Pacific Marine Center, Inc. et al v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company

Filing 170

ORDER Denying 153 154 Motions in Limine, signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 10/12/2016. (Gaumnitz, R)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 PACIFIC MARINE CENTER, INC., 12 13 14 15 16 17 No. 1:13-cv-00992-DAD-SKO Plaintiff, v. ORDER DENYING MOTIONS IN LIMINE PHILADELPHIA INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY, (Doc. Nos. 153, 154) Defendant. On September 27, 2016, defendant filed three motions in limine in connection with the 18 upcoming trial on the remaining claims in this action. (Doc. Nos. 152, 153, 154.) Plaintiff 19 opposed the motions in limine on October 4, 2016. (Doc. Nos. 162, 163, 164.) The court held a 20 hearing on the first motion in limine, which concerned potential bifurcation of the trial, on 21 October 12, 2016 and denied that motion on the record. The court now denies the remaining two 22 motions in limine, concluding that neither is suitable for determination in advance of trial. 23 Defendant’s second motion in limine seeks to exclude on relevancy grounds testimony 24 from the Person Most Knowledgeable from the Department of Motor Vehicles, whom defendant 25 anticipates will testify on the issue of whether the DMV is a law enforcement agency. (Doc. No. 26 153.) While the ultimate relevancy of this anticipated testimony is far from clear to the court, the 27 relevancy standard is a low bar, as the evidence need only have “any tendency” to make a fact of 28 consequence more or less probable in order to be deemed relevant. Fed. R. Evid. 401. Without 1 1 knowing specifically what the testimony will be, this matter is not suitable to a decision prior to 2 trial. Similarly, trial testimony from Dr. Reicherter—the subject of defendant’s third motion in 3 limine—may conceivably be relevant to the court in deciding whether Sona Vartanian acted as 4 one might expect following a theft. (See Doc. No. 154.) Before hearing the specific questions to 5 be asked of this witness, and perhaps the testimony in response to those questions, the court is not 6 capable of ruling on the relevance of the testimony in advance of trial. Of course, relevancy 7 objections to any particular testimony may still be raised at trial. 8 Conclusion 9 Defendant’s motions in limine (Doc. Nos. 153, 154) are denied without prejudice to 10 objections to specific testimony being raised at trial. 11 IT IS SO ORDERED. 12 Dated: October 12, 2016 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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