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Punaofo Tsugito Tilei v. T. Wan

April 26, 2012

PUNAOFO TSUGITO TILEI,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
T. WAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTIONS IN LIMINE (Docs. 158, 159, 160)

On April 13, 2012, the parties filed their motions in limine. (Docs. 158, 159, 160) Plaintiff filed one motion (Doc. 160), which was not opposed and Defendants filed two motions (Docs. 158, 159), only one which was opposed. (Doc. 163) The motions were submitted without argument. L. R. 230(l).

Plaintiff's Motion in Limine

In his motion, Plaintiff argues that his felony convictions for attempted murder of a police officer and assault with a firearm should be excluded. (Doc. 163 at 2) Plaintiff argues that this evidence is entitled to little weight and would be highly prejudicial. Id. On the other hand, the very nature of Plaintiff's claim, that he suffered retaliation-including transfer to a different prison- reveals, and will reveal to the jury, the fact that Plaintiff has been convicted of a felony. Thus, for the Court, the question is not whether there will be prejudice caused by introducing the felony conviction 2 but whether the nature of the crimes for which was convicted would be overly prejudicial. 3

Federal Rules of Evidence 609(a) provides in relevant part,

The following rules apply to attacking a witness's character for truthfulness by evidence of a criminal conviction:

(1) for a crime that, in the convicting jurisdiction, was punishable by death or by imprisonment for more than one year, the evidence:

(A) must be admitted, subject to Rule 403, in a civil case or in a criminal case in which the witness is not a defendant; . . .

However, generally, a conviction will not be admitted if more than 10 years have passed since the time 9 the witness was released from confinement on the charge. However, the 10-year presumptive bar does not apply if the witness remains in custody for the charge. Nevertheless, in either situation, the conviction may not be admitted if its probative value is outweighed by its prejudicial effect. F.R.E. 609(b).

Here, Plaintiff continues to be in custody for the felony convictions at issue. Thus, the Federal Rules of Evidence 609 does not preclude introduction of this evidence. Notably, Defendants have not opposed the motion but indicated that they intended to introduce evidence of Plaintiff's felony convictions in the pretrial statement for purposes of impeachment. (Doc. 147 at 6, 12) The Court has no information that Defendants seek to introduce the nature of the underlying crimes.

Therefore, Plaintiff's motion (Doc. 160) is DENIED IN PART. Plaintiff's felony convictions, for which he is still in custody, may be admitted for impeachment purposes. However, Defendants SHALL NOT introduce any evidence related to the nature of these offenses without first raising this issue with the Court outside of the presence of the jury.

Defendants' Motions in Limine

A. Motion to exclude evidence related to dismissed claims

Defendants note that several of Plaintiff's claims have been dismissed. Thus, they move the Court to exclude evidence related to these dismissed claims. Plaintiff has not opposed this motion though Defendant argues that Plaintiff has identified specific claims ...


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