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Blackmon v. Sutton

United States District Court, D. Kansas

September 29, 2014

BRANDON BLACKMON, Plaintiff,
v.
MARLA SUTTON, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MONTI L. BELOT, District Judge.

This case comes before the court on both plaintiff's and defendants' motions in limine. (Docs. 342, 344). The motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for decision. (Docs. 343, 345, 348, 353, 358).

All parties seek to prohibit the admission of certain evidence at trial. To the extent it can with the information before it, the court will briefly rule on each motion. The court cautions the parties, however, that nothing in this order will preclude the admissibility of the excluded evidence if it otherwise becomes relevant at trial. See Turley v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co. , 944 F.2d 669, 673 (10th Cir. 1991) ("The better practice would seem to be that evidence of this nature... should await development of the trial itself."). By the same taken, nothing said herein should be constituted as a final ruling admitting evidence to which a valid objection is made at trial.

Analysis

The facts of this case are set forth in the court's Memorandum and Order issued on June 29, 2012 (Doc. 318) and the Tenth Circuit's opinion of November 8, 2013 (Doc. 336). Blackmon brings section 1983 claims alleging Eighth Amendment violations which occurred during his incarceration at the Juvenile Detention Facility (JDF) in Wichita, Kansas from January 31, 1997 to May 7, 1997.

I. Blackmon's Motion in Limine (Doc. 342)

A. Underlying Charges

Blackmon moves to exclude his charges of rape and writing in wet cement which ultimately led to his placement in JDF custody. Blackmon asserts that the charges are not relevant to the issues in the case. The court disagrees. The events in this case all stem from Blackmon's placement in custody during the judicial proceedings in the rape and wet cement cases. While the charges may be prejudicial to Blackmon, the jury will be informed of all aspects of Blackmon's criminal cases including the Kansas Supreme Court's reversal of Blackmon's rape conviction.

Blackmon's motion is overruled.

B. Blackmon's Life after May 7, 1997

Blackmon moves to limit the evidence of the events in this case to the time period he was incarcerated at JDF. Blackmon does not seek any damages for any lasting psychological injury as a result of his incarceration. Defendants do not object to this limitation. Defendants, however, seek to impeach Blackmon with his two felony convictions which occurred in 2006 and 2011. The crimes Blackmon committed were aggravated battery and intimidation of a witness, neither of which involved dishonesty or false statment. Fed.R.Evid. 609(a). The crimes happened nine and fourteen years, respectively, after the events in this case. While the crimes could be relevant to Blackmon's credibility as a witness, [1] the evidence will be highly prejudicial to Blackmon.

Blackmon's motion to exclude the convictions is sustained. Fed.R.Evid. 403.

C. CASA Report

Blackmon seeks to exclude the CASA report that was prepared by the Court Appointed Special Advocate in juvenile court. The report was prepared by Max Every, who is now deceased. Every compiled the report after questioning Blackmon, Blackmon's family members, teachers and neighbors. Blackmon contends that the report is inadmissible hearsay. The court agrees that the report itself is inadmissible. ...


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