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Baskin v. Farrell

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

August 16, 2018

DELLIS MICHAEL BASKIN, Plaintiff,
v.
SERGEANT TRENT FERRELL and CITY OF FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, Defendants

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Paul R. Cherry Magistrate Judge

         These matters are before the Court on the Plaintiff's Motion in Limine [DE 100] filed August 9, 2018, by Plaintiff Dellis M. Baskin, by counsel, and the Defendants' Second Motion in Limine [DE 101] filed August 9, 2018, by Defendants Trent Ferrell and the City of Fort Wayne, by counsel.

         The Court has also considered the Defendants' Response to Plaintiff's Motion in Limine [DE 104] filed August 15, 2018, and the Response in Opposition to Defendants' Second Motion in Limine [DE 105] filed August 15, 2018. No. Replies were permitted.

         In determination of these issues the Court FINDS and ORDERS:

         Federal Rule of Evidence 104 provides, in part: “Preliminary questions concerning admissibility of evidence shall be determined by the Court.” Motions in Limine to exclude evidence prior to trial are subject to a rigorous standard of review by the trial court. Courts may bar evidence in limine “only when evidence is clearly inadmissible on all potential grounds.” Dartey v. Ford Motor Co., 104 F.Supp.2d 1017, 1020 (N.D. Ind. 2000) (quoting Hawthorne Partners v. AT&T Tech., 831 F.Supp. 1398, 1400 (N.D. Ill. 1993). If evidence does not meet this standard, ”the evidentiary rulings should be deferred until trial so that questions of foundation, relevance, and potential prejudice may be resolved in proper context.” Id. (quoting Hawthorne, 831 F.Supp. at 1400). Often, the “better practice is to deal with questions of admissibility of evidence as they arise, presenting the issues in a specific context, rather than excluding broad categories of evidence prior to trial.” United States v. Phillips, No. 1:12-CR-872, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79916* 5-6 (N.D. Ill. June 12, 2014).

         A court's rulings in limine are preliminary in nature and subject to change. In this Order the Court is not making final determination on the admissibility of evidence. The Court reserves the right to change these rulings during the trial should the Court find that the evidence or arguments at trial justify such change.

         PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE

         1. Defendants' financial ability or inability to pay a judgment.

         GRANTED. (No objection made by the Defendants).

         2. Potential indemnification by the City of Fort Wayne to Sgt. Trent Ferrell in the event of a judgment against him.

         GRANTED. (No objection made by the Defendants).

         3. The City of Fort Wayne's source(s) of revenue with which it may pay a judgment in the event of a judgment.

         GRANTED. (No objection made by the Defendants).

         4. Dellis Baskin's criminal history.

         PARTIALLY GRANTED AND PARTIALLY DENIED. By way of guidance, such evidence will be allowed for the purpose of impeachment of Dellis Baskin's testimony at trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 609 and otherwise if he or his attorneys open the door.

         5. Dellis Baskin's arrest incidents, incarcerations, and interactions with law enforcement officers on other occasions.

         GRANTED. However, by way of guidance, such testimony and arguments will be permitted if Dellis Baskin ...


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