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Nick Woodall v. A. Raygoza

May 21, 2012

NICK WOODALL,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
A. RAYGOZA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lawrence J. O'Neill United States District Judge

ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE (DOCS. 127, 128, 129)

Plaintiff Nick Woodall ("Plaintiff") is a California state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This case is proceeding against Defendant A. Raygoza for deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment. This matter is set for jury trial on May 22, 2012.

On April 24, 2012, Defendant filed three motions in limine. Plaintiff filed his opposition on May 10, 2012. Defendant filed his reply on May 15, 2012. The matter is submitted pursuant to Local Rule 230(l).

I. Motion In Limine No. 1

Defendant Raygoza moves this Court for an order precluding any and all testimony, reference to testimony, or argument relating to the testimony at trial of any lay witness, including but not limited to Plaintiff, relating to the issue of diagnosis, causation, or prognosis of Plaintiff's alleged injuries caused by Defendant.

Plaintiff contends that the medical documents were previously admitted by Defendant as authentic. Plaintiff does not intend to provide opinions. He intends to introduce the documents as proof of his medical condition both before and after the incident. With regards to actual testimony, Plaintiff contends that T. Lawson, Jeffrey Inglett, and Plaintiff can all testify with regards to Plaintiff's statement that he has pain in his shoulder from being handcuffed.

Ruling: The motion is granted. Plaintiff cannot testify as to the cause of the pain if it requires providing expert testimony.

II. Motion In Limine No. 2

Defendant Raygoza moves this Court for an order, under Federal Rule of Evidence 615, restricting all of Plaintiff's non-party witnesses from entering the courtroom until called to testify. The motion is based upon the ground that Defendant anticipates that Plaintiff's witnesses will be testifying on similar matters, and therefore allowing one witness to hear the questions and answers of another will undermine Defendant's cross-examination of the witnesses.

Plaintiff files no opposition.

Ruling: The motion is granted.

III. Motion In Limine No. 3

Defendants move to exclude the following exhibits as evidence.

Exhibit No. 1 -- Plaintiff's Clemency Application, with Declaration of Rehabilitation, Signed by

T. Lawson and 94 Other CSP-COR Staff.

Defendant moves for exclusion contending that 1) the document is not relevant to any issue in this case, 2) it contains multiple levels of hearsay, 3) the probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading or unfairly inflaming the passions of the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence, and 4) the exhibit appears to be improper character evidence.

Plaintiff contends that it is relevant and bears on the truthfulness of Plaintiff. Plaintiff contends it may be needed to attack the credibility of a witness, and that evidence of character is central to the action. Plaintiff contends that witnesses can authenticate their own signature. Ruling: Exhibit precluded on hearsay grounds. Plaintiff may use the exhibit for impeachment to the extent that a witness denies authoring it.

Exhibit No. 2 - Murderer Apologizes Newspaper Article, Dated 7/13/07.

Defendant moves for exclusion contending that 1) the document is not relevant to any issue in this case, 2) it contains multiple levels of hearsay, 3) the probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading or unfairly inflaming the passions of the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence, and 4) the exhibit appears to be improper character evidence.

Plaintiff filed no opposition here.

Ruling: Exhibit precluded on hearsay grounds.

Exhibit No. 3-Laudatory Chronos Authored by CSP-COR Staff R. Borges, E. Crain, F.P. Field, III, B. J. Weaver, C. Arzola, M. T. Cisneros, S. Grandy, B. Cooke, G. Rangel, S. Escamilla.

Defendant moves for exclusion contending that 1) the document is not relevant to any issue in this case, 2) it contains multiple levels of hearsay, 3) the probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading or unfairly inflaming the passions of the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence, and 4) the exhibit appears to be improper character evidence.

Plaintiff contends it is relevant as to witness F. P. Field who authored one of the chronos, and relevant to Plaintiff's character. Plaintiff contends it may be needed to attack credibility of witness, and that evidence of character is central to action.

Ruling: Exhibit precluded on hearsay grounds. Plaintiff may use the exhibit for impeachment to the extent that a witness denies authoring it.

Exhibit No. 4-29 Work Supervisor Reports, CDC 101.

Defendant moves for exclusion contending that 1) the document is not relevant to any issue in this case, 2) it contains multiple levels of hearsay, 3) the probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading or unfairly inflaming the passions of the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence, and 4) the exhibit appears to be improper character evidence.

Plaintiff contends it is relevant as to witness F. P. Field, who signed 2-work supervisor reports (CDC-101), and relevant to Plaintiff's character. Plaintiff contends it may be needed to attack the credibility of a witness, and that evidence of character is central to action.

Ruling: Exhibit precluded on hearsay grounds. Plaintiff may use the exhibit for impeachment to the extent that a witness denies it, if that witness signed the report. Exhibit No. 13-Inglett's Medical Report of Injury or Unusual Occurrence, CDC 7219.

Defendant objects because 1) the medical report memorializes alleged injuries sustained by a non-party, 2) it is not relevant, 3) contains multiple layers of hearsay, 4) the probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of undue prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading or unfairly inflaming the passions of the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence, 5) the exhibit lacks proper foundation and authentication, and 6) the exhibit contains scientific, technical, or specialized evidence that requires explanation by qualified medical expert, and the Court has precluded Plaintiff from proffering expert medical testimony at trial.

Plaintiff contends that it is relevant to show: 1) the examination was cursory, and 2) reflects time and place of examination, namely that Inglett was in the clinic at the time attested. Plaintiff may also need to rebut an attack on witness's credibility with document.

Ruling: Exhibit precluded on hearsay grounds.

Exhibit No. 15-Physician's Orders, Waist Chain Chrono, Refer to Ortho 5/20/05.

Defendant objects because 1) it refers to events that pre-date the alleged facts and circumstances resulting in this lawsuit, 2) it is not relevant, ...


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