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Valtierra v. City of Los Angeles

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 13, 2015

SARA VALTIERRA ET AL.
v.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES ET AL

Page 1191

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Not Present.

Attorneys for Defendants: Not Present.

OPINION

Page 1192

Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS): PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF DECEDENT'S CRIMINAL HISTORY AND PRIOR CONTACTS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT (dkt. 31, filed Feb. 26, 2015) PLAINTIFFS' MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE GANG EVIDENCE (dkt. 32, field Feb. 26, 2015). DEFENDANTS' MOTION IN LIMINE TO EXCLUDE CERTAIN OPINION TESTIMONY FROM PLAINTIFFS' EXPERT ROGER CLARK (dkt. 30, filed Feb. 23, 2015)

I. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND

The present action arises out of the death of Javier Arrazola, Jr. (" decedent" ), allegedly as the result of the use of excessive force against him by several peace officers employed by the Los Angeles Police Department (" LAPD" ). On October 11, 2013, decedent's parents, plaintiffs Sara Valtierra and Javier Arrazola, filed this action individually and in their capacity as heirs and successors in interest to decedent against the City of Los Angeles and Does 1-10. Dkt. 1. Plaintiffs subsequently filed the operative first amended complaint (" FAC" ) on July 1, 2014, adding as named defendants LAPD Officers Charles Wunder, Helene Noriega-Godoy, Lisa Tagg, and Matthew Whitelaw. Dkt. 19.

The FAC alleges the following claims: (1) unreasonable search and seizure -- detention and arrest, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) unreasonable search and seizure -- excessive force, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (3) unreasonable search and seizure -- denial of medical care, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (4) deprivation

Page 1193

of substantive due process, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (5) municipal liability for unconstitutional custom, practice, or policy, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (6) false arrest/false imprisonment; (7) battery (wrongful death); and (8) negligence (wrongful death). Id. Plaintiffs seek, inter alia, wrongful death and survival damages. Id.

Trial in this matter is currently scheduled to commence on April 28, 2015. Defendants filed one motion in limine on February 23, 2015, dkt. 30, and plaintiffs filed two motions in limine on February 26, 2015, dkts. 31, 32. Plaintiffs filed an opposition to defendants' motion on March 2, 2015, dkt. 42, and defendants filed oppositions to plaintiffs' motions on March 9. 2015, dkt. 45. The Court held a haring on April 13, 2015. Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Decedent's Criminal History and Prior Contacts with Law Enforcement

Pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence 401, 402, 403, and 404, plaintiffs seek to exclude all evidence of decedent's criminal history--including arrests, convictions, detentions, and any probation status--as well as decedent's prior contacts with law enforcement. Pls.' Mot. Exclude Crim. History at 2. Plaintiffs assert that this history is ...


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