United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE NOS.
1 AND 2 RE: DKT. NOS. 76, 77
MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge
Court set a deadline of March 16, 2017 for the parties to
file motions in limine in anticipation of the May 15, 2017
trial that is scheduled in this action. See Am. Case
Management Order (“Am. CMO”), Dkt. No. 50.
Plaintiff William Klamut did not file any motions in limine;
however, pending before the Court are two motions in limine
filed by Defendants. Mot. No. 1, Dkt. No. 76; Mot. No. 2,
Dkt. No. 77. Having considered the parties' arguments
(when provided), the record in this case, and the relevant
legal authority, the Court GRANTS both Motions.
Motion in Limine No. 1
move to prohibit Plaintiff from presenting any evidence in
the form of an expert opinion, including but not limited to
(1) “the use of force or other action tactics by law
enforcement officers”; (2) the cause or explanation for
Plaintiff's psychotic behavior; (3) the cause of any
injury suffered by Plaintiff; or (4) Plaintiff's current
physical and psychological medical conditions, including
symptoms or causes. Mot. No. 1 at 1. Plaintiff filed no
opposition to this Motion.
Rule of Evidence 702 governs the admissibility of expert
witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill,
experience, training, or education may testify in the form of
an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Rule of Civil Procedure 26 requires parties to
“disclose to the other parties the identity of any
witness it may use at trial to present evidence under Federal
Rule of Evidence 702, 703, or 705.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(a)(2)(A). “Rule 37(c)(1) gives teeth to these
requirements by forbidding the use at trial of any
information required to be disclosed by Rule 26(a) that is
not properly disclosed.” Yeti by Molly, Ltd. v.
Deckers Outdoor Corp., 259 F.3d 1101, 1106 (9th Cir.
2001); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(c)(1) (“If a
party fails to provide information or identify a witness as
required by Rule 26(a) or (e), the party is not allowed to
use that information or witness to supply evidence . . . at a
trial, unless the failure was substantially justified or is
harmless.”). Rule 37(c) is an “automatic sanction
[that] provides a strong inducement for disclosure of
material that the disclosing party would expect to use as
evidence . . . at a trial[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37 advisory
committee notes (1993 amendments).
Court's initial Case Management Order required the
parties to disclose expert witnesses by July 22, 2016. CMO at
1, Dkt. No. 34; see Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2)(D)
(parties must make expert “disclosures at the times and
in the sequence that the court orders.”). Plaintiff did
not disclose any expert witnesses. Defendants argue he
therefore cannot offer any expert testimony about any issues
that require scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge.
Mot. No. 1 at 2. “Excluding expert evidence as a
sanction for failure to disclose expert witnesses in a timely
fashion is automatic and mandatory unless the party can show
the violation is either justified or harmless.”
Humboldt Baykeeper v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 2010 WL
2179900, at *1 (N.D. Cal. May 27, 2010) (quoting Carson
Harbor Vill., Ltd. v. Unocal Corp., 2003 WL 22038700, *2
(C.D. Cal. 2003). Plaintiff makes no attempt to argue his
failure to disclose expert witnesses was justified or
harmless. See Yeti by Molly, 259 F.3d at 1107
(“Implicit in Rule 37(c)(1) is that the burden is on
the party facing sanctions to prove harmlessness.”).
Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion in
Limine No. 1.
Motion in Limine No. 2
move to exclude testimony or evidence regarding
Plaintiff's medical or other special damages on the
ground that Plaintiff did not timely disclose such damages as