Gillis et al v. Murphy-Brown, LLC
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting 118 Motion in Limine. Signed by Judge David A. Faber on 11/6/2018. (Herrmann, L.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CASE No. 7:14-cv-000185-BR
ANNJEANETTE GILLIS, et al.,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MURPHY-BROWN, LLC, d/b/a
SMITHFIELD HOG PRODUCTION
Pending before the court is defendant’s Motion in Limine to
Exclude Grower-Related Evidence.
(ECF No. 118).
the defendant seeks to exclude all contract grower-related and
contract-farm related evidence.
For the reasons set forth
below, the court GRANTS the defendant’s Motion in Limine to
Exclude Grower-Related Evidence.
In support of its motion, the defendant argues that growerrelated evidence is not relevant because Murphy-Brown directly
owns Sholar Farms and no contract growers are involved in this
The defendant further argues that admitting this evidence
will risk unfair prejudice to Murphy-Brown, will confuse and
mislead the jury, and will unnecessarily waste time.
plaintiffs have filed a memorandum in opposition to the
(ECF No. 147).
“Evidence is relevant if: (a) it has any tendency to make a
fact more or less probable than it would be without the
evidence; and (b) the fact is of consequence in determining the
Fed. R. Evid. 401.
Although relevant evidence is
presumptively admissible, the court should exclude such evidence
“if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger
of . . . unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the
jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting
Fed. R. Evid. 403.
Here, the plaintiffs bring this lawsuit based upon their
allegation that Murphy-Brown has created a nuisance to them
through its operation of Sholar Farms.
The plaintiffs brought
in contract grower-related and contract-farm related evidence in
the prior three related cases of McKiver v. Murphy-Brown, LLC,
Civil Matter No. 7:14-180-BR; McGowan v. Murphy-Brown, LLC,
Civil Matter No. 7:14-182-BR; and Artis v. Murphy Brown, LLC,
Civil Matter No. 7:14-237-BR.
In those cases, however, the
farms that were alleged to be a nuisance were in a contractual
relationship with Murphy-Brown to keep and to grow the animals.
In the present case, unlike the prior cases, there is not a
contractual relationship between Murphy-Brown and Sholar Farms.
Sholar Farms is owned and operated by Murphy-Brown, LLC.
Therefore, the language and implications of the contracts
governing the defendant’s relationships with growers of other
farms is not relevant to this case.
Thus, under the Rule 401 relevancy standard, the court
finds that the contract grower-related and contract-farm related
evidence would not make the facts surrounding the underlying
allegation of nuisance more or less probable.
evidence sought to be excluded by the defendant is not
consequential in determining this action.
contract grower-related and contract-farm related evidence is
Because evidence that is irrelevant cannot be
admitted, the court does not need to conduct a Rule 403
See Fed. R. Evid. 402 (“irrelevant evidence is not
For these reasons, the court GRANTS defendant’s
Motion in Limine to Exclude Grower-Related Evidence.
The Clerk is directed to send copies of this Order to all
counsel of record.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 6th of November, 2018.
David A. Faber
Senior United States District Judge
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