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Thompson v. Hamp

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

April 18, 2017

MICHAEL THOMPSON PLAINTIFF
v.
CALVIN HAMP, in his Individual Capacity, JAMES JONES, in his Individual Capacity, and UNKNOWN DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          NEAL B. BIGGERS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the court are several motions in limine filed by the parties in the above-entitled action. Upon due consideration of the motions, responses, and applicable authority, the court is ready to rule.

         Standard for Motion in Limine

         “The purpose of a motion in limine is to allow the trial court to rule in advance of trial on the admissibility and relevance of certain forecasted evidence, ” but “[e]vidence should not be excluded in limine unless it is clearly inadmissible on all potential grounds.” Harkness v. Bauhaus U.S.A., Inc., 2015 WL 631512, at *1 (N.D. Miss. Feb. 13, 2015). But, where a motion in limine has been denied, that “does not necessarily mean that all evidence contemplated by the motion will be admitted at trial.” Gonzalez v. City of Three Rivers, 2013 WL 1150003, at *1 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 8, 2013). Rather, “[d]enial merely means that without the context of trial, the court is unable to determine whether the evidence in question should be excluded.” Id. To that end, “an order denying a motion does not relieve a party from making an objection at trial, ” because “the [c]ourt's ruling on a motion in limine is not a definitive ruling on the admissibility of evidence.” Cassidian Communications, Inc. v. Microdata GIS, Inc., 2013 WL 11322510, at *1 (E.D. Tex. Dec. 3, 2013).

         Discussion

         Defendants' Motions in Limine

         The Defendants have put forth six motions in limine for the court to consider. Each will be considered in turn.

         1. Defendants' first motion in limine is to exclude plaintiff's evidence of lost income pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence 401-403, and 802. Additionally, the defendants claim any evidence of lost income put forth by the plaintiff is irrelevant because the lost income derives from a job plaintiff was not able to secure two years after the incident in question. Defendants also claim plaintiff did not provide income tax records as requested in discovery. The court finds that a ruling on this issue should be reserved for trial and addressed if or when it arises. Thus, this motion will be denied at this time and carried forward to trial.

         2. Defendants' second motion in limine is to exclude any news media references offered as evidence by the plaintiff pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence 403 and 802. The court finds this argument persuasive as news media qualifies as hearsay, and the probative value of the evidence is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. This motion will, therefore, be granted, and any evidence of news media coverage referencing this matter is barred.

         3. The third motion in limine seeks to bar the plaintiff from introducing evidence of rising blood pressure associated with this incident based on Federal Rules of Evidence 403, 701-703, and 802. The court finds this argument persuasive; therefore, this motion will be granted.

         4. Defendant Hamp's fourth motion in limine seeks to bar the plaintiff from alluding to Defendant Hamp's official capacity as sheriff so as to prevent introducing an impermissible “respondeat superior” argument. The court finds that this matter should be reserved for trial. Thus, this motion will be denied at this time and carried forward to trial.

         5. Defendants' fifth motion in limine seeks to exclude testimony in accordance with this court's February 17, 2017 order and opinion ruling on the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The defendants move the court to bar the plaintiff from introducing evidence of claims which the court dismissed in said order and opinion, specifically evidence of a conspiracy to arrest the plaintiff, testimony supporting the previously dismissed First Amendment claim, and the plaintiff's state law claims. The court finds that this evidence should be excluded; thus, the defendants' motion will be granted.

         6. The defendants' final motion in limine seeks to exclude entrapment arguments which the defendants anticipate will be made by the plaintiff. Defendants argue that entrapment is derived from statutory grounds, not constitutional grounds; thus, entrapment cannot form the basis of a civil constitutional claim. Stokes v. Gann, 498 F.3d 483, 484 (5th Cir. Miss. 2007). Defendants also argue that Federal Rules of Evidence 402, 403, and 701 exclude the entrapment argument. The court finds that this matter should be carried forward to trial; thus, it will be denied at this time.

         Plaintiff's ...


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