United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
September 1, 2005.
DIANE STACKHOUSE, Plaintiff
PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE and COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHRISTOPHER CONNER, District Judge
AND NOW, this 1st day of September, 2005, upon consideration of
defendants' motion in limine (Doc. 127) to exclude at trial
evidence of a discrimination charge filed with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") by one Major Kathryn
Doutt, a former employee of defendant Pennsylvania State Police,
and it appearing that the charge was never litigated but
voluntarily withdrawn (Doc. 46, Ex. 6 at 13, 19-25), see
Coleman v. Home Depot, Inc., 306 F.3d 1333, 1344-45 (3d Cir.
2002) (noting limited use of EEOC determination and committing
admission of same to discretion of trial court); Failla v. City
of Passaic, 146 F.3d 149, 150 (3d Cir. 1998) (same); Walton v.
Eaton Corp., 563 F.2d 66, 75 (3d Cir. 1977) (same), that the
charge was filed almost ten years before the events giving rise
to this case, see Jewett v. Int'l Tel. & Telegraph Corp.,
653 F.2d 89, 91-92 (3d Cir. 1981) (stating that plaintiff must show
more than isolated or sporadic acts of discrimination to
demonstrate continuing violation); Croker v. Boeing Co.,
662 F.2d 975, 990 (3d Cir. 1981) (stating that when alleged violation
does not occur within actionable period it is "an unfortunate event in history"
but not relevant to instant dispute); Fornicoia v. Haemonetics
Corp., 131 Fed. Appx. 867, 872 (3d Cir. 2005) (holding that
evidence of unrelated discrimination complaint filed two years
after alleged discriminatory act was too attenuated and unfairly
prejudicial), and that the charge was not filed by plaintiff and
involved parties not involved in the decisions at issue in this
case, see Pivirotto v. Innovative Sys., Inc., 191 F.3d 344,
359 (3d Cir. 1999) (stating that events involving parties
unrelated to the alleged act of discrimination "are rarely given
great weight, particularly if they were made temporally remote
from the date of the decision"), and the court finding that any
probative value of the charge is substantially outweighed by the
danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, and
misleading the jury, see FED. R. EVID. 403; see also id.
404(b); Robert S. v. Stetson Sch., Inc., 256 F.3d 159, 170-71
(3d Cir. 2001) (stating that danger of unfair prejudice exists
when jury may infer defendants acted in conformity with prior bad
acts occurring remotely in time and not involving defendants), it
is hereby ORDERED that the motion in limine (Doc. 127) is
GRANTED. Plaintiff shall not be permitted to introduce at trial
evidence related to the discrimination charge filed by former
Major Kathryn Doutt.
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