The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge
COURT'S RULING ON SUPPLEMENTAL MOTIONS IN LIMINE Date: September 17, 2010 Time: 1:30 p.m. Place: Courtroom 3 TRIAL DATE: September 23, 2010
On September 17, 2010, Plaintiff ROBERT CARSON, by and through his attorney of record, Thornton Davidson, and Defendants CITY OF FRESNO et al., by and through their attorney of record, Rosemary McGuire, appeared for a duly noticed hearing to argue the Plaintiff's Supplemental Motions in Limine. After hearing arguments of counsel and considering all facts and law applicable to these matters, the Court rules as follows:
A. Job Loss because of Drug Use Evidence
This motion is granted and such evidence will not be introduced or admitted.
B. Drug Abuse Evidence Generally
Granted in part and denied in part, as provided herein:
To the extent the plaintiff says his coins were long-ago acquired, before he ever used drugs, there would not be a foundation to admit evidence of drug abuse unless there is some evidence from some admissible source that Plaintiff was using drugs at the time. If, on the other hand, the Defense can show Plaintiff was doing drugs, in an FRE sec. 104 hearing, while Plaintiff was buying, selling, or trading the coins, then such evidence would be admissible.
The evidence about Plaintiff's admitted prior use as of December 1, 2006, and the fact
Plaintiff was "coming off" drugs is relevant and admissible. The reference to methamphetamine as a reason for the 911 call is also admissible because it describes the background of the interaction and the purpose for the contact as well as the Officers' conduct.
On the issue of memory, the relationship to drug usage is admissible so long as there is some link between a relevant memory and the coins that are gone. The issue here is Plaintiff's long-term memory, in being able to know, to describe and to understand what coins where are, how many, what quality, what value, etc. In other words, whether Plaintiff was remembering when he was under the influence of drugs, what he did five years ago, ten years ago, three years ago, that doesn't matter as of the date of the incident with the police, what's his level of acuity and mental function to know what's there in the safe at the house. And so that's the seminal time to judge the effect of the drugs on his consciousness and awareness.
An additional inquiry that could be made is: If Plaintiff was using drugs, and based on that,
Plaintiff told us that he gets confused, that he's not always fully conscious -- fully conscious of what's happening, and therefore he wouldn't be in a position to know. But beyond asking
Plaintiff whether during the period of time he was acquiring coins or storing or collecting them, he had any memory lapses or unexplained period while he was under the influence of drug, there is really no ...