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Young v. Wolfe

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 14, 2017

JOHN YOUNG, Plaintiff,
v.
ARON WOLFE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE [312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320]

          HONORABLE RONALD S.W. LEW Senior U.S. District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Currently before the Court are Plaintiff John Young's (“Plaintiff”) Motions in Limine (“MIL”) Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11 [312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320] against Defendants Aron Wolfe, Christina Martinez, and Robert Ochoa (collectively, “Defendants”). Having reviewed all papers submitted pertaining to these Motions, the Court NOW FINDS AND RULES AS FOLLOWS:

1. The Court GRANTS IN PART, DENIES IN PART Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #1 [312].
2. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #2 [313].
3. The Court GRANTS IN PART, DENIES IN PART Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #3 [314].
4. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #5 [315].
5. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #6 [316].
6. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #7 [317].
7. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #9 [318].
8. The Court GRANTS IN PART, DENIES IN PART Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #10 [319].
9. The Court GRANTS IN PART, DENIES IN PART Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #11 [320].

         A. Plaintiff's Motion in Limine #1

         As an initial matter, Plaintiff seems to change and/or fails to specify what evidence he seeks to exclude in MIL #1. While Plaintiff names categories of evidence (all adverse character evidence including prior arrests, discipline history in jail or in prison, Plaintiff's rap lyrics, prior complaints Plaintiff has filed, and inmate appeals Plaintiff has lodged), he does not specifically state what evidence or testimony he seeks to exclude. Plaintiff then appears to focus only on excluding evidence of Plaintiff's and Plaintiff's witnesses' criminal history to attack their character. However, Plaintiff does not name which witness and what specific evidence he is seeking to exclude.

         Additionally, Plaintiff's MIL #3 and #10 also seek to exclude evidence of Plaintiff's prior convictions and arrests as well as Plaintiff's alleged prior criminal activity prior to the date of the incident. However, in Plaintiff's Reply, he states MIL #1 is not to exclude criminal convictions but instead seeks to exclude: 1) activities while in Plaintiff's present state of incarceration including disciplinary charges or infractions; 2) rap lyrics written by the Plaintiff; 3) Plaintiff had or having a “strike” or that Plaintiff was a member of a gang; 4) Plaintiff having made other complaints of misconduct; 5) Plaintiff having filed other civil actions; and 6) comments made on behavioral forms about Plaintiff. Plaintiff does not provide information as to specific disciplinary charges or rap lyrics he seeks to exclude.

         Evidence is relevant if “it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence, ” and “the fact is of consequence in determining the action.” Fed.R.Evid. 401. Evidence that is not relevant is inadmissible. Fed.R.Evid. 402. However, under Federal Rules of Evidence (“Fed. R. Evid.”) 403, the court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of unfair prejudice.

         The “Rule 403 weighing process is primarily for the district court to perform . . . and broad discretion [is] afforded them in balancing probative value against prejudice.” Longnecker v. General Motors Corp., 594 F.2d 1283, 1286 (9th Cir. 1979). In making this determination, the court must consider whether the prejudice is unfair. Unfair prejudice “means an undue tendency to suggest decision on an ...


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