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LePage v. County of Napa

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division

September 26, 2019

RENEE MARIE LEPAGE, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF NAPA, et al., Defendants.

          FINAL PRETRIAL ORDER

          Laurel Beeler United States Magistrate Judge.

         The court held a final pretrial conference on September 26, 2019. The court issues the following pretrial order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(e).

         1. Trial Date and Length of Trial

         A. The jury trial will begin on October 15, 2019, in Courtroom B, 15th Floor, U.S. District Court, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California. The trial will last up to three days (with opening statements and witness testimony to be completed during the first two days and closing arguments on the day or a third day). The trial will be held Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. (or slightly longer to finish a witness) and will include two fifteen-minute breaks. Counsel must arrive at 8:15 a.m. to address any issues (such as objections) before the trial day begins. Once the jury begins deliberations, it usually stays past 2:00 p.m. Also, Tuesday may run the full day and will include jury selection, opening statements, and two or three witnesses, as the day permits.

         B. Each side will have four hours per side for direct examination of its witnesses and to cross examine the other side’s witnesses, including all objections raised during the trial day. In addition, each side may have up to 30 minutes for an opening statement and 45 minutes for a closing argument.

         2. Procedures During Trial; Exhibit and Witness Lists; Witnesses

         The parties should refer to the court’s May 19, 2017 Pretrial Order[1] for the court’s procedures regarding the presentation of exhibits, depositions, and witness testimony during trial. In particular, the court reminds the parties of its procedures for using deposition excerpts.[2]

         The parties will call the witnesses on their separate witness lists. As discussed at the pretrial conference, if the parties identify the same witnesses, the defendant will examine the witnesses when the plaintiff calls them (as opposed to recalling them).

         3. Claims, Defenses, and Relief Sought

         3.1 Plaintiff’s Claims

         Plaintiff Renee LePage asserts that defendant Tim Reid used excessive force against her in the vestibule area outside a courtroom at the Napa County courthouse. Ms. LePage has the following claims:

1. a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim for excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment (against Deputy Reid);
2. a state-law battery claim (against all defendants);
3. a state-law negligence claim (against all defendants); and
4. a claim for excessive force for violation of the Bane Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 52.1 (against all defendants).

Ms. LePage claims that Defendants County of Napa and the Napa County Sheriff’s Department are vicariously liable on her state-law claims (but not her Section 1983 claim) for defendant Reid’s wrongful acts.

         3.2 Defendant’s Defenses

         Defendant Tim Reid denies that he used excessive force against Ms. LePage under the Fourth Amendment or was negligent in the manner he entered the courtroom vestibule in response to an emergency.

         3.3 Relief Sought

         Ms. LePage seeks damages for the following injuries, in an amount according to proof and that is fair, just, and reasonable:

1. Economic damages;
2. Non-economic damages;
3. Punitive damages against Defendant Reid; and
4. Attorney’s fees and costs.

         4. Stipulations

         The parties stipulate to the following facts.[3] The parties must prepare a document reflecting evidentiary stipulations (the first ten stipulations) in a format that can be read into the record and introduced as an exhibit.

1. County of Napa is and, at all relevant times was, a public entity, duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the State of California.
2. Defendant County of Napa Sheriff’s Department is a subdivision of Defendant County of Napa, which employs, manages, and supervises deputy sheriffs, who are law-enforcement officers.
3. Deputy Reid has been employed as a deputy sheriff with the County of Napa and the Napa County Sheriff’s Department since August 31, 2015.
4. Deputy Reid was acting under color of state law at all times relevant to this action.
5. Deputy Reid was acting within the course and scope of his employment at all times relevant to this action.
6. On the morning of December 1, 2015, Ms. LePage was lawfully and peacefully in Department E of the Napa County Superior Courthouse located at 1111 Third Street, Napa, California (“Courthouse”) for an unrelated case.
7. As Ms. LePage was exiting Courtroom E, she encountered Deputy Reid in the vestibule area between the courtroom and the public hallway.
8. The entrance to Courtroom E from the public hallway consists of one set of double doors that lead to a vestibule, followed by another set of double doors that lead to the courtroom.
9. There is an attorney conference room off of each side of the vestibule. Each conference room is accessed through a solid door.
10. At the time Deputy Reid encountered Ms. LePage, he was wearing his Department-issued bulletproof vest.

         The parties stipulate to the following regarding authenticity and admissibility.[4]

11. All documents produced in this case are presumptively authentic within the meaning of Federal Rule of Evidence 901. Nothing in this stipulation limits either party’s right to object to the authenticity of any particular document covered by this stipulation if evidence is proffered or introduced at trial indicating that the document may not in fact be authentic.
12. The following Trial Exhibits are presumed to be admissible “business records” under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(6): LePage0000024, LePage0000027, LePage0000030, LePage0000032, LePage0000041-42, LePage0000088, LePage0000090, LePage0000091, LePage0000096, LePage0000097, LePage0000098, LePage0000100, LePage0000151–83, LePage0000184–95, LePage0000210, LePage0000216, LePage0000223–24, LePage0000259, LePage0000461–68; LePage0000208–09, LePage0000701, LePage0000702–05. Nothing in this stipulation limits either party’s right to object to specific portions or ...

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