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Garcia v. City of Santa Clara

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 21, 2017

DANIEL C. GARCIA, Plaintiff,
CITY OF SANTA CLARA, et al., Defendants.


         INSTRUCTION NO. 1

         Members of the Jury: Now that you have heard all of the evidence and the arguments of the attorneys, it is my duty to instruct you on the law that applies to this case. A copy of these instructions will be sent to the jury room for you to consult during your deliberations.

         It is your duty to find the facts from all the evidence in the case. To those facts you will apply the law as I give it to you. You must follow the law as I give it to you whether you agree with it or not. And you must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices, or sympathy. That means that you must decide the case solely on the evidence before you. You will recall that you took an oath to do so.

         Please do not read into these instructions or anything that I may say or do or have said or done that I have an opinion regarding the evidence or what your verdict should be.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 2

         When a party has the burden of proving any claim by a preponderance of the evidence, it means you must be persuaded by the evidence that the claim is more probably true than not true.

         You should base your decision on all of the evidence, regardless of which party presented it.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 3

         The evidence you are to consider in deciding what the facts are consists of:

1. the sworn testimony of any witness;
2. the exhibits that are admitted into evidence;
3. any facts to which the lawyers have agreed; and
4. any facts that I have instructed you to accept as proved.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 4

         In reaching your verdict, you may consider only the testimony and exhibits received into evidence. Certain things are not evidence, and you may not consider them in deciding what the facts are. I will list them for you:

1. Arguments and statements by lawyers are not evidence. The lawyers are not witnesses. What they may have said in their opening statements, closing arguments and at other times is intended to help you interpret the evidence, but it is not evidence. If the facts as you remember them differ from the way the lawyers have stated them, your memory of them controls.
2. Questions and objections by lawyers are not evidence. Attorneys have a duty to their clients to object when they believe a question is improper under the rules of evidence. You should not be influenced by the objection or by the court's ruling on it.
3. Testimony that is excluded or stricken, or that you have been instructed to disregard, is not evidence and must not be considered. In addition some evidence was received only for a limited purpose; when I have instructed you to consider certain evidence only for a limited purpose, you must do so and you may not consider that evidence for any other purpose.
4. Anything you may have seen or heard when the court was not in session is not evidence. You are to decide the case solely on the evidence received at the trial.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 5

         Some evidence was admitted only for a limited purpose. When I instructed you that an item of evidence has been admitted only for a limited purpose, you must consider it only for that limited purpose and not for any other purpose.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 6

         Evidence may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness personally saw or heard or did. Circumstantial evidence is proof of one or more facts from which you could find another fact. You should consider both kinds of evidence. The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. It is for you to decide how much weight to give to any evidence.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 7

         Certain charts and summaries not admitted into evidence have been shown to you in order to help explain the contents of books, records, documents, or other evidence in the case. Charts and summaries are only as good as the underlying evidence that supports them. You should, therefore, give them only such weight as you think the underlying evidence deserves.

         INSTRUCTION NO. 8

         In deciding the facts in this case, you may have to decide which testimony to believe and which testimony not to believe. You may believe everything a witness says, or part of it, or none of it.

         In considering the testimony of any witness, you may take into account:

(1) the opportunity and ability of the witness to see or hear or know the things testified to;
(2) the witness's memory;
(3) the witness's manner while testifying;
(4) the witness's interest in the outcome of the case, if any;
(5) the witness's bias or prejudice, if any;
(6) whether other evidence contradicted the witness's testimony;
(7) the reasonableness of the witness's testimony in light of all the evidence; and
(8) any other factors that bear on believability.

         Sometimes a witness may say something that is not consistent with something else he or she said. Sometimes different witnesses will give different versions of what happened. People often forget things or make mistakes in what they remember. Also, two people may see the same event but remember it differently. You may consider these differences, but do not decide that testimony is untrue just because it differs from other testimony.

         However, if you decide that a witness has deliberately testified untruthfully about something important, you may choose not to believe anything that witness said. On the other hand, if you think the witness testified untruthfully about some things but told the truth about others, you may accept the part you think is true and ignore the rest.

         The weight of the evidence as to a fact does not necessarily depend on the number of witnesses who testify. What is important is how believable the witnesses were, and ...

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