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STEPHEN SUSINKA v. KENT SMITH

November 29, 2010

STEPHEN SUSINKA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KENT SMITH, MANUEL VILLAFUERTE, ) BRANDON O'CONNOR, AND ANTONIO EMERY, DEFENDANTS.



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

E-FILED

01:16:35 PM

OPINION

This case is before the court for ruling on the Motions in Limine (#76, #77, #78) filed by Defendants, Kent Smith, Manuel Villafuerte, Brandon O'Connor and Antonio Emery. Plaintiff, Stephen Susinka, has filed a Response to Defendants' Motion in Limine #3 (#88). Following this court's careful and thorough review of the arguments of the parties and the case law cited, this court rules as follows: (1) Defendants' Motion in Limine #1 (#76) is GRANTED; (2) Defendants' Motion in Limine #2 (#77) is GRANTED; and (3) Defendants' Motion in Limine #3 (#78) is DENIED.

ANALYSIS

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.

II. DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE

A. MOTION IN LIMINE #1

Defendants are seeking an order from this court precluding any evidence, argument or reference regarding any Defendant's indemnification by the County of Kankakee. Defendants noted that courts, including the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, generally prohibit juries from learning that defendants in Section 1983 suits are indemnified. See Lawson v. Trowbridge, 153 F.3d 368, 379 (7th Cir. 1998). Defendants also asked that Plaintiff be precluded from referring to Defendants' attorneys as the "County Attorneys" or "Jail Attorneys" as any such references would invite the inference that the County is paying for the defense.

Plaintiff has not filed an objection to this Motion and this court concludes that Defendants' request is reasonable and supported by the applicable case law. Accordingly, Defendants' Motion in Limine #1 (#76) is GRANTED.

B. MOTION IN LIMINE #2

Defendants are seeking an order from this court precluding any evidence, argument or reference regarding unrelated litigation involving Defendants. Defendants argue that any such evidence is not relevant to any issue in this case and, alternatively, should be excluded because the probative value of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading the jury or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence. See Fed. R. Evid. 403.

Plaintiff has not filed an objection to this Motion and this court concludes that Defendants have adequately shown that such evidence should not be allowed. Therefore, ...


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