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David Palmer v. Samuel Nassan

February 10, 2011

DAVID PALMER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SAMUEL NASSAN, THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE,
TERRENCE DONNELLY, SHEILA LADNER, AND CITY OF PITTSBURGH,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

ELECTRONICALLY FILED

MEMORANDUM ORDER

GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT NASSAN'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE (DOC. NO. 67)

1. Motion to Exclude Other Allegations of Excessive Force and Alleged Misconduct

Defendant Nassan's first Motion in Limine was addressed by this Court in its ruling on Plaintiff's Second and Third Motions in Limine. See doc no. 78.

As set forth in this Court's prior Order:

This Court finds that the all prior incidents -- the Strothers' incident as well as all other incidents that resulted in civil lawsuits -- constitute "other acts" under 404(b) which are not admissible to prove the character of the person (specifically, Defendant Nassan) in order to show that he acted in conformity when arresting Plaintiff on the night in question. The Court also agrees that the probative value of this evidence as proffered by Plaintiff is greatly outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice it will have in on the jury.

Doc. no. 78, p. 3.

Accordingly, for the same reasons set forth in this Court's prior Order (doc. no. 78), the Defendant Nassan's Motion in Limine to Exclude Other Allegations of Excessive Force and Alleged Misconduct will be GRANTED.

2/9/2011 at 4:15 pm

2. Motion to Exclude Portion of Sergeant Steve Russo's Testimony

This motion seeks to exclude the portion of an internal affairs officer's (Sergeant Russo's), testimony wherein he states, "there is a clear expectation that when a PSP Trooper is questioned about an incident, that the Trooper provide the investigator with all relevant facts and events surrounding the incident."

Defendant Nassan, during his deposition, testified that he did not use his taser, and if he had he would have had to file a report. Plaintiff obtained Defendant Nassan's taser records after Defendant Nassan was deposed which indicate his taser was deployed on the night in question, presumably at the time of Plaintiff's arrest. Plaintiff contends that he will not use Sergeant Russo's testimony to provide the jury with Sergeant Russo's opinion of Defendant Nassan's veracity; rather they will offer this testimony so the jury can determine what expectations an Internal Affairs officer has when conducting an investigation.

This Court finds that although Sergeant Russo's opinion as to Trooper Nassan's veracity is not relevant, his testimony may be offered solely to provide the jury with the expectations of an internal affairs officer. For this reason Defendant Nassan's Motion to ...


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