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Perry v. Lewis

August 11, 2010

DANIELLE N. PERRY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DAVID LEWIS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY Chief U.S. District Judge

OPINION

This case is before the court for ruling on the Motions in Limine filed by the parties. This court has carefully reviewed the arguments of the parties. Following this careful and thorough review, this court rules as follows: (1) the Motion in Limine (#52) filed by Defendant David Lewis is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part; and (2) the Motion in Limine (#54) filed by Plaintiff Danielle N. Perry is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

I. STANDARD

The "motion in limine is an important tool available to the trial judge to ensure the expeditious and evenhanded management of the trial proceedings." Jonasson v. Lutheran Child & Family Servs., 115 F.3d 436, 440 (7th Cir. 1997). A motion in limine "performs a gatekeeping function and permits the trial judge to eliminate from further consideration evidentiary submissions that clearly ought not be presented to the jury because they clearly would be inadmissible for any purpose." Jonasson, 115 F.3d at 440. Therefore, the moving party bears the burden of establishing that the evidence is not admissible for any purpose. Hillard v. City of Chicago, 2010 WL 1664941, at *1 (N.D. Ill. 2010). Unless this high standard is met, rulings on evidentiary matters must be deferred until trial so that issues of foundation, relevance and prejudice my be resolved in the proper context. Hillard, 2010 WL 1664941, at *1; see also Jonasson, 115 F.3d at 440.

II. DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE

On July 15, 2010, Defendant filed his Motion in Limine (#52). On July 29, 2010, Plaintiff filed her Response to Defendant Lewis' Motion in Limine (#56).

Defendant first requested an order excluding any facts and opinions or grounds for any facts and opinions held by any expert witness not disclosed by Plaintiff. Plaintiff did not object to this request and it is GRANTED.

For his second request, Defendant sought an order excluding any evidence or reference regarding his convictions of four counts of attempted official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor, or regarding any of the other 49 criminal counts that either ended in dismissal or acquittal in People v. Lewis, Vermilion County, Illinois, Case No. 2007 CF 230. Plaintiff did not object to this request and it is GRANTED.

For his third and fourth requests, Defendant sought an order excluding evidence of "[a]ny acts committed by Lewis that constitute uncharged crimes" and an order excluding evidence of "[a]ny instances in which plaintiff claims Lewis engaged in unwanted touching of another person, whether of a sexual nature or otherwise; any instances in which Lewis directed lewd or boorish language at another person, including but not limited to language of a sexual nature; any instances of Lewis exposing himself to another person; any instances of Lewis showing nude photographs of himself to another person; and any instances of Lewis engaging in sex acts with another person."

Plaintiff has objected to these requests. Plaintiff argued that Defendant did not adequately specify the evidence he is asking this court to exclude. Plaintiff also stated that she intends to present testimony that Lewis had a history of preying upon women who worked for or were patrons of the Playpen Gentlemen's Club. Plaintiff set out a summary of the evidence she intends to present and argued that this evidence is relevant to show that Defendant "had the motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, and/or knowledge to commit the asserted constitutional deprivation and sexual battery." Plaintiff also argued that the proposed evidence involved actions committed within the three years prior to the incident alleged, while Defendant was a patrolman for the Village of Belgium. Plaintiff therefore argued that the evidence is not too remote in time and should be allowed.

This court agrees with Plaintiff that Defendant has not met his burden to show that the evidence he is seeking to exclude is "inadmissible for any purpose." See Hillard, 2010 WL 1664941, at *3. Accordingly, Defendant's third and fourth requests are DENIED.

III. PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE

On July 15, 2010, Plaintiff filed her Motion in Limine (#54). On August 2, 2010, Defendant filed his Objections to Plaintiff's Motion in Limine (#57).

Plaintiff's first request is to bar any reference to Plaintiff's seeking to file a criminal complaint against any patron of the Playpen Gentlemen's Club who acted inappropriately, other than David Lewis. Defendant objects, arguing that Plaintiff did not identify what, if any, criminal complaints she has made against other patrons, nor has she provided any legal basis or reasoning as to why criminal complaints she has made against other patrons should be ruled inadmissible. The court agrees with Defendant as Plaintiff has not stated with specificity what other complaints are out ...


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