The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Rambo
Before the court is Plaintiff James A. Paluch's nunc pro tunc motion in limine. (Doc. 334.) For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.
On September 7, 2006, Plaintiff commenced a civil action against Defendants in this court by filing a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1.) The case arises from an alleged assault on Plaintiff by his cell mate in their cell at the State Correctional Institution in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania ("SCIHuntingdon"). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants, who are several employees at SCI-Huntingdon, are liable for damages resulting from that assault.
By order dated September 18, 2006, the court directed service of the complaint. (Doc. 7.) Defendants filed an answer to the complaint, (Doc. 38), and a period of discovery was completed on July 14, 2008, (see Doc. 163). On August 1, 2008, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 225.) By memorandum and order dated June 16, 2009, the court denied Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 293.)
Following the denial of summary judgment, the court issued an order setting case management deadlines, including a deadline for filing motions in limine. (Doc. 294.) Plaintiff's counsel failed to timely file a motion in limine due to the difficulty in communicating with Plaintiff, who was incarcerated in the Restricted Housing Unit at the State Correctional Institution at Smithfield in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. (See Doc. 334 at 1.) As such, the court will consider the instant nunc pro tunc motion in limine.*fn1
Plaintiff wishes to exclude the following evidence and arguments from being introduced at trial: (1) any reference to Plaintiff's subsequent admission to the Special Management Unit ("SMU") or "lockdown;" (2) any reference to Plaintiff's arrest, criminal conviction, sentence or the facts of his crime; (3) any reference to Plaintiff's administrative finding of misconduct concerning this incident by the Department of Corrections ("DOC"); and (4) testimony from Defendant Smith denying his liability for the assault because there is a default judgment entered in this case as to him. (Doc. 334 at 1-2.) The court will discuss these requests in turn.
A. Reference to Plaintiff's Subsequent Admission to the SMU or Lockdown
Plaintiff contends that evidence of Plaintiff's admission to the SMU or lockdown subsequent to the September 9, 2004 assault is irrelevant and prejudicial. The court agrees.
Under Rule 401 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, "relevant evidence" is "evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence." Fed. R. Evid. 401. Here, the fact that Plaintiff was admitted to the SMU or lockdown subsequent to September 9, 2004 has no relation to any factual determination involved in this case. Therefore, any references to this evidence shall be inadmissible as irrelevant evidence. See Fed. R. Evid. 402.
B. Reference to Plaintiff's Arrest, Criminal Conviction, Sentence or the Facts of His Crime
Plaintiff contends that evidence of Plaintiff's arrest, criminal conviction, sentence or the facts of his crime is irrelevant and prejudicial. The court agrees. Here, the fact that Plaintiff was arrested and convicted of a crime prior to the September 9, 2004, has not relation to any factual determination in this case. See Fed. R. Evid. 401. Therefore, any ...