United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
Jeffrey T. Gilbert, United Stares Magistrate Judge.
Motions in Limine  are granted in part, denied
in part, and remain under advisement in part. Defendants'
Motions in Limine  are granted in part, denied
in part, and remain under advisement in part. See Statement
below for further details.
Court's rulings on the parties' motions in
limine are as follows.
Plaintiffs Motions in Limine
Motion No. 1
first motion in limine seeks to bar Defendants from
"impeach[ing] testimony of [Plaintiff] with evidence of
any prior arrests or of any conviction over 10 years old, or
refer[ring] to such in any manner whatsoever." , at
1. Defendants object to this motion to the extent it would
preclude them from introducing evidence of Plaintiffs prior
arrests and convictions for the purposes of damages. ,
premise underlying Defendants' argument-that a plaintiff
who previously has been arrested will suffer less emotional
distress from a subsequent false arrest-has been questioned.
Belts v. City of Chicago, III, 784 F.Supp.2d 1020,
1025-27 (N.D. Ill. 2011). Nevertheless, courts have not
rejected this theory of relevance out of hand. See, e.g.,
Redmond v. City of Chicago, 2008 WL 539164, at *9 (N.D.
Ill. Feb. 26, 2008). Often, courts "have found that
'to be relevant, the arrests must be substantially
similar and the court must conduct a prejudice
analysis.'" Blackwell v. Kalinowski, 2011
WL 1557542, at *4 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 25, 2011) (quoting
Moore v. City of Chicago, 2008 WL 4549137, *1 (N.D.
Ill. Apr. 15, 2008)); see also Dyson v. Szarzynski,
2014 WL 7205591, at *5 (N.D. Ill.Dec. 18, 2014). Where the
parties have failed to present the Court with sufficient
information to assess the similarity of prior arrests and the
unfair prejudice that would result from admitting evidence of
them, courts have refused to rule in limine that
such evidence is admissible. See Dyson, 2014 WL
7205591, at *6 ("Neither party has presented the court
with a comprehensive list of Dyson's prior arrests, let
alone facts that might allow the court to differentiate
between these prior arrests."); Blackwell, 2011
WL 1557542, at *4 ("At this juncture, it is simply not
clear whether Blackwell's October 17, 2007 arrest
involves facts similar to his prior arrests.");
Maldonado v. Stinar, 2010 WL 3075680, at *6 (N.D.
Ill. Aug. 5, 2010) ("In this case. Defendants have not
demonstrated that any of Plaintiff s prior arrests involved
similar facts or circumstances. ... At the same time, it
would be highly prejudicial to Plaintiff to allow the jury to
hear this evidence."); Brandon v. Fill, of
Maywood, 179 F.Supp.2d 847, 855 (N.D. Ill. 2001)
("There is no indication that either of Mr. Parker's
previous arrests involved similar facts, so their probative
value is quite low.").
case, neither party has provided the Court sufficient
information to adequately determine the probative value of
evidence related to Plaintiffs prior arrests and convictions
that are more than 10-years-old or the unfair prejudice that
would result from admitting that evidence. No party has
identified for the Court what prior arrests and convictions
are at issue, when they occurred, what they were for, and
under what circumstances they occurred. Further, Defendants
have not explained how convictions, as distinguished from
arrests, are probative of the emotional distress suffered by
Plaintiff during the March 1, 2010 incident. Therefore,
Plaintiffs Motion in Limine No. 1 remains under
advisement. This matter will be addressed further at the
Motion No. 2
second motion in limine seeks to bar the impeachment
of any trial witness's testimony "with any arrest or
conviction that is more than 10 years old." , at 1.
Defendants do not object to this motion. , at 2.
Therefore, Plaintiffs Motion in Limine No. 2 is
Motion No. 3
third motion in limine seeks to bar all
"evidence of any prior hearing loss related to"
Plaintiff. , at 1. The only justification for this
motion that Plaintiff provides is Defendants' supposed
failure to offer expert testimony related to his prior
hearing loss. Id. Defendants object to this motion
and argue that they should be permitted to introduce medical
records that show Plaintiffs hearing loss was caused by
something other than the March 1, 2010
incident. To the extent such records exist, they
would seem to be relevant. Defendants, though, do not state
whether any such records exist but, instead, explain that
they received some of Plaintiff s medical records only
shortly before they filed their response brief The Court also
notes that the parties have stated at multiple status
hearings that, after that filing, Defendants obtained
additional medical records. In light of the production of
additional medical records, Plaintiffs Motion in
Limine No. 3 remains under advisement. This matter will
be addressed further at the pretrial conference.
Motion No. 4
fourth motion in limine seeks to bar "testimony
that [Plaintiffs] death was not related to injuries sustained
in the instant case" because "no expert testimony
has been offered as to such." , at 2. Defendants
object to this motion. , at 4. Defendants want to read a
stipulation to the jury stating that Plaintiff is deceased
and that his death is unrelated to his encounter with the
police on March 1, 2010. According to Defendants, Plaintiff
never has claimed that his death was related to this
encounter and there is no evidence, that they know of, that
indicates as much. For the reasons discussed with respect to
Defendants' Motions in Limine No. 21, Plaintiffs
fourth motion in limine is denied.
Motion No. 5
fifth motion in limine seeks to bar "Defendants
from raising any facts related to Plaintiff being assaulted,
attacked, or injured in any unrelated cases in his
lifetime." , at 2. Defendants object to this
motion, , at 7. According to Defendants, Plaintiff
complained to one of his doctors-who Defendants refer to only
as "Dr. Young"-about neck pain and Dr. Young found
Plaintiff actually did suffer from neck pain. Id.
Defendants say that Plaintiff previously was stabbed in the
neck and they want to be allowed to cross-examine Dr. Young
about whether Plaintiffs neck pain could have been caused by
the stabbing, instead of the March 1, 2010 incident involved
in this case. To the extent Plaintiff introduces evidence
that he suffered from neck pain, the evidence Defendants want
to elicit from Dr. Young on cross-examination could
be relevant. Therefore, Plaintiffs Motion in Limine
No. 5 is denied. See Mason v. City of Chicago, 631
F.Supp.2d 1052, 1055 (N.D, Ill. 2009) (explaining that
motions in limine to exclude evidence are only
granted where that evidence is inadmissible "on all
Motion No. 6
sixth motion in limine seeks to bar "Defendants
from raising that Plaintiff was involved in a medical
malpractice lawsuit in 1980 after sustaining injuries from a
stabbing." , at 2. Defendants do not object to this
motion. , at 7. Therefore, Plaintiffs Motion in
Limine No. 6 is granted.
Motion No. 7
seventh motion in limine seeks to bar
"Defendants from raising evidence or argument that any
of Plaintiffs medical treatment was unwarranted or unrelated
to the incident at bar, or from arguing that the medical
bills for such treatment were excessive and/or not paid or
covered by public aid." , at 2. As with many of
Plaintiff s motions, the only basis for this motion is the
"[l]ack of expert testimony." Id.
Defendants object to this motion, noting that they have not
yet reviewed all of the medical records and that medical
evidence is relevant only to the extent it is causally
connected to the March 1, 2010 incident. , at 7.
Defendants"' response did not address the issues
Plaintiff raised with respect to the excessiveness or
non-payment of medical bills, or whether Plaintiffs bills
were covered by public aid.
case, the Court starts from the proposition that the only
relevant medical evidence (whether of medical treatment,
diagnoses, or bills) is that which is causally related to the
March 1, 2010 incident. It appears that the parties agree
unrelated medical evidence should not be admitted. Neither
party, however, has provided enough information for the Court
to determine what evidence is or is not admissible. In
addition, because Plaintiffs motion and Defendants'
response do not flesh out the other issues raised by
Plaintiffs motion, the motion remains under advisement. This
matter will be addressed further at the pretrial conference.