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Redmond v. City of Chicago

February 26, 2008

ANDRE REDMOND, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Samuel Der-yeghiayan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the court on Plaintiff Andre Redmond's ("Redmond") motions in limine. This matter is also before the court on Defendant City of Chicago's ("City"), Defendant Daniel Goosherst's ("Goosherst"), Defendant Louis Szubert's ("Szubert"), and Defendant Jeffrey Chevalier's ("Chevalier") motions in limine. For the reasons stated below, we deny all of Redmond's motions in limine and grant in part and deny in part Defendants' motions in limine.

BACKGROUND

Redmond alleges in his second amended complaint that on May 8, 2004, he was returning to his car and was approached by the individual Defendants, Officers Goosherst, Szubert, and Chevalier (collectively referred to as "Defendant Officers").

According to Redmond, he asked if there was a problem, and the Defendant Officers told him to "shut up" and put his hands on his car. (SA Compl. Par. 12-13). The officers then allegedly removed Redmond's car keys from his pocket and searched his car. Redmond contends that the officers failed to find anything in the car that showed that Redmond violated any law. Redmond allegedly asked the officers if he could go and without provocation the officers slammed him against the car and told him, "[t]hat's it, your going to jail." (SA Compl. Par. 24). The officers allegedly arrested Redmond and refused Redmond's request to lock up his car before leaving the scene. The officers also allegedly left the windows of the car open and did not activate the car alarm. While the officers drove Redmond to the police station they allegedly told him that they hoped someone would steal his car and the officers used racial slurs when referring to Redmond. Redmond was allegedly charged with drinking on a public way. Redmond contends that he eventually learned that his car was stolen while he was at the police station. According to Redmond, his car was ultimately found in Indiana, but it had been damaged by the thief. Redmond further contends that he appeared in court for his criminal case, but none of the Defendant Officers appeared in court and the case was dismissed. Redmond includes in his second amended complaint a false arrest/false imprisonment claim brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983")(Count I), a Section 1983 Fourth Amendment claim based upon an illegal search of Redmond's person (Count II), a Section 1983 Fourth Amendment claim based upon an illegal search of Redmond's car (Count III), a Section 1983 excessive force claim (Count IV), a Section 1983 due process claim (Count V), a Section 1983 Monell claim (Count VI), and an indemnification claim (Count VII). A jury trial is set to begin in this case on March 3, 2008, and the parties have filed the instant motions in limine.

DISCUSSION

I. Redmond's Motions in Limine

Redmond has filed six motions in limine. Redmond requests that the court bar evidence concerning his criminal history or the criminal history of witnesses presented at trial. (R Mot. In Lim. 1, 2). Redmond also requests that the court bar any reference to gang affiliation or gang tattoos. (R Mot. In Lim. 3). In addition, Redmond requests that the court bar any reference to topics that Redmond deems irrelevant and asks the court to bar evidence relating to a certain phone conversation.

(R. Mot. In Lim. 5, 6).

A. Redmond's Criminal History (R Mot. In Lim. 1)

Redmond requests in his motion in limine number 1 that the court bar any evidence relating to Redmond's criminal history, including references to prior arrests and convictions. Redmond contends that such evidence is not admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b) ("Rule 404(b)") to show bad character and is not admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 403 ("Rule 403") since it is unduly prejudicial. Redmond states that he has no prior criminal convictions. Defendants agree and contend that the issue concerning convictions is moot. (Ans. R Mot. In Lim. 1: 1). In regard to evidence concerning Redmond's prior arrests, Redmond asserts in his second amended complaint that he was harmed by the May 8, 2004, arrest. He stated that as a result of the alleged conduct of the Defendant Officers, including the arrest he "has suffered and continues to suffer damages including loss of physical liberty, emotional distress, pain and suffering, mental anguish and humiliation, stress, anxiety, fright, mental trauma, [and] embarrassment. . . ." (SA Compl. Par. 52). Thus, evidence concerning his May 8, 2004, arrest that is the basis of this case is relevant. Defendants argue that the fact that Redmond has been arrested both before and after May 8, 2004, is also relevant to determine how much distress he suffered on May 8, 2004. We agree. Evidence concerning Redmond's prior arrests is relevant because if Redmond had been arrested on prior occasions the trier of fact could conclude from such evidence that Redmond would not have been as emotionally traumatized by the May 8, 2004, arrest as he claims since he had already experienced the arrest process on prior occasions. In regard to the arrests after May 8, 2004, such arrests are relevant since Redmond contends that he "continues to suffer" emotional distress. (SA Compl. Par. 52). Defendants are entitled to delve into evidence concerning the arrests that occurred after May 8, 2004, which will enable the trier of fact to assess what current and continuing emotional distress, if any, should be attributable to the May 8, 2004, arrest and what emotional distress, if any, should be attributed to arrests that occurred after May 8, 2004. Thus, evidence of Redmond's arrests are relevant for purposes other than showing Redmond's bad character and the admission of such evidence does not violate Rule 404(b). Defendants also properly point out that they may also bring out evidence concerning Redmond's arrests for purposes such as impeachment, depending on whether Redmond opens the door on certain issues. We also conclude that, based upon Redmond's own damages allegations, the evidence concerning Redmond's arrests has a significant probative value that is not "substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. . . ." Fed. R. Evid. 403.

Therefore, we deny Redmond's motion in limine number 1.

B. Criminal History and Prior Conduct of Witnesses (R Mot. In Lim. 2)

Redmond requests in his motion in limine number 2 that the court bar the introduction of evidence relating to the criminal history and bad acts of any witnesses at trial. Redmond contends that Defendants have not disclosed any such evidence which would be allowed under Federal Rule of Evidence 609 ("Rule 609") and should be barred under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(c) ("Rule 37(c)"). Redmond also argues that such evidence is inadmissible under Rule 403 and Rule 404(b). However, Redmond fails to identify which witnesses he is concerned about and fails to identify with any specificity what evidence concerning the prior bad acts of witnesses is the subject of the motion. Redmond's motion consists of nothing more than two sentences referring to Rule 609, Rule 37(c), and Rule 403. (R Mot. In Lim. 1: 1). Defendants correctly indicate that they cannot properly respond to such a vague motion. (Ans. R Mot. In Lim. 2: 1). Redmond must do more in a motion in limine than ask in general that Defendants comply with the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Therefore, we deny Redmond's motion in limine number 2.

C. Gang Affiliation and Tattoos (R Mot. In Lim. 3)

Redmond requests in his motion in limine number 3 that the court bar any introduction of evidence about gang affiliation or tattoos. Defendants indicate that this motion is moot since they are not going to present any such evidence at trial. (Ans. R Mot. In Lim. 3: 1). Therefore, we deny Redmond's motion in limine number 3 as moot.

D. Undisclosed Witnesses (R Mot. In Lim. 4)

Redmond requests in his motion in limine number 4 that the court bar Defendants from presenting any witnesses that Defendants have not identified during discovery. Redmond contends that Defendants have listed several witnesses on their witness list that were not properly identified during discovery. Defendants indicate that they cannot respond to this motion since Redmond has failed to indicate which witnesses he is referring to in his motion. (Ans. R Mot. In Lim. 4: 1). We agree. Redmond merely refers vaguely to "several witnesses" that were "not properly identified" during discovery. (R. Mot. In Lim. 4: 1). Redmond does not provide the names of the witnesses or explain why Redmond believes that they were not properly disclosed. Thus, Redmond has failed to carry his burden as a movant to show that he is entitled to the requested relief. Therefore, we deny Redmond's motion in limine number 4.

E. Exclusion of Irrelevant Topics (R Mot. In Lim. 5)

Redmond requests in his motion in limine number 5 that the court bar any reference to certain topics that Redmond contends are irrelevant. Specifically, Redmond asks the court to bar any evidence relating to: (1) his firing at his job with A&R Security, (2) his tax returns, (3) parking tickets he received and ...


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