United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
J. Lodge United States District Judge
the Court in the above entitled matter are: Plaintiff's
Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. 35); (2) Defendant's
Motions in Limine #1 through #15 (Dkt. 34); and (3)
Plaintiff's First Motions in Limine (Dkt. 33). The
parties have filed responsive briefing and the motions are
now ripe for the Court's consideration.
fully reviewed the record herein, the Court finds that the
facts and legal arguments are adequately presented in the
briefs and record. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding
further delay, and because the Court conclusively finds that
the decisional process would not be significantly aided by
oral argument, the motions shall be decided on the record
before this Court without oral argument.
filed her Complaint against Defendant on August 10, 2015.
(Dkt. 1-2). Originally, she brought claims of sexual
discrimination and retaliation under Title VII and the Idaho
Human Rights. Id. On September 20, 2017, the Court
granted summary judgment on Plaintiff's sexual
discrimination claims preserving for trial only the claims of
retaliation. (Dkt. 28). In doing so, the Court considered the
specific allegations Ms. Limary made in support of both her
sexual discrimination and retaliation claims and determined
whether the record on summary judgment supported either of
now seeks reconsideration of a small aspect of that summary
judgment decision. In addition, both parties have filed
motions in limine to help clarify certain evidentiary issues
in advance of trial.
Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. 35)
asks the Court to reconsider that part of the Court's
September 20, 2017 Memorandum Decision and Order stating that
Plaintiff cannot rely upon her transfer to the night shift as
evidence in support of her retaliation claim. (Dkt. 35) The
Ms. Limary was transferred to night shift in January 2013 and
her first protected activity did not occur until February
2013 when she reported Mr. Tolbert to HR….
Accordingly, Ms. Limary's transfer to the evening shift
could not have been a retaliatory adverse employment action
and she cannot rely upon this fact to support her retaliation
(Dkt. 28, p. 14.)
to Rule 54(b), the Court has broad discretion to reconsider
its summary judgment order. “[A]ny order or other
decision, however designated, that adjudicates fewer than all
the claims . . . may be revised at any time before entry of a
judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b).
general rule regarding the power of a district court to
rescind an interlocutory order is as follows: ‘As long
as a district court has jurisdiction over the case, then it
possesses the inherent procedural power to reconsider,
rescind, or modify an interlocutory order for cause seen by
it to be sufficient.'” City of Los Angeles,
Harbor Div. v. Santa Monica Baykeeper, 254 F.3d 882, 885
(9th Cir. 2001) (quoting Melancon v. Texaco, Inc.,
659 F.2d 551, 553 (5th Cir.1981)).
Court grants Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration and
clarifies that its factual findings on summary judgment were
based on the record before the Court at that time and are
limited to the summary judgment motion. However, the legal
conclusions are unchanged: Plaintiff may proceed with her
retaliation claims. At trial, Plaintiff is not precluded from
putting on evidence concerning her transfer to the night
shift and the parties can argue to the jury whether that
evidence supports her retaliation claims.
Motions in Limine
Order sets forth the Court's views on the matters raised
in the Motions and is intended to give the parties direction
on those evidentiary issues to assist in their trial
preparation. The Court's ruling stated herein is
preliminary and may be subject to revision upon consideration
of a particular evidentiary issue presented within the
context of the trial.
Standard of Review
motion in limine is a procedural mechanism to limit in
advance testimony or evidence in a particular area.”
Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, 735 F.3d 1158,
1162 n. 4 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting United States v.
Heller, 551 F.3d 1108, 1111 (9th Cir. 2009)). Stated
differently, a motion in limine is used “to exclude
anticipated prejudicial evidence before the evidence is
actually offered” Luce v. United States, 469
U.S. 38, 40 n. 2 (1984). “Motions in limine are
well-established devices that streamline trials and settle
evidentiary disputes in advance, so that trials are not
interrupted mid-course for the consideration of lengthy and
complex evidentiary issues.” United States v.
Tokash, 282 F.3d 962, 968 (7th Cir. 2002). Although not
expressly authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
or the Federal Rules of Evidence, district courts have
inherent authority to consider motions in limine to manage
the course of trials. Luce, 469 U.S. at 41 n.4;
Ohler v. United States, 529 U.S. 753, 758 n. 3
(2000) (Motions in limine are a well-recognized judicial
practice authorized under case law.).
of a motion in limine does not mean that all evidence
contemplated by the motion will be admitted at trial.
Instead, denial of such a motion simply means the Court is
unable to determine whether the evidence should be excluded
outside of the trial context. At trial, the parties may
object to the offering of evidence even though such evidence
was the subject of the Court's ruling on a motion in
limine. Where a motion in limine is granted, however, the
parties are precluded from arguing, discussing, or offering
the particular evidence that the Court has ordered to be
excluded unless the Court rules otherwise during the course
of the trial.
judges are afforded “wide discretion” in
determining whether evidence is relevant. United States
v. Alvarez, 358 F.3d 1194, 1205 (9th Cir. 2004)
(citation omitted). Because “[a]n in limine order
precluding the admission of evidence or testimony is an
evidentiary ruling, ” United States v.
Komisaruk, 885 F.2d 490, 493 (9th Cir. 1989) (citation
omitted) “a district court has discretion in ruling on
a motion in limine.” United States v. Ravel,
930 F.2d 721, 726 (9th Cir. 1991) (citing Komisaruk,
supra). In exercising that discretion, however,
courts must be careful not to resolve factual disputes or to
weigh evidence when ruling on a motion in limine. C &
E Servs., Inc. v. Ashland Inc., 539 F.Supp.2d 316, 323
(D.D.C. 2008) (“[A] motion in limine should not be used
to resolve factual disputes or weigh evidence.”). To
exclude evidence on a motion in limine “the evidence
must be inadmissible on all potential grounds.”
Ind. Ins. Co. v. Gen. Elec. Co., 326 F.Supp.2d 844,
846 (N.D. Ohio 2004) (citing Luce, 469 U.S. 38, 41
n. 4). “Unless evidence meets this high standard,
evidentiary rulings should be deferred until trial so that
questions of foundation, relevancy and potential prejudice
may be resolved in proper context.” Hawthorne
Partners v. AT & T Tech., Inc., 831 F.Supp. 1398,
1400 (N.D. Ill. 1993).
Defendant's Motions in Limine #1 through #15 (Dkt.
Testimony and/or Evidence of Sexual Discrimination
motion is denied. Defendant seeks an order precluding all
evidence or testimony concerning sexual discrimination as a
general rule at trial. The Court dismissed these claims.
However, Plaintiff is proceeding to trial on her retaliation
claims, which are based on her complaint of sexual
discrimination. Therefore, the Court cannot issue a blanket
ruling disallowing all evidence of sexual discrimination. The
discrimination complaints provide the context for the
retaliation claim. Accordingly, Plaintiff must be permitted
to provide some explanation for the reasons she ...