United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
FURTHER ORDER REGARDING MOTIONS IN LIMINE RE: DKT.
NOS. 49, 71, 80, 81, 82, 89
M. Whyte United States District Judge
the pretrial conference in this matter, the court granted
defendants’ first, fifth, and seventh motions in limine
and allowed the parties to submit supplemental briefing
regarding defendants’ second, third, and sixth motions
in limine. Dkt. No. 71. Having reviewed the
parties’ supplemental submissions, the court amends its
rulings as follows.
Motion in Limine 2 to Exclude Outcome of Plaintiff’s
With Limiting Instruction. In her supplemental submissions,
plaintiff presents evidence that she incurred
attorneys’ fees to defend against criminal charges that
were later dismissed. See Dkt. No. 82 at 7-8, Dkt.
No. 83-2. Plaintiff argues that she should be able to discuss
the dismissal as part of her damages case. Defendants’
brief in opposition does not address this issue. Instead,
defendants submitted a limiting instruction that they argue
should be presented to the jury in the event that the court
allows plaintiff to discuss the dismissal of criminal
Ladies and gentlemen, you have heard testimony that the
criminal charges against Plaintiff arising out of her June
11, 2014, arrest were dismissed. Charges may be dismissed for
a variety of reasons that have no bearing on any issues that
you have to decide in this case.
Dkt. No. 80. Plaintiff does not oppose reading this
instruction to the jury. Dkt. No. 86. Accordingly, the court
will allow plaintiff to discuss the dismissal of criminal
charges against her and will provide the stipulated
supplemental instruction above to the jury.
Motion in Limine 3 to Exclude Evidence of Other Cases Brought
Against Defendant Deputies
Plaintiff argues that she should be able to discuss the case
of Hao v. Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office et
al.-a case in which a plaintiff had been falsely accused
of dental fraud-to show a pattern of misconduct by Deputy
Forest and the County’s failure to discipline him for
constitutional violations. Evidence of alleged police
misconduct may be admissible under Rule 404(b) if a four-part
test is satisfied:
(1) there must be sufficient proof for the jury to find that
the defendant committed the other act; (2) the other act must
not be too remote in time; (3) the other act must be
introduced to prove a material issue in the case; and (4) the
other act must, in some cases, be similar to the offense
Duran v. City of Maywood, 221 F.3d 1127, 1132-33
(9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted). “Even if all four
conditions are met, the evidence may still be excluded if
under Rule 403, the probative value of the evidence is
substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair
prejudice.” Id. at 1133.
Hao case fails the test for admissibility set forth
in Duran. Dr. Hao’s arrest occurred in 2007,
which was seven years before Dr. Chang’s arrest.
Moreover, while the County’s deliberate indifference to
the deputies’ alleged excessive use of force is a
material issue in the instant case, there is no indication
that Hao involved excessive force. The marginal
probative value of Hao to plaintiffs supervisory
liability claim is outweighed by the significant danger of
unfair prejudice under Rule 403. Reference to the
Hao suit could easily cause the jury to want to
punish Forest for actions unrelated to his contact with Dr.
Chang. Moreover, the considerable effort required to compare
and contrast Hao from the instant case would waste
the jury’s time with collateral issues.
Motion in Limine 5 to Exclude Reference to Forest’s
Phone Conversation En Route to Jail
Plaintiff has withdrawn her opposition to defendants’
motion concerning a cell phone call placed by Deputy Forest.
However, plaintiff argues that “the Court should
further issue an order excluding evidence of all events
subsequent to the unlawful use of force, except for evidence
of damages sustained due to the arrest, and Deputy
Forest’s “5150” statement in Dr.
Chang’s presence.” Dkt. No. 82 at 8. Plaintiffs
request is an untimely motion in limine and is denied. Even
if plaintiff s request were not procedurally defective, the
court would still deny it at least because plaintiff does not
specifically define when the allegedly unlawful use of force
concluded or what type of damages evidence would be
Motion in Limine 6 Regarding Forest’s ...