United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
September 28, 2004.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
ANTHONY KARAMUZIS, DePAUL UNIVERSITY, and the ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
This matter is before the court on Defendant Anthony Karamuzis'
("Karamuzis") motions in limine. For the reasons stated below, we
deny all of the motions in limine.
Plaintiff United States of America alleges that Karamuzis
applied to the U.S. Department of Education ("UDE") for a federal
direct consolidation loan application and promissory note to
consolidate his school loans totaling approximately $46,000.
Plaintiff alleges that Karamuzis used the loans to finance his
legal education. After the UDE purchased Karamuzis' loan from DePaul University
("DePaul"), DePaul sent a promissory note to Karamuzis marked
"paid in full." UDE also purchased a loan from the Illinois
Student Assistance Commission ("Commission") and the Commission
sent a promissory note to Karamuzis marked "paid in full."
Plaintiffs allege that Karamuzis never made a single payment to
UDE on the consolidated loan and in May of 2001 Karamuzis filed a
claim for injunctive relief to prevent the UDE from taking action
against Karamuzis for non-payment. On May 6, 2002, in another
action, Judge Leinenweber entered a declaratory judgment
indicating that no valid contract existed between Karamuzis and
UDE and prohibiting the UDE from attempting to enforce or collect
the subject loan. Plaintiff alleges that on August 8, 2002,
Karamuzis contacted DePaul and indicated that he would not sign a
new promissory note to DePaul and indicated that he would not
repay the amount of the loan even if DePaul took the loan back
from UDE. Plaintiffs contend that Karamuzis has not made full
payment of his law school loans to UDE, DePaul, or the
Commission. Plaintiffs bring the instant action based upon the
doctrine of unjust enrichment. On March 30, 2004, we denied
Karamuzis' motion to dismiss. Neither party in this action filed
a dispositive motion and the case is scheduled for trial on
October 4, 2004. DISCUSSION
Karamuzis has filed a litany of meritless motions in limine.
Not only are the motions completely without merit, the motions
are also improper because the remedies sought by Karamuzis are
not the proper subject matter for motions in limine.
I. Alledged Prior Rulings
Karamuzis bases several of his in limine motions on alleged
prior rulings made by Judge Leinenweber, the prior judge in this
action. Karamuzis claims that Judge Leinenweber, the prior judge
in this case, already ruled on this issue in favor of Karamuzis.
Karamuzis' motion in limine fails to provide anything other than
a conclusory statement regarding Judge Leinenweber's alleged
prior ruling and Karamuzis' allegation is not supported by the
record and he provides no citations to the record. In regards to
rulings made by Judge Leinenweber in the instant action, the
court record reflects that Judge Leinenweber granted Defendant
DePaul's motion to dismiss and Judge Leinenweber conducted a
settlement conference. In regards to the motion to dismiss, Judge
Leinenweber was merely addressing the sufficiency of the
pleadings and was not making any evidentiary rulings at that
stage. Karamuzis' attempt to characterize Judge Leinenweber's two
sentence dismissal of DePaul as a ruling on pretrial and evidentiary matters is completely
unreasonable. There is no ruling in the court record by Judge
Leinenweber or any other judge regarding the admissibility of any
evidence at trial. In regards to Judge Leinenweber's ruling on
May 6, 2002, in another action, Karamuzis already raised this
issue in his motion to dismiss in the instant action which we
denied. To the extent that any of his objections are novel, the
proper course would have been to include such argument in a
dispositive motion, but Karamuzis chose not to file a dispositive
Karamuzis asks the court to bar Plaintiff from introducing
testimony or evidence that a loan ever existed between the
Department of Education or the United States because Judge
Leinenweber previously ruled in his favor. (Mot. Par. 1).
Karamuzis asks the court to bar evidence indicating "that
Karamuzis did not cancel the uncompleted loan application before
a loan was established or any payments were made to ISAC or
DePaul." (Mot. Par 2). Karamuzis again argues that Judge
Leinenweber ruled on the issue previously. Karamuzis asks the
court to bar evidence of a loan summary statement that was
allegedly mailed to Karamuzis because Judge Leinenweber allegedly
ruled previously in Karamuzis' favor. (Mot. Par. 6). Karamuzis
asks the court to bar evidence relating to Karamuzis' attempt to
cancel the loan, because, according to Karamuzis, Judge
Leinenweber previously ruled in Karamuzis' favor on the issue.
(Mot. Par. 7). Karamuzis asks the court to bar evidence of the terms of Karamuzis' uncompleted loan
application because, according to Karamuzis, Judge Leinenweber
allegedly previously ruled in Karamuzis' favor on the issue.
(Mot. Par. 8). Karamuzis asks the court to bar evidence relating
to any claim against Karamuzis for funds paid to DePaul because,
according to Karamuzis, Judge Leinenweber previously ruled on the
issue in Karamuzis' favor. (Mot. Par. 10). We deny all of the
above objections because there is no record of any such rulings
by Judge Leinenweber. Karamuzis has also failed to properly
support his instant motions with any citation to the record or to
a hearing transcript. We need not scour the record to support
Karamuzis' claims and he has utterly failed to do so on his own.
In regards to the ruling made in the prior action, such issues
were addressed in our ruling on the motion to dismiss.
II. Amount of Recovery
Karamuzis asks the court to bar Plaintiff from "seeking an
amount greater than would have been the payoffs on Karamuzis'
loans with ISAC and DePaul as of April 1999." (Mot. Par. 3).
Arguments regarding the proper amount of recovery are not
properly before the court at this stage and should be resolved at
trial after a full presentation by both parties. Therefore, we
deny the motion in limine to limit Plaintiff's recovery. III. Relevancy and Prejudice Objections
Several of Karamuzis' motions in limine are based on Karamuzis'
claim that certain evidence is irrelevant and/or would be unduly
prejudicial to Karamuzis if admitted. Karamuzis asks the court to
bar evidence that indicates the payoff for the loan was greater
than the actual payoff amount because the evidence would be
irrelevant and would be unduly prejudicial. (Mot. Par. 4).
Karamuzis asks the court to bar evidence indicating why Plaintiff
"made payments to ISAC on April 30, 1999, and DePaul on May 3,
1999 . . ." because the evidence is irrelevant and unduly
prejudicial. The scope of relevancy is broad. We disagree that
the evidence mentioned in these motions in limine or in any of
Karamuzis' motions in limine is irrelevant and do not find that
the evidence would be unduly prejudicial to Karamuzis.
IV. Amounts of Money and Affidavits at Trial
Karamuzis asks the court to bar any reference to amounts of
money at trial by Plaintiff without the submission of proof of
cancelled checks, drafts, or transfers of funds. (Mot. Par. 9).
Karamuzis also asks the court to bar all affidavits at trial in
lieu of witness testimony because such documents would be
hearsay. (Mot. Par. 11). These objections are far too general and
vague to be summarily ruled on in a motion in limine. Objections to evidence regarding amounts of money and
regarding affidavits and hearsay objections may be made at trial
on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, we deny the motion to bar
reference to amounts of money by Plaintiff and deny the motion to
bar affidavits at trial.
V. Evidence of Correspondence and Promissory Note
Karamuzis asks the court to bar evidence of correspondence
between Katie Butwin of DePaul and Plaintiff and to bar evidence
regarding a promissory note marked "paid in full" sent by DePaul
to Karamuzis. (Mot. Par. 12, 13). Karamuzis argues that no such
correspondence was produced during discovery and the note was not
produced during discovery. Simply because the correspondence and
the note were not produced during discovery does not preclude the
introduction of other evidence referring to such matters if
Plaintiff was forthcoming during discovery and Karamuzis had the
opportunity to depose Plaintiff's witnesses. Karamuzis'
objections are too general and he can make objections at trial on
a case-by-case basis. Therefore, we deny the motion to bar all
evidence relating to the correspondence and the promissory note.
VI. Amounts of Interest Paid and Unjust Enrichment Claim Karamuzis asks the court to bar evidence of the amounts of
interest allegedly paid to date that Plaintiff is seeking as
recovery because such a recovery is not allowed under the law.
(Mot. Par. 14). Karamuzis also asks the court to bar evidence
relating to a "standing alone claim" of unjust enrichment. (Mot.
Par. 16, 17). If Karamuzis believes that interest is not allowed
and such claims are unavailable to Plaintiff as a matter of law,
then the proper course would have been to file a dispositive
motion on the issue. Dispositive motions rather than motions in
limine are intended to weed out the meritless legal claims prior
to trial. Karamuzis filed no such dispositive motions and chose
to proceed to trial. If evidence relating to such matters is
presented at trial Karamuzis may object on a case-by-case basis
and must provide an evidentiary reason for each objection.
Therefore, we deny the motion to bar evidence of the amount of
VII. Equitable Defenses
Karamuzis asks the court to bar any "claim, evidence, or
testimony" based on his equitable defenses such as unclean hands
and based on a prior ruling by Judge Leinenweber. (Mot. Par. 15).
First of all, Karamuzis' reference to "claim, evidence, or
testimony" is too vague to merit consideration. Secondly, there
is no record of such a ruling by Judge Leinenweber. Third
Karamuzis is improperly attempting to argue his case in chief in his motion in limine. Therefore, we
deny the motion to bar evidence based on equitable defenses.
VIII. Res Judicata, Collateral Estoppel, and All Objections
Karamuzis asks the court to bar Plaintiff from arguing that the
doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel apply in the
instant action. In regards to this objection, as with all of the
above mentioned motions in limine, a denial is warranted because
Karamuzis is improperly attempting to argue the merits of his
case and is seeking to preclude Plaintiff from presenting its
case. Such matters are not within the purview of motions in
limine. Therefore, we deny the motion to bar Plaintiff from
arguing that the doctrines of res judicata and collateral
estoppel apply and we deny all of the above motions for the same
Based on the foregoing analysis, we deny all of Karamuzis'
motions in limine.
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