United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Evansville Division
ORDER ON (1) DEFENDANTS' OBJECTION TO
PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED EXHIBIT LIST AND (2) PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION IN LIMINE
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE United States District Court Southern
District of Indiana
matter is before the Court on Defendants the City of
Evansville's and Zachary Elfreich's (collectively
“Defendants”) Objection to Plaintiff's
Amended Exhibit List (Filing No. 204) and Plaintiff Jamie
Becker's (“Mr. Becker”) Motion in Limine
regarding the testimony of witness Lacy Riddle (Filing No.
Court excludes evidence on a motion in limine only if the
evidence clearly is not admissible for any purpose. See
Hawthorne Partners v. AT&T Technologies, Inc., 831
F.Supp. 1398, 1400 (N.D. Ill. 1993). Unless evidence meets
this exacting standard, evidentiary rulings must be deferred
until trial so questions of foundation, relevancy, and
prejudice may be resolved in context. Id. at
1400-01. Moreover, denial of a motion in limine does not
necessarily mean that all evidence contemplated by the motion
is admissible; rather, it only means that, at the pretrial
stage, the Court is unable to determine whether the evidence
should be excluded. Id. at 1401.
Defendants' Objection to Plaintiff's Amended Exhibit
Defendants object to Mr. Becker's Amended Exhibit List,
Filing No. 200, asserting that Exhibits 100, 101, and 102
were not previously disclosed and are irrelevant to the
issues for trial. The Defendants argue that these exhibits,
previously unidentified standard operating procedures of the
Evansville Police Department (“EDP”), are not
relevant because the issue for the jury to decide is whether
Defendant Elfreich used reasonable force, not whether less
lethal force was available or should have been used.
100 and 101, EPD's standard operating procedures for
“Flash/Bang Device” and “Swat/Hostage
Negotiating Teams, ” are not relevant to the issues for
trial and were not timely disclosed. Therefore, the Court
sustains Defendants' objection to these exhibits.
102, EPD's standard operating procedure for
“Warrant Service Matrix, ” may be relevant to the
issues for trial, but it appear that this exhibit was not
timely disclosed. The Court takes this objection under
advisement, and Mr. Becker is given until 3:00 p.m.
Evansville time on Monday, November 28, 2016, to file a
response to the Defendants' objection to Exhibit 102. Mr.
Becker should explain why Exhibit 102 was not timely
disclosed and how the exhibit is relevant for trial.
Defendants object to Mr. Becker's Exhibit 103,
“Summary of Plaintiff's medical expenses and
medical expenses, ” arguing that it “is not
admissible as it does not accurately reflect the amounts, if
any, that Plaintiff paid for said medical bills, the amounts,
if any, marked down by the medical provider, and the amounts,
if any, paid by insurance or government funding, thus further
reducing said medical bills.” (Filing No. 204 at 2.)
The Defendants may challenge this exhibit during cross
examination. Accordingly, this is a proper argument to be
made to the jury to reduce any damages amount, not to exclude
the exhibit, and thus, the Court overrules
Defendants' objection to this exhibit.
Mr. Becker's Motion in Limine
Motion in Limine, Mr. Becker asks the Court to limit the
testimony of witness Lacy Riddle (“Ms. Riddle”),
who is listed on Defendants' trial witness list. Ms.
Riddle, the sister of Mr. Becker, was recently deposed by
Defendants, and she testified regarding Mr. Becker's
prior acts of violence against family members, Mr.
Becker's alcohol use, and Mr. Becker's mother's
fear of Mr. Becker. During her deposition, Ms. Riddle
acknowledged that she did not convey any of this information
to Defendant Elfreich prior to the March 11, 2011 incident at
issue for trial.
Becker asserts that this information is highly prejudicial
and irrelevant because Defendant Elfreich did not know of the
information at the time of the incident. Mr. Becker asks that
the Court order the “Defendants not inquire, through
the testimony of Lacy Riddle, regarding a) any acts of
violence by the Plaintiff directed at her, her mother, or her
husband, b) her mother's alleged fear of the Plaintiff,
and c) the Plaintiff's alleged abuse of alcohol, until
such time as the relevance and admissibility of such
testimony is demonstrated to the Court outside the presence
of the jury.” (Filing No. 208 at 1-2.)
this information could be unfairly prejudicial to Mr. Becker
and may not be relevant to the issues at trial, the Court
GRANTS Mr. Becker's Motion in Limine
(Filing No. 208). The Defendants are ordered to refrain from
eliciting any testimony from Ms. Riddle regarding any prior
acts of violence by Mr. Becker against Ms. Riddle, Ms.
Riddle's husband, or Mr. Becker's mother; Mr.
Becker's mother's alleged fear of Mr. Becker; and Mr.
Becker's alleged abuse of alcohol unless the Defendants
first establish relevancy and admissibility of such testimony
outside the presence of the jury.