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Green v. Burkhart

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

July 5, 2017

TYRONE GREEN, Plaintiff,
v.
RAYMOND BURKHART, JOHN HAGGERTY, JOHN GILARA, DANIEL PACK, JOHN CHILES, and SERGEANT CHERNOSKY, Defendants.

          MEMORANUM ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE CONCERNING PLAINTIFF'S TRIAL EXHIBITS AND AMENDED TRIAL WITNESS LIST (DOC. NOS. 187 AND 189)

          Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court are Defendants' Motion in Limine Concerning Plaintiff's Trial Exhibits, doc. no. 187, and Defendants' Motion in Limine Concerning Plaintiff's Amended Trial Witness List, doc. no. 189. The Court has considered Defendants' Motions, responses provided by the Plaintiff at the Pretrial Conference on June 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM, and the oral arguments of the Parties.

         I. Plaintiff's Trial Exhibits

         Defendants object to two categories of exhibits: “(1) those exhibits dealing with claims that have already been dismissed from this case; and (2) those exhibits dealing with alleged spoliation of documents.” Doc. No. 187. The Court finds that the following exhibits or portions of exhibits concern claims that have previously been dismissed from this lawsuit, and Defendants' objections to these documents will be sustained because the exhibits are irrelevant to the claims and issues remaining in this lawsuit:

• Exhibit 2, which concerns the previously dismissed claim that Plaintiff was not seen quickly enough by the Program Review Committee (PRC) (see Doc. No. 127);
• Pages 10-16 of Exhibit 3, concerning the PRC;
• Exhibit 4, which concerns the previously dismissed claim that Plaintiff was denied a promotional transfer (see Doc. No. 171); and
• Exhibit 5, which concerns the previously dismissed claim regarding copies of Plaintiff s legal materials being allegedly destroyed (see Doc. No. 171).

         Defendants' objection to Exhibit 6 page 27 is overruled. Defendants claim that this document is only relevant to the previously dismissed claim regarding Plaintiffs placement in the restricted housing unit in February 2014. However, the document is a “Legal Mail Tracking Sheet” and nothing about the document ties it to that particular claim.

         Defendants also object to Plaintiffs Exhibit 0 - - which is several documents related to Plaintiffs request for spoliation sanctions concerning a box of his legal materials that went missing. The Court has previously found that all of Plaintiff s requests for spoliation sanctions have been either denied or adequately addressed by previous court orders during the lengthy litigation of this case. See Doc. Nos. 200, 182, and 163. Accordingly, the Court finds that these exhibits are irrelevant and sustains Defendants' objection.

         The Parties shall file a revised Joint Exhibit List on ECF in accordance with these rulings, and Defendants shall deliver copies of the exhibits in three (3) binders (one each for the Court, Court Reporter, and the Jury) to Chambers by Wednesday, July 12 at 12:00 PM (noon).

         II. Plaintiffs Amended Trial Witness List

         Plaintiff has set forth an Amended Witness List which includes 27 proposed trial witnesses in addition to the six (6) Defendants, but very little information regarding the expected testimony of each witness. Defendants object to 24 of the proposed witnesses. At the June 29, 2017 pretrial conference, the Court worked through the proposed testimony of, and the objections to, each witness with the Parties and makes the following rulings:

         1. Major Ennis

         Plaintiff proposes calling Major Ennis to testify about Plaintiff's grievance regarding the alleged delayed return of a loaner television to him. In Defendants' Motion, they state that Ennis is mentioned in the response to Plaintiff's grievance, i.e., “when confirmation was received from Major Ennis of your loaner approval, Lt. Haggerty called you up . . .[.]” Doc. No. 189. The Court finds that Major Ennis's testimony regarding Plaintiff's approval to have a loaner television and the subsequent events that resulted in the “withholding [of] a loaner TV for two months” as Defendants describe, id., is relevant to Plaintiff's claim of retaliation. Defendants' objection to this witness is OVERRULED.

         2. Capt. Mohrey

         Plaintiff proposes calling Capt. Mohrey to testify about his investigation of a grievance regarding a pair of Plaintiff's boots that were confiscated. The Court agrees with Defendants that this testimony would be cumulative to other evidence. Defendants' objection to this witness is SUSTAINED.

         3. Officer Sible

         Plaintiff proposes calling Officer Sible to testify about grievances concerning his lost property. In at least one grievance response, Sible describes how he and Defendant Gilara handled the inventory of Plaintiff's property. The Court finds that this testimony is relevant to Plaintiff's claims and OVERRULES Defendants' objection to this witness.

         4. Officer Gotto

         Plaintiff did not include Officer Gotto on his Amended Witness List, however, he stated at the June 29th pretrial conference that this was an oversight and that Officer Gotto can provide testimony relevant to his claim that his loaner television was withheld for more than two months in retaliation against him for filing grievances and lawsuits. The Court OVERRULES Defendants' objection to this witness.

         5. Supt. Overmyer

         Plaintiff proposes calling Supt. Overmyer to testify about his grievances and his denial of promotional transfer claim, which has been dismissed. SeeDoc. No. 171. Supt. Overmyer has no direct personal knowledge regarding the facts related to the grievances (or claims in this lawsuit), and his testimony would be inadmissible hearsay. Defendants' objection to this witness is SUSTAINED.

         6. Ian Gustafson - - no ...


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