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Banks-Reed v. Bay Area Rapid Transit

United States District Court, N.D. California

January 13, 2020

Yolanda Banks-Reed, et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Bay Area Rapid Transit, et al., Defendant.

          PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 1 RE: PRETRIAL CONFERENCE

          Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, United States District Court Judge.

         Having considered the filings to date and the arguments and other submissions at the Pretrial Conference, held on January 10, 2020, for good cause shown the Court enters the following orders. The parties should pay close attention to the filing deadlines as some may have been modified to account for the possibility of jury selection on January 31, 2020. Thus:

         1. Motion to Stay: Defendant Mateu filed a motion to stay this case pending the outcome of the appeal of this Court's November 15, 2019 order denying in part defendant's motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. 64.) In its order, the Court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment as to plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim, including on qualified immunity, because material factual disputes existed. “[F]or purposes of determining whether [] alleged conduct violates clearly established law of which a reasonable person would have known, [the Ninth Circuit] assume[s] the version of the material facts asserted by the non-moving party to be correct.” Schwenk v. Hartford, 204 F.3d 1187, 1195 (9th Cir. 2000). Here, taking as true plaintiffs' version of the material disputed facts-namely, that Mr. Tindle did not possess a gun and was attempting to surrender at the time of the shooting-defendant's position on appeal is legally frivolous. See Chuman v. Wright, 960 F.2d 104, 105 (9th Cir. 1992). The request for a stay is therefore denied.

         2. Trial Date and Schedule: The trial of this matter shall trail the trial of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation v. Adobe, Inc., 18-cv-1553 YGR. On January 24, 2020, the Court will advise the parties whether jury selection in the instant case will proceed on January 31, 2020. If not, on January 31, 2020, the Court will advise the parties whether jury selection will proceed on February 7, 2020. If not, on February 5, 2020, the Court will advise whether jury selection will proceed on February 10, 2020. If not, the Court sets a new trial date of March 2, 2020.

         3. Jury Selection shall begin at beginning at 9:00 a.m. All remaining trial days shall begin at 8:30 a.m. Counsel shall arrive in court early enough to proceed promptly at 8:00 a.m. Trial schedule will be Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with two fifteen-minute breaks. Additional time may be scheduled for matters outside the presence of the jury as necessary and determined by the Court. Sidebars are not permitted. Counsel should be prepared to anticipate issues so that they may be addressed outside of normal trial hours. In this regard, Counsel should also be prepared to reconvene with the Court after the Court's standing calendars which normally begin at 2:00 p.m.

         4. The parties shall each be afforded 14 hours to present their case, including opening statements and closing arguments. The parties shall receive daily timesheets advising of the time remaining. Any concerns must be raised immediately or will be waived. The Court shall note on the timesheets that plaintiffs reserve one hour for closing arguments.

         5. Standard Motions in Limine: The Court hereby orders that: (a) witnesses shall be excluded until testimony is completed; (b) there shall be no reference to or evidence presented of settlement discussions, mediation, or insurance; and (c) there shall be no reference to or evidence presented of wealth or lack thereof of any party except in the punitive damage phase of a case, to the extent it exists.

         A motion in limine refers “to any motion, whether made before or during trial, to exclude anticipated prejudicial evidence before the evidence is actually offered.” Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 40, n. 2 (1984).

         Plaintiffs filed, untimely, two motions in limine which the Court addresses herein.

         a. Motion to Exclude Unduly Prejudicial Evidence Unknown to Defendants (Dkt. 55)

         The Court addresses each of the two categories of evidence plaintiffs seek to exclude, namely:

• Evidence that Decedent TINDLE possessed and/or fired a gun during the incident to which Defendant Mateu responded, up to the point of Defendant Mateu's personal observations of Mr. TINDLE;[1] and
• Evidence pertaining to Decedent TINDLE's criminal history, alleged gang affiliation, and prior incarceration.

         With respect to the first category, plaintiff argues that because defendant Mateu concedes he had no such information, his conduct could not have been informed by such information and is therefore irrelevant and unduly prejudicial. In opposition, defendants rely on the seminal case of Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 399, n. 12, that ...


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