Name of Assigned Judge Amy J. St. Eve Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge
The Court grants in part, denies in part, and denies in part without prejudice Plaintiffs' motion in limine #3 .
O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.
In their motion in limine #3 (R. 65), Plaintiffs seek to bar evidence of their own and their witnesses' criminal histories, including both arrests and convictions. The Court grants in part, denies in part, and denies in part without prejudice Plaintiffs' motion. Courtroom Deputy KF
Plaintiffs seek to bar evidence of the following individuals' prior arrests: Plaintiff Monroe,*fn1 Plaintiff Marlin Anderson, and witnesses Latoya Curry, Marvin Anderson, and Mario Anderson.*fn2 Since Defendants agree that they will not introduce evidence of Plaintiffs' prior arrests, the motion is moot as to the Plaintiffs. As to the witnesses, Plaintiffs have not provided sufficient information about the arrests to allow the Court to rule. Plaintiffs' motion suggests that Defendants are seeking, at the very least, to introduce Ms. Curry's arrest records. Plaintiffs do not, however, provide argument as to why the Court should exclude those arrest records. Although arrests that have not led to convictions are "classic candidates for exclusion" under Rule 404(b), see Gregory v. Oliver, No. 00 C 5984, 2003 WL 1860270, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 9, 2003), arrests are not automatically excluded. The Court denies without prejudice Plaintiffs' motion as it applies to the witnesses' arrests. If Defendants determine that they wish to introduce any evidence of -- or cross examine these witnesses on -- their prior arrests, they must first advise the Court out of the presence of the jury so that the Court may rule on the admissibility of the evidence or the propriety of the cross-examination.
Under Rule 609(a)(1), the Court may admit evidence of a witness's prior felony conviction to impeach the credibility of that witness only after it has balanced the probative value of the evidence against the risk of unfair prejudice to the witness. Fed. R. Evid. 609(a)(1). Even though evidence may be relevant, courts may still exclude it if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. Romanelli v. Suliene, 615 F.3d 847, 854 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court enjoys broad discretion in making this determination. Jenkins v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 316 F.3d 663, 664 (7th Cir. 2002).
A. Plaintiff Monroe's Misdemeanor DUI
Plaintiff Monroe was apparently convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in February 2004, for which he received a sentence of supervision. Defendants acknowledge that misdemeanor convictions are inadmissible under Rule 609 to attack a plaintiff's character for truthfulness, see Fed. R. Evid. 609(a); see also Serafinn v. Local 722, 597 F.3d 908, 915-16 (7th Cir. 2010), and agree that they will not seek to introduce evidence of Plaintiff Monroe's misdemeanor conviction for this purpose. If Defendants wish to introduce evidence of Plaintiff ...