Name of Assigned Judge Blanche M. Manning Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge
The plaintiffs' motion in limine #6 [86-1] is granted in part and denied in part as detailed below.
O [ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.
The plaintiffs have filed a motion in limine to bar questions of witness Chandra Wells on the following subjects: (1) prior arrests and convictions; (2) past drug use; (3) reliance on food stamps and public aid; (4) alcohol abuse or rehabilitation; (5) whether she saw Harold McCadd use drugs in his home; (6) whether Harold's sister barred his friends from his home and locked the basement and side doors in response to the February 18, 2009, search of the home; (7) Harold McCadd's drinking habits; (8) Wells' opinions of Harold McCadd, including that he is a "con artist;" (9) Wells' employment history; and (10) Wells' marital history, her children, and their fathers.
The defendants respond that they do not intend to question Wells about topics 1 through 5, 9, or 10, so the motion to bar questions on those topics is granted.
In response to topic 7, the defendants state that they intend to question Wells only about whether Harold McCadd drank the day of the first search of his home (January 23, 2009) or the second search and arrest (February 18, 2009). The plaintiffs concede that questions about Harold McCadd's use of alcohol on those days would be appropriate and so, with that limitation in place, the motion to bar is denied.
What remains are the motion to bar questions about steps Harold's sister took to bar his friends from his house, and Wells' opinion that Harold is a con artist.
During her deposition, Chandra Wells testified that Harold's friends no longer hang out with him at his home because after the February 18, 2009, search of his home, his sister put locks on several doors and forbade Harold's friends from entering the home. The plaintiffs contend that such evidence is irrelevant and unduly prejudicial, but develop no argument and cite no authority in support. The defendants respond that such evidence is relevant to the issue of damages because during his deposition, Harold claimed that his life has changed for the worse because his friends now look down upon him and many no longer visit him as a result of the allegedly illegal search and false arrest. See McCadd Deposition (attached as Exhibit A to Defendant's Response [88-1] at 123-25 (testifying that a "lot of things have changed and affect how people approach me because of this stigma that has been put on" him and that only a few of his friends still call on him).
Wells' testimony would be relevant to the issue of damages because it would support the defendants' contention that Harold's friends no longer come around because of his sister, not because the defendants' conduct has saddled him with a bad reputation. Accordingly, the motion to bar such testimony on ...