IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
March 27, 2009
ALEX GILBERT, PLAINTIFF,
TIMOTHY COOK, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Proud, Magistrate Judge
Before the Court is plaintiff's motions in limine 5 and 6. (Doc. 164). Plaintiff seeks to limit the introduction of evidence and commentary regarding plaintiff's prior grievances and disciplinary record (except as related to the issues in this action); and to preclude the defendants from testifying in their correctional officer uniforms at trial. The defendants have filed a response. (Doc. 167). Regarding plaintiff's grievances and disciplinary history, the defendants object only insofar as to the extent they were aware of plaintiff's disciplinary history, they would like to testify to how it factored into their decisions to utilize force. With respect to the wearing of uniforms at trial, the defendants note that plaintiff has cited no controlling precedents and they question the possibility of prejudice to plaintiff, given that the jury will certainly be aware that plaintiff is a prisoner and they are prison guards because that is at the heart of the case.
Evidence and commentary regarding grievances unrelated to the incident at issue, or plaintiff's history of filing grievances, will be barred as irrelevant. Evidence and commentary regarding plaintiff's disciplinary history will be admitted only as known to each defendant, and only in general terms as it factored into each defendant's decisions regarding the use of force or how plaintiff was placed in his cell and uncuffed. The defendants should avoid unnecessary elaboration.
The defendants shall be permitted to wear their work uniforms if they so desire. The Court does not perceive any undue prejudice to plaintiff, as the jury will be well aware that plaintiff is an inmate and the defendants are prison guards. The Court expects that, as in every prisoner civil rights case that has ever been tried before the Court, the jury will be instructed that the parties are to be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the subject motion (Doc. 164) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART, as detailed above.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CLIFFORD J. PROUD U. S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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