Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Maddox v. City of Sandpoint

United States District Court, D. Idaho

August 1, 2019

DANA MADDOX on behalf of D.M. and D.M., and RAYMOND FOSTER on behalf of H.F., minor children and heirs of JEANETTA RILEY, deceased, and SHANE RILEY, an heir of JEANETTA RILEY, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF SANDPOINT, a political subdivision of the State of Idaho, CITY OF SANDPOINT POLICE DEPARTMENT, a department of the City of Sandpoint, SKYLAR CARL ZIEGLER, in his individual and official capacity, MICHAEL HENRY VALENZUELA, in his individual and official capacity, COREY COON, in his individual and official capacity, JOHN or JANE DOE #1-10, and Employees of the Sandpoint Police Department, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge.

         Now before the Court are three motions in limine (Dkts. 120, 123, 124). The motions are fully briefed and at issue. Having reviewed the briefing, the Court enters the following order.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         There is no express authority for motions in limine in either the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Federal Rules of Evidence. Nevertheless, these motions are well recognized in practice and by case law. See, e.g., Ohler v. United States, 529 U.S. 753, 758 (2000). The key function of a motion in limine is to “exclude prejudicial evidence before the evidence is actually offered.” Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 40 (1984).

         ANALYSIS

         1. Defendants' Motions in Limine

         a. Uncontested Requests

         Plaintiff has stipulated to several of the requests in Defendants' first motion in limine: (1) an order precluding the plaintiff or plaintiff's lay witnesses from testifying as to legal conclusions, (2) an order precluding the plaintiff or plaintiff's lay witnesses from testifying as to the decedent's pregnancy, (3) an order precluding the plaintiff or the plaintiff's lay witnesses from rendering medical opinions and/or offering a medical conclusion, (4) an order precluding any reference or testimony regarding offers of settlement, judgment or compromise, (5) an order precluding any party from disclosing, mentioning or referencing the fact that the defendants are or may be covered by insurance, (6) an order allowing exhibits in opening statement, and (7) an order declaring that all non-party witnesses shall be excluded from the courtroom prior to their own testimony. Dkt. 120 at 2-7, Dkt. 128 at 2-5. Good cause appearing, the Court will therefore order the relief described above. The Court reminds the parties, however, that while its orders are directed at the Plaintiff, the orders will apply to both parties at trial: “what is good for the goose is good for the gander - or possibly more appropriate, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” Bright Harvest Sweet Potato Co., Inc. v. H. J. Heinz Co., L.P., No. 1:13-CV-00296-BLW, 2016 WL 552455, at *1 (D. Idaho Feb. 10, 2016) (Winmill, J.).

         b. Contested Requests

         Defendants request a variety of other orders from the Court, which Plaintiff contests: (1) an order in limine precluding plaintiff and plaintiff's lay witnesses from testifying as to the medical cause or source of physical manifestations claimed to be the result of infliction of emotional distress or the alleged events that make up the plaintiff's complaint, (2) an order in limine barring testimony from the plaintiff or the plaintiff's witnesses referencing or implying that the defendant officers were obligated to use the least amount of force necessary during this incident, (3) an order in limine precluding the plaintiff from presenting documents disclosed during discovery pertaining to, or included in, the defendant officers' personnel files and training records with the City of Sandpoint Police Department that are not documents of public record, and (4) an order in limine precluding plaintiff from calling John Callanan Jr. as a rebuttal witness, or from eliciting rebuttal testimony following the testimony of defendant's expert witness at trial. Dkt. 120 at 3-6. The Court will address each of these requests in turn.

         i. Medical Cause Opinions

         Defendants ask the Court to prevent the Plaintiff from testifying as to the “medical causation” or “prognosis” of his alleged emotional distress. Dkt. 120 at 5-6. As the Defendants point out, Mr. Riley is not a medical expert, and therefore cannot offer opinions about medical injuries. But Defendants' request is overbroad and their arguments-citing Idaho state law for support-are unconvincing.

         Although Federal Rule of Evidence 701 can sometimes bar a lay witness from offering opinion testimony regarding causation, it does not warrant the exclusion of all testimony from a witness relating to emotional distress. Defendants mistake a lay witness testifying from personal knowledge about his emotional distress, which Courts routinely allow, with opinion testimony concerning medical causation. See, e.g., Head v. Glacier Northwest, Inc., 413 F.3d 1053, 1062-63 (9th Cir.2005). Mr. Riley can certainly testify about his emotional state following the July 8, 2014 shooting and the circumstances surrounding it. Although Mr. Riley cannot hold himself out to be a medical expert, or offer medical opinions on causation, the Court will deny Defendants' request to the extent it would prevent Mr. Riley from discussing his emotional distress or his personal belief that it is tied to the shooting on July 8.

         ii. Use ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.