Equitrans, L.P. v. 0.56 Acres More or Less of Permanent Easement Located in Marion County, West Virginia et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S REMAINING MOTIONS IN LIMINE: It is ORDERED that Plaintiff's 55 Motion in Limine to Preclude Evidence of the Jury's Finding of Breach of Contract or Trespass in the Prior Action is DENIED AS MOOT and Plaintiff's 56 Motion in Limine to Preclude Evidence of Alleged Criminal Conduct of Brandon Wise is GRANTED. Signed by Senior Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr on 10/18/16. (cnd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
Civil Action No. 1:15CV106
0.56 ACRES MORE OR LESS OF
PERMANENT EASEMENT LOCATED IN
MARION COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA,
JEFFERY J. MOORE and
SANDRA J. MOORE,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
REGARDING PLAINTIFF’S REMAINING MOTIONS IN LIMINE
motions in limine to preclude the defendants (“the Moores”) from
presenting certain evidence.
Previously, this Court ruled on
Equitrans’ motions in limine, and deferred ruling on two of those
motions. This Court will address those remaining motions in limine
and set forth its findings, as discussed below.1
Motion in Limine to Preclude Evidence of the Jury’s Finding of
Breach of Contract or Trespass in the Prior Action (ECF No. 55) DENIED AS MOOT
presenting evidence regarding the jury’s verdict in the prior
For a more thorough background of this civil action, see ECF
Nos. 15 and 77.
action for breach of contract and trespass.
In response, the
Moores argue that the prior verdict is relevant to a determination
of when the taking occurred.
This Court previously expressed its
belief that the parties may fashion a stipulation regarding this
evidence and how the procedural posture of this civil action will
be presented to the jury.
The issue was discussed at the pretrial
conference, and this Court requested that Equitrans file a proposed
summary of facts regarding the prior action for breach of contract
and trespass and that the Moores file any objections they may have
to that summary.
Equitrans filed its proposed summary of facts
(ECF No. 89), and the Moores did not file any objections to that
This Court accepts Equitrans’ proposed summary (ECF No.
89) as the parties’ stipulation of facts regarding the prior action
for breach of contract and trespass.
motion in limine to preclude evidence of the jury’s finding of
breach of contract or trespass in the prior action is denied as
Motion in Limine to Preclude Evidence of Alleged Criminal
Conduct of Brandon Wise (ECF No. 56) - GRANTED
introducing any evidence regarding alleged criminal conduct of
Brandon Wise or of his reprimand by the West Virginia Real Estate
Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board.
At the pretrial
conference, Equitrans represented that it will not call Brandon
Wise as a witness.
The Moores represented that they intended to
present evidence of Brandon Wise’s alleged criminal conduct and his
reprimand to attack his character for truthfulness and to attack
the credibility of the appraisal report.
Equitrans argues that this evidence may only be admissible to
attack Brandon Wise’s character for truthfulness, but Brandon
Wise’s character for truthfulness should not be at issue because
Equitrans does not intend to call him as a witness.
the Moores argue that Brandon Wise significantly contributed to
Equitrans’ expert appraisal report, and that this evidence is
relevant to impeach him to the extent that he contributed to the
Federal Rule of Evidence 404 provides that “[e]vidence of a
crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove a person’s
character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person
acted in accordance with the character.”
Fed. R. Evid. 404(b)(1).
Because a witness’s character for truthfulness is always at issue,
any party may attack a witness’s character for truthfulness in
accordance with Rules 607, 608, and 609.
Fed. R. Evid. 404(a)(3).
However, because Brandon Wise will not testify as a witness, his
character for truthfulness as a witness should not be at issue.
Thus, the evidence is not admissible to attack his character for
truthfulness under Rules 607, 608, or 609.
Nevertheless, the Moores argue that Brandon Wise significantly
contributed to Equitrans’ expert appraisal report, and that this
evidence is relevant to impeach Brandon Wise to the extent that he
contributed to the report.
However, the Federal Rules of Evidence
simply do not provide an exception to Rule 404’s ban on character
Accordingly, Equitrans’ motion in limine to preclude evidence of
alleged criminal conduct of Brandon Wise and his reprimand by the
West Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification
Board is granted.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
The Clerk is DIRECTED to transmit a copy of this memorandum
opinion and order to counsel of record herein.
October 18, 2016
/s/ Frederick P. Stamp, Jr.
FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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