to the
setting of her pay. During oral argument, the plaintiff withdrew this aspect of the motion in
limine and thus, this aspect of the motion be and is hereby DENIED as MOOT.
Finally, the plaintiff seeks permission to use leading questions when examining current
and former employees of the defendant, pursuant to FED.R.EVID. 611(c). This aspect of the
motion be and is hereby GRANTED. The court will permit the plaintiff to utilize leading
questions during the examination of current and former employees of the defendant.
In it’s motion in limine (doc. # 73), the defendant seeks to exclude evidence related to
claims that did not survive summary judgment, antidotal statistics, “Golden Rule argument,”
pre-trial discovery requests and subpoenas, settlement discussions, pretrial motions, the
plaintiff’s good character, the plaintiff’s counsel’s experience, and motions in limine. The
plaintiff has no objection to excluding evidence in these areas. Accordingly, the defendant’s
motion in limine with respect to these areas be and is hereby GRANTED.
The defendant also seeks to exclude evidence of its financial condition. The plaintiff
opposes the motion in this regard because she contends that evidence of the defendant’s
financial condition is relevant to the issue of damages. There remains in this case a claim for
punitive damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981. A party’s financial condition is relevant to the
claim for punitive damages. See City of Newport v. FACT Concerts, Inc., 453 U.S. 247, 270
(1981). However, the defendant’s financial condition is obviously not relevant to claims for
compensatory damages or back pay. Accordingly, the motion in limine be and is hereby
GRANTED to the extent that evidence of the defendant’s financial condition shall be
disallowed as to the plaintiff’s claims for compensatory damages and back pay. However,
evidence of the defendant’s financial condition will be allowed on the claims for punitive
damages. The court will instruct the jury and the court is confident the jury will be able to
distinguish between what evidence it may consider on the damages issues.
The defendant also seeks to limit opinion testimony of Benjamin Coale. To the extent
that the plaintiff seeks to ask about Mr. Coale’s opinions, the motion in limine be and is hereby
GRANTED. However, the plaintiff is not prohibited from asking Mr. Coale questions about
With respect to the defendant’s motion in limine to prohibit testimony regarding the
plaintiff’s promotion, the motion be and is hereby DENIED as the matter is relevant and any
confusion can be addressed on examination and cross-examination.
Finally, the defendant seeks to limit evidence related to other litigation against it,
negative references to the for-profit in which it is engaged, and other claims of race and gender
discrimination leveled against it. With respect to these areas, the motion in limine be and is
hereby DENIED without prejudice to the parties raising the issues at trial. Counsel are
DIRECTED, prior to the commencement of the introduction of this evidence at trial, to notify
both the court and opposing counsel, and to allow the court an opportunity to rule on the
admissibility of this evidence.
Accordingly, for good cause, it is
ORDERED that the defendant’s motion in limine (doc. # 73) and the plaintiff’s motion
in limine (doc. # 79) be and are hereby GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as stated herein.
Done this 6th day of January, 2016.
/s/Charles S. Coody
CHARLES S. COODY
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?