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Lundberg v. County of Humboldt

April 4, 2005

VERNELL LUNDBERG, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Illston United States District Judge

FINAL PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER

On March 29, 2005, the Court held a final pretrial conference for the retrial of the above captioned matter, which is set for jury trial beginning April 12, 2005. All parties were represented by counsel. The following matters were reaffirmed or, where newly disputed, resolved:

1. Number of jurors and challenges: There shall be a jury of 8 members. Each side shall have up to four peremptory challenges.

2. Voir dire: The court will conduct general voir, and the parties have been granted up to 1-1/2 hours for each side to question the panel during voir dire. No questionnaires will be used. Before any questioning begins, counsel for each side may give an abbreviated opening statement, up to 15 minutes per side, describing the issues in the case; no physical evidence or demonstrative exhibits may be shown to the venire during these statements.

3. Trial exhibits: No later than April 11, 2005, the parties shall submit their trial exhibits, in binders with numbered tabs separating and identifying each exhibit. The court shall be provided with three sets (for the court, the file and the witness) and each side shall provide one set for the other side. To the extent that original documents are to be used as exhibits in the case, they should be included in the set of exhibits for the court.

4. Timing of trial: The parties have estimated that the trial should take approximately 8 days. Accordingly, each side shall have 45 minutes for opening statements; each side shall have up to 14 hours total for presentation of evidence, which includes direct and cross-examination and presentation of all exhibits; and each side shall have up to 1 hour for closing argument.

5. Trial schedule: Jury trials are generally conducted Monday through Thursday; jury trials are generally not conducted on Fridays, although deliberating juries are free to deliberate on Fridays. The trial day runs from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., with a 15 minute break at about 10:00 a.m. and about 12:00 noon, all times approximate.

6. Plaintiffs' motions in limine and objections to witnesses and evidence: Plaintiffs have renewed all of their previous motions in limine and objections to witnesses and evidence. The Court leaves its prior rulings undisturbed but considers the following two motions, which plaintiffs have expressly renewed.

(1) Plaintiffs' request for the Court to reconsider its prior exclusion of a letter from Attorney General Dan Lungren regarding the use of pepper spray is DENIED.

(2) Plaintiffs' request for the Court to reconsider its prior ruling excluding allegations of maltreatment of forest protesters, including plaintiffs, after their arrests by Humboldt County Sheriff's deputies. The Court did not previously rule on the admissibility of this information, but rather granted a prior motion by defendants to exclude evidence regarding "[t]he length or condition of plaintiffs' detention following the subject incidents," see Defs.' Mot. In Limine #15 (Attachment to Defs.' Mots.), based on the parties' stipulation dismissing plaintiffs' unlawful detention claims. The Court rules, as it did earlier, that evidence regarding the length of detention is excluded, but considers evidence regarding any maltreatment of plaintiffs after arrest to be different and it may be relevant and admissible in this trial. Accordingly, this motion is GRANTED without prejudice to specific objections at time of trial.

Plaintiffs bring three new motions in limine. (1) Plaintiffs' motion to exclude the testimony of Rhonda Pellegrini on the "danger" posed by the protesters is DENIED.

(2) Plaintiffs' motion to exclude the testimony of David Dubay regarding the use of pepper spray is DENIED.

(3) Plaintiffs' motion to exclude the testimony of Marvin Kirkpatrick or any defense witness regarding the 1998 POST standards on the use of pepper spray is DENIED.

7. Defendants' Motions in Limine: Defendants renew all previous motions in limine. The Court reaffirms its prior rulings on these motions. Defendants bring the following new motions, which the Court PARTIALLY ...


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