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Brian S. Keener v. Brian M. Torkar
January 18, 2012
BRIAN S. KEENER,
BRIAN M. TORKAR, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS A PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE TROOPER, AND
SEAN TAYLOR, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS A PENNSYLVANIA STATE TROOPER
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conner
AND NOW, this 18th day of January, 2012, upon consideration the motion
(Doc. 38) in limine filed by defendants Brian M. Torkar ("Torkar") and
Sean Taylor ("Taylor") to preclude reference to alleged
anti-homosexual comments made by defendant Torkar, wherein defendants
argue that the alleged anti-homosexual statements are irrelevant and
would confuse and duly prejudice the jury in contravention of Federal
Rules of Evidence 401, 402, and 403, and upon further consideration of
the response thereto (Doc. 42) filed by plaintiff Brian S. Keener
("Keener"), wherein Keener asserts that the evidence is squarely
relevant to his claims and not likely to confuse or unduly prejudice
the jury, and the court noting that 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,"
EVID. 401, but "that
relevant evidence may be excluded if its probative value is
by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or
misleading the jury," FED. R.
EVID. 403, and the court further noting
evidence should rarely be excluded in limine pursuant to Rule 403
because "[a] court cannot fairly ascertain the potential relevance of
evidence for Rule 403 purposes until it has a full record relevant to
the putatively objectionable evidence," In re Paoli R.R. Yard PCB
Litig., 916 F.2d 829, 859 (3d Cir. 1999), and the court concluding
that the evidence is relevant to, inter alia, (1) assessing the
credibility of Torkar's account of the circumstances that prompted his
use of force;*fn1 and (2) to show Torkar's alleged
evil motive or intent for Keener's punitive damages claims,*fn2
and the court further concluding that it cannot fairly
ascertain whether the probative value of Torkar's alleged
anti-homosexual comments is substantially outweighed by the danger of
unfair prejudice or confusion without the context of a "specific trial
situation" Am. Home Assur. Co. v. Sunshine Supermarket, Inc., 753 F.2d
321, 324 (3d Cir. 1985), it is hereby ORDERED that:
1. The motion (Doc. 38) is DENIED without prejudice.
2. Counsel for Keener shall refrain from mentioning Torkar's alleged anti-homosexual statements in opening statements or thereafter, unless the matter is properly addressed at side bar and the court deems such evidence admissible at that time.
CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER United States ...
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