United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Shannon
Spreckelmeyer's (“Spreckelmeyer”) Motion in
Limine (Filing No. 57) and Defendant Indiana State
Police Department's (“ISP”) Motion in
Limine (Filing No. 64) to exclude certain evidence
and testimony at trial. Spreckelmeyer's claim against ISP
for sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 is set for a jury trial scheduled to begin on
February 6, 2017. Spreckelmeyer asks the Court to exclude
evidence regarding post-employment and mitigation income as
well as the EEOC dismissal and notice of right to sue. ISP
asks the Court to exclude evidence that falls within thirteen
specific categories. For the following reasons,
Spreckelmeyer's Motion in Limine is granted, and
ISP's Motion in Limine is granted in part and
denied in part.
have broad discretion in ruling on evidentiary questions
during trial or before on motions in limine.”
Jenkins v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 316 F.3d 663, 664
(7th Cir. 2002). The 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.
party has requested an order in limine to prohibit
the introduction of certain testimony and evidence at trial.
The Court will address the parties' Motions in turn.
Spreckelmeyer's Motion in Limine
first asserts that evidence of Spreckelmeyer's
post-employment and mitigation income should not be presented
to the jury because this evidence is irrelevant, prejudicial,
and confusing to the jury because the equitable remedy of
back pay is a determination of the Court. See Pals v.
Schepel Buick & GMC Truck, Inc., 220 F.3d 495,
500-01 (7th Cir. 2000).
to Spreckelmeyer's Motion in Limine, ISP notes
that it “has no objection to precluding evidence
regarding Spreckelmeyer's post-employment and mitigation
income as it is also ISP's position that Spreckelmeyer
should be precluded from presenting any evidence related to
the award of back or front pay until such a time that a
determination has been made as to liability.”
(Filing No. 73 at 1.)
Spreckelmeyer asserts that evidence of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission's (“EEOC”)
“Notice of Dismissal and Right to Sue” following
Spreckelmeyer's EEOC charge of discrimination should be
excluded from trial because such evidence is not relevant and
would be substantially and unfairly prejudicial to her case.
The introduction of such evidence could lead the jury to
improperly believe that a determination regarding the claims
already has been made. In support of her argument,
Spreckelmeyer points to Lewis v. City of Chicago,
563 F.Supp.2d 905, 919-20 (7th Cir. 2008); Tulloss v.
Near North Montessori Sch., Inc., 776 F.2d 150, 153-54
(7th Cir. 1985); and Latham v. Department of Children and
Youth Services, 172 F.3d 786, 791-92 (11th Cir. 1999)
(exclusion of EEOC determination is proper in jury trials).
In response to this argument, ISP explains that it “has
no objection to precluding evidence regarding the EEOC notice
of dismissal and right to sue.” (Filing No. 73 at
arguments are well-taken, and thus, based on the case law
provided by Spreckelmeyer and ISP's lack of objection to
the exclusion of such evidence, the Court
GRANTS Spreckelmeyer's Motion in
Limine to exclude evidence regarding
Spreckelmeyer's post-employment and mitigation income and
the EEOC's Notice of Dismissal and Right to Sue.
ISP's Motion in Limine
requests an order in limine covering thirteen
categories of testimony and evidence.