Jones v. Fgardish

Filing 58

NOTICE AND ORDER Providing Tentative Rulings Re: 49 50 Motions in Limine. Signed by Judge Michael M. Anello on 10/10/2017.(amk)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JESSIE W. JONES, Case No.: 14cv2477-MMA (MDD) Plaintiff, 12 13 14 NOTICE AND ORDER PROVIDING TENTATIVE RULINGS RE: MOTIONS IN LIMINE v. F. GARDINER, Defendant. 15 16 17 On October 11, 2017 at 3:00 p.m., the parties in this prisoner civil rights action will 18 appear before the Court for a final pretrial conference and hearing on the parties’ pending 19 motions in limine. See Doc. Nos. 49, 50. In anticipation of the hearing, the Court issues 20 the following tentative rulings on the motions: PLAINTIFF’S MOTIONS 21 22 1. The Court tentatively GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Plaintiff’s 23 motion to exclude evidence of his 2014 felony conviction. The Court tentatively finds 24 that Plaintiff’s conviction is not relevant to the substantive issues at trial. However, 25 evidence of a conviction for a crime punishable for more than one year is admissible, 26 subject to Federal Rule of Evidence 403, to attack a witness’s character for truthfulness. 27 See Fed. R. Evid. 609(a)(1)(A). Therefore, the Court tentatively finds that Defendant 28 should be allowed to impeach Plaintiff’s testimony with the fact of his 2014 felony 1 14cv2477-MMA (MDD) 1 conviction. 2 2. The Court tentatively GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion to exclude evidence of 3 his prison disciplinary history. The Court tentatively finds that evidence regarding any 4 rules violations or other prison disciplinary incidents involving Plaintiff is not admissible 5 under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b), because it is classic “other acts” evidence. 6 3. The Court tentatively GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion for an order permitting 7 him to appear in civilian clothing and be unrestrained during trial.1 The Court tentatively 8 finds that Defendant has not demonstrated “compelling circumstances” exist to justify 9 Plaintiff being restrained during trial. 10 4. The Court tentatively GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion and will exclude all non- 11 party fact witnesses from the courtroom prior to testifying pursuant to Federal Rule of 12 Evidence 615. 13 DEFENDANT’S MOTIONS 14 1. The Court tentatively GRANTS Defendant’s motion to exclude any expert 15 testimony proffered by Plaintiff at trial regarding: (1) expert medical opinion regarding 16 causation that was not formed at the time of treatment; (2) Plaintiff’s alleged need for 17 future medical care or treatment; (3) past or future medical special damages; and (4) 18 hearsay testimony regarding Plaintiff’s prognosis. The Court tentatively finds that 19 Plaintiff and/or Plaintiff’s treating physician may testify as to any percipient observations 20 regarding Plaintiff’s medical needs or condition, but may not testify as to any medical 21 matter which requires scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge. 22 2. The Court tentatively GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Defendant’s 23 motion to admit evidence of Plaintiff’s prior felony convictions. The Court tentatively 24 finds that it would not be overly prejudicial for Defendant to impeach Plaintiff with the 25 fact of his 2014 conviction. However, the Court tentatively finds that evidence of 26                                                                   27 1 28 While the Court may permit Plaintiff to appear in civilian clothing, the Court does not have the authority to order his state custodians to place Plaintiff in any clothing other than his state-issued uniform. 2 14cv2477-MMA (MDD) 1 Plaintiff’s 1993 and 1996 convictions should be excluded as more prejudicial than 2 probative. See Fed. R. Evid. 403. 3 3. The Court tentatively DENIES Defendant’s motion to exclude any 4 testimony or argument that Plaintiff’s alleged nerve injury will cause him future lost 5 income because of the alleged limited use of his left hand, or that Plaintiff will incur costs 6 for future medical care. Generally speaking, a plaintiff should be permitted to introduce 7 evidence regarding damages, including the need for future medical care, as the evidence 8 is relevant and probative of injury. Although it is unclear what evidence Plaintiff will 9 offer regarding lost future income or future medical care, the Court tentatively finds it 10 11 inappropriate to categorically exclude such evidence. 4. The Court tentatively GRANTS Defendant’s motion to exclude any 12 evidence of his involvement in past litigation or uses of force. The Court tentatively 13 finds that prior inmate complaints against Defendant, or uses of force by Defendant, are 14 not sufficiently probative of the issues in this case, particularly when balanced against the 15 risk of causing juror confusion or prejudice. See Fed. R. Evid. 403. However, if 16 Defendant testifies regarding his handcuffing habits, or for some reason testifies 17 regarding his prior uses of force against inmates, then Plaintiff may cross-examine him 18 regarding those issues. 19 20 21 22 23 As these rulings are tentative, the Court looks forward to the oral arguments of counsel. IT IS SO ORDERED. DATE: October 10, 2017 _______________________________________ HON. MICHAEL M. ANELLO United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 3 14cv2477-MMA (MDD)

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