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Kim Brown On Behalf of Patrick Walker, A Minor v. Officer Keith Irvin

August 30, 2011

KIM BROWN ON BEHALF OF PATRICK WALKER, A MINOR PLAINTIFFS,
v.
OFFICER KEITH IRVIN, AND THE CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Blanche M. Manning

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

In advance of the upcoming trial in this matter, the parties have filed a number of motions seeking pretrial rulings on the admissibility of evidence and raising other pretrial issues. The court addresses each motion in turn.

DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE

1. Motion to Remove Kim Brown as a Party [107-1]

The defendants ask the court to remove Kim Brown as a plaintiff. Originally, Brown filed suit on behalf of her minor son, Patrick Walker, who has alleged claims of excessive force and battery based upon conduct of defendant officer Keith Irvin. Walker is now no longer a minor and therefore, the defendants contend, Kim Brown's presence is unnecessary because she was uninvolved in any of the conduct alleged in the complaint.

The plaintiffs admit that Walker is no longer a minor, but state that Brown should nevertheless remain as a party because her "interest was viable from the inception of the cause of action when Patrick was a minor and it certainly persists up and until Patrick reached his majority." Response [130-1] at 2.

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 17(b), a minor's next friend has the capacity to sue on behalf of the minor. Walker is no longer a minor and, therefore, Brown no longer has capacity to sue on his behalf. See Vargas v. City of Chicago, No. 09 CV 7916, 2011 WL 3101770, at 81 n.1 (N.D. Ill. July 21, 2011) (removing mother as next friend after daughter had attained age of majority).

Accordingly, the defendants' motion in limine #1 is granted. The clerk is directed to remove Kim Brown from the docket and to designate Patrick Walker as suing in his individual capacity. The court shall henceforth refer to only plaintiff Walker.

2. Motion to Exclude Witnesses from the Courtroom [108-1]

The defendants ask the court to exclude from the courtroom all witnesses except the parties while other witnesses are testifying. Walker does not object and, therefore, the motion is granted.

3. Motion to Bar Evidence or Argument that the City of Chicago May Indemnify Defendant Irvin or that City of Chicago is Paying for the Defense of this Case [109-1]

The defendants ask the court to bar any evidence or argument that the City of Chicago (a) may indemnify defendant Irvin or that (2) it is paying for his defense.

Walker does not object to barring evidence of indemnification and, therefore, that portion of the motion is granted.

Walker objects to barring evidence that the City of Chicago is paying the defense costs because "the jury may not be prejudiced by any insinuation regarding payment of attorney fees." Response [132-1] at 4. However, Walker has failed to address the more fundamental issue of how such evidence would be relevant and have thereby forfeited any argument that the evidence is relevant. See White Eagle Cooperative Ass'n v. Conner, 553 F.3d 467, 476 n.6 (7th Cir. 2009) (undeveloped arguments unsupported by citations to authority are forfeited).

Because Walker has forfeited any argument about the relevance of evidence the City of Chicago is paying to defend Irvin, the motion to bar such evidence is granted.

4. Motion to Bar Evidence of Civilian Complaints, Lawsuits, Arrests, and Disciplinary History ...


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