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Hunter v. Ormond

March 15, 2011

HUNTER
v.
ORMOND, ET AL.



Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge George W. Lindberg than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLEDOCKET ENTRY TEXT

Defendants have withdrawn motions in limine 5, 11, and 14 [docket ## 107, 113, 116]. Defendants' motions in limine 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 15 [docket ## 103, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 117] are granted. Defendants' motions in limine 2 and 3 [docket ## 104, 105] are granted in part and denied in part. Defendants' motions in limine 12, 13, 16, 17, and 18 [docket ## 114, 115, 118, 119, 120] are denied.

O [ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

STATEMENT

Before the Court are defendants' eighteen motions in limine. A motion in limine should not be granted unless the evidence is "inadmissible on all potential grounds." Kiswani v. Phoenix Sec. Agency, Inc., 247 F.R.D. 554, 557 (N.D. Ill. 2008). Denial of a motion in limine does not mean that the evidence challenged in the motion will be admitted, but rather that the court cannot determine prior to trial whether the evidence should be excluded. McClain v. Anchor Packing Co., No. 89 C 6226, 1996 WL 164385, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 3, 1996). Rulings on motions in limine are "subject to change when the case unfolds . . . Indeed even if nothing unexpected happens at trial, the district judge is free, in the exercise of sound judicial discretion, to alter a previous in limine ruling." Luce v. U.S., 469 U.S. 38, 41-42 (1984).

Defendants' motion in limine #1

Defendants seek to bar evidence, testimony, or argument of prior citizen complaints and/or other prior or current lawsuits for alleged police misconduct. Plaintiff appears to agree that such evidence should not be introduced at trial, and therefore the motion is granted. The Court notes that although plaintiff suggests in his response to this motion that defendants should agree not to elicit evidence relating to plaintiff's criminal record, plaintiff has not filed a motion in limine regarding his criminal record.

Defendants' motion in limine #2

Defendants seek to exclude non-party witnesses from the courtroom during opening statements and testimony, pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 615. The motion is granted as to the request to exclude non-party witnesses during the testimony of other witnesses. The motion is denied as to the request to exclude witnesses from the courtroom during opening statements, since Rule 615 only governs the portion of trial when testimony is being heard. See Fed. R. Evid. 615 ("At the request of a party the court shall order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses").

Defendants' motion in limine #3

Defendants seek to bar evidence regarding a police "code of silence," "a blue wall," or a police cover-up. The motion is granted as to generalized evidence of a police "code of silence," "blue wall," or police cover-up. See Maldonado v. Stinar, No. 08 C 1954, 2010 WL 3075680, at *4 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 5, 2010). To the extent that plaintiff may attempt to elicit specific evidence of bias, the motion is denied, without prejudice to the assertion of an objection on this ground at trial, in response to specific evidence.

Defendants' motion in limine #4

Defendants seek to bar plaintiff from mentioning incidents of police misconduct that are unrelated to the events and individuals involved in this case. The Court agrees that evidence of unrelated incidents of police misconduct has minimal ...


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