United States District Court, N.D. California
DANIEL C. GARCIA, Plaintiff,
CITY OF SANTA CLARA, et al., Defendants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
should base your decision on all of the evidence, regardless
of which party presented it.
evidence you are to consider in deciding what the facts are
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
considering the testimony of any witness, you may take into
(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
(5) the witness's bias or prejudice, if any;
(6) whether other evidence contradicted the witness's
(7) the reasonableness of the witness's testimony in
light of all the evidence; and
(8) any other factors that bear on believability.
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
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.
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 ...