Duarte v. Catalina Foothills School District No. 16

Filing 84

ORDER re: ACRD Determination. Signed by Judge James A Soto on 11/3/14.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Gary S. Duarte, No. CV-12-00844-TUC-JAS Plaintiff, 10 11 v. 12 ORDER Catalina Foothills School District No. 16, 13 Defendant. 14 On 11/3/14, the Court held a pretrial conference with the parties to discuss 15 pending matters related to the jury trial set for 11/4/14. At the pretrial conference, the 16 parties expressed their respective positions pertaining to the admissibility of Defendant’s 17 Exhibit 54 which is a “no cause” determination from the Arizona Civil Rights Division 18 (“ACRD”). The determination is simply a fill-in-the-blank form which has an “X” 19 marked next to a sentence that summarily states that based on the ACRD’s investigation, 20 “the information is not sufficient to establish violations of the statute(s).” The Ninth 21 Circuit has held that such “no cause” determinations are not per se admissible, but require 22 the trial court to weigh its probative value against Rule 403 considerations. See Beachy 23 v. Boise Cascade Corp., 191 F.3d 1010, 1015 (9th Cir. 1999). As the fill-in-the-blank 24 form does not discuss the extent of any investigation by the ACRD and does not give any 25 analysis whatsoever, the probative value is minimal at best. In light of the low probative 26 value of the determination and upon consideration of the Rule 403 factors, the Court 27 finds that the minimal relevance of the ACRD’s decision is outweighed by Rule 403 28 factors such that it must be excluded at trial. See Fed. R. Evid. 403 (“The court may 1 exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger 2 of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the 3 jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.”). 4 5 Dated this 3rd day of November, 2014. 6 7 8 9 10 Honorable James A. Soto United States District Judge 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -2-

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