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Farris v. Kurr

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 16, 2019

KENNETH B. FARRIS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
SUSAN KURR, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          HON. REONA J. DALY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Kenneth Farris brings this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Robinson Correctional Center (“Robinson”). Farris alleges he suffers permanent paralysis of his right arm and right leg and, as a result, is confined to a wheelchair and requires assistance to perform activities of daily living. While at Robinson, Farris contends he was not provided with an assistant or otherwise accommodated in order to perform his activities of daily living. Following a ruling on Defendants' motions for summary judgment, Plaintiff is proceeding on the following claims:

Count One: Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act against the IDOC.
Count Two: Violation of the Rehabilitation Act against the IDOC.
Count Three: Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against Kerr and Wampler.
Count Four: Eighth Amendment unconstitutional conditions of confinement claim against Kerr and Wampler.

         Before the Court are the motions in limine filed by Plaintiff and Defendants (Docs. 124, 125, 131, and 132). The Court has reviewed the motions and the responses thereto, and sets forth its rulings as follows:

         Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #1 (Doc. 124)

         Plaintiff seeks to bar testimony disputing that he did not have an ADA attendant. Plaintiff contends that he testified under oath at his deposition that he was never provided with an ADA attendant and no party or witness has provided any documentation or other evidence that demonstrates an attendant was assigned. Plaintiff asserts Defendants have previously disputed that Plaintiff was not provided with an ADA attendant on the following bases: (1) in 2015, Robinson “did not always assign a specific inmate to be a wheelchair-bound inmate's attendant, as Robinson allowed individuals to ask one of the other 100 inmates on their wing to help them with their wheelchair”; and (2) IDOC “does not currently have any records that show whether or not Plaintiff was assigned an ADA attendant.”

         Plaintiff asserts it is improper and impermissible for IDOC to suggest it could delegate its obligations under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, and ignore a doctor's order requiring assignment of an ADA attendant. Plaintiff also contends it is improper and impermissible for Defendants IDOC and Kerr to rely on the absence of documentary evidence to controvert Plaintiff's testimony that he was not provided with an ADA attendant.

         The Court takes this matter UNDER ADVISEMENT. It is not apparent that the testimony Defendants may seek to elicit is hearsay, irrelevant, or inadmissible for any other purpose. The Court will issue a final ruling when it is clear whether and how Defendants may introduce such testimony or evidence.

         Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #2 (Doc. 125)

         Plaintiff seeks to bar testimony or evidence of Plaintiff's criminal history. Plaintiff asserts such evidence is neither relevant nor admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 609, and unfairly prejudicial under Rule 403. Defendants oppose Plaintiff's motion, asserting they intend to offer evidence of Plaintiff's prior convictions under Rule 609.

         Federal Rule of Evidence 609(a)(1)(A) provides that evidence of a criminal conviction (punishable by death or by imprisonment of more than one year) may be admitted for the purposes of attacking a witness's character for truthfulness. This provision is subject to Federal Rule of Evidence 403, which states that “[t]he court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more of the following: unfair ...


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