United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY JUDGE
the court for disposition are two motions in limine filed by
Plaintiff Freddie Francis, Jr. and one motion in limine filed
by the defendants. The parties have briefed their respective
positions and the motions are ripe for disposition.
Freddie Francis, at the relevant times, was imprisoned at
United States Penitentiary-Canaan (hereinafter
“USP-Canaan”). On November 5, 2012, prison
officials handcuffed plaintiff to the bars of his cell.
Plaintiff claims that while he was handcuffed Defendants
Fuller, Kubicki and Hayden beat him. Thus, he brought the
present civil rights action based upon the Eighth
Amendment's prohibition of excessive force.
position is that as they tried to place another inmate in
plaintiff's cell. Plaintiff became combative and attacked
the new inmate. The defendants argue that they intervened in
a good faith attempt to maintain or restore discipline and to
protect the new inmate.
defendants moved for summary judgment, which was denied on
August 8, 2017, and the matter was scheduled for a pretrial
conference on December 13, 2017. At the pretrial conference,
the trial was scheduled for May 22, 2018. Prior to trial,
plaintiff filed two motions in limine and defendants filed
one motion in limine, bringing the case to its present
has filed two motions in limine. The first seeks to exclude
from trial evidence of prior criminal convictions, and the
second seeks to preclude evidence of prison misconduct. The
defendants have filed a motion in limine to bar plaintiff
from referencing “traumatic brain injury”. We
will address each motion separately.
Plaintiff's motion regarding prior criminal
noted above, at the time of the incident, plaintiff was in a
federal prison. He seeks to preclude from evidence the crime
or crimes he committed which caused his imprisonment.
Plaintiff argues that such evidence is irrelevant and unduly
prejudicial. Federal law provides that relevant evidence is
Evid. 402. “‘Relevant evidence' means
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. The law
provides that relevant evidence may be excluded “if its
probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of
one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the
issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or
needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.” Fed.R.Evid.
that the crimes which plaintiff committed in the past are
irrelevant to the issues on trial. The defendants are
required to respect his Eighth Amendment rights regardless of
what crime sent him to prison. Accordingly, the
plaintiff's motion in limine will be granted and evidence
of plaintiff's prior convictions will be inadmissible at
Plaintiff's motion regarding prison misconduct
believes that at trial, defendant will try to introduce
evidence that plaintiff has received misconduct charges while
in prison and has been found responsible for infractions of
prison rules, including instances of fighting and possession
of contraband. He filed a motion to preclude this evidence
from trial as inadmissible character evidence. After he filed
the motion, however, he ...