Kobrick v. Stevens et al
ORDER - It is hereby ORDERED that: 1. Kobrick's MIL 176 is GRANTED.; 2. Kobrick may introduce Stevens' guilty plea to corruption of minors in violation of 18 PA.CONS.STAT.ANN § 6301 as evidence of the facts underlying his conviction. (See order for complete details.) Signed by Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner on 4/11/18. (ki)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
MATTHEW STEVENS, LAKELAND
SCHOOL DISTRICT, WESTERN
WAYNE SCHOOL DISTRICT, DR.
THOMAS KAMEROSKI, ANDREW
FALONK, and PATRICK SHEEHAN,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:13-CV-2865
(Chief Judge Conner)
AND NOW, this 11th day of April, 2018, upon consideration of the motion
(Doc. 176) in limine by plaintiff Alexandra Kobrick (“Kobrick”) seeking to present
the guilty plea of defendant Matthew Stevens (“Stevens”) entered in the Court of
Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania as evidence of liability,
wherein Kobrick argues: first, that Stevens’ guilty plea to corruption of minors in
violation of 18 PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. § 6301 establishes conclusively the material
facts underlying his conviction and is therefore relevant to the related claims sub
judice, (Doc. 176 ¶¶ 10, 15-17, 20), and that any prejudice to Stevens is neither unfair
nor outweighed by the evidence’s probative value, (id. ¶¶ 23, 25); and second, that
Stevens’ guilty plea is admissible as an admission by a party opponent pursuant to
Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2), (Doc. 176 ¶ 24), and the court noting that
Stevens failed to oppose the motion (Doc. 176) despite having been given two
opportunities to do so, and taking Kobrick’s arguments in turn: first, the court
observing that evidence is relevant if it renders a material fact either more or less
probable than it would be absent the evidence, and relevant evidence is, as a
general rule, admissible, FED. R. EVID. 401, 402, and that evidence may be excluded
if its probative value is substantially outweighed by unfair prejudice, FED. R. EVID.
403, and the court finding that Stevens’ guilty plea would make a material fact to
the instant litigation more likely, and that the evidence of Stevens’ guilty plea and
underlying facts are not unduly prejudicial since Stevens does not dispute that he
pled guilty, (Doc. 101 ¶ 111), and thus concluding that Kobrick may introduce
Stevens’ guilty plea as evidence at trial; and second, as to Kobrick’s argument that
Stevens’ guilty plea is also admissible as an admission by a party opponent, the
court noting that an out-of-court statement which an opposing party adopts or
believes to be true is not hearsay when offered against that opposing party, FED. R.
EVID. 801(d)(2)(B), and the court finding that Stevens manifested his adoption of the
government’s recitation of the facts underlying the state criminal charge to which
Stevens pled guilty, (see Doc. 175-1 at 49-52), and thus concluding that Kobrick may
introduce Stevens’ guilty plea as an admission by a party opponent, it is hereby
Kobrick’s motion (Doc. 176) in limine is GRANTED.
Kobrick may introduce Stevens’ guilty plea to corruption of minors in
violation of 18 PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. § 6301 as evidence of the facts
underlying his conviction.
/S/ CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER
Christopher C. Conner, Chief Judge
United States District Court
Middle District of Pennsylvania
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?