Jones v. Hobbs et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 116 Motion in Limine. Signed by Judge J. Leon Holmes on 8/24/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
LARRY WAYNE JONES,
ADC # 70147
No. 5:09CV00157 JLH-JJV
RAY HOBBS, Chief Deputy Director,
Arkansas Department of Correction; and
CHARLES FREYDER, Chaplain, Varner Unit,
Arkansas Department of Correction
Larry Wayne Jones has filed a motion in limine seeking to exclude from evidence or any
admission at trial certain matters.
First, Jones moves in limine to preclude the defendants from introducing any evidence or
argument regarding his convictions or the length of his sentence. The defendants respond by stating
that they do not intend to solicit testimony regarding Jones’ criminal conviction or the length of his
prison sentence unless Jones or a witness testifies falsely regarding that matter. Without objection,
the motion in limine is granted on the issue of Jones’ criminal convictions and the length of his
Jones next moves in limine to preclude the defendants from introducing any evidence or
making any argument regarding his disciplinary history. The defendants respond that they do not
intend to introduce any documentation regarding Jones’ disciplinary history in their case-in-chief but
may use that information for impeachment or other purposes if Jones opens the door and if such
evidence becomes relevant under the Federal Rules of Evidence. The motion in limine is denied on
this point. Should the defendants seek to introduce any evidence regarding Jones’ disciplinary
history, however, they should ask for a bench conference so that the matter can be discussed outside
the hearing of the jury.
Jones next moves in limine to exclude any evidence regarding a previous lawsuit that he filed
arguing that he was deprived of a special religious diet based on different religious beliefs. The
motion in limine is denied on that point. Evidence that Jones has previously brought an action
arguing that he was entitled to a special religious diet based on different religious beliefs is relevant
to the issue of whether his religious beliefs are sincerely held.
Jones next moves in limine to preclude the defendants from referring to his religion in a
derogatory or negative manner and from introducing evidence regarding his religious beliefs that are
unrelated to dietary issues. That portion of Jones’ motion in limine is granted in part and denied in
part. The defendants will not be permitted to make pejorative comments regarding Jones’ religion.
Whether his religious beliefs are sincerely held, however, is an issue that the jury must decide, and
it cannot decide that issue without some information about what his religious beliefs are. Therefore,
the motion in limine is denied to the extent that it seeks to preclude the defendants from introducing
evidence of Jones’ religious beliefs other than as to dietary issues.
Finally, Jones moves in limine to prevent the defendants from referring to him as an inmate,
a prisoner, or any other derogatory term. The motion in limine is denied insofar as it seeks to
preclude the defendants from referring to Jones as an inmate or a prisoner and granted insofar as it
seeks to preclude reference to him in a pejorative manner. While the defendants have stated that they
have every intention of referring to plaintiff as Mr. Jones, which is the normal custom and practice,
and is what the Court expects; nevertheless, the issues in the case require the jury to know that Jones
is an inmate or a prisoner, and there is no way to try this case without sometimes making reference
to the fact that he is an inmate or a prisoner.
For the reasons stated, the motion in limine is granted in part and denied in part. Document
IT IS SO ORDERED this 24th day of August, 2012.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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