United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
STEVEN A. GREEN, Plaintiff,
BRADLEY SCHROEDER, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is set for trial to begin on September 12, 2016. In
advance of the parties' final pretrial conference, which
will take place on September 6, 2016, at 3:00 p.m., this
order addresses the parties' motions in limine.
Plaintiff's motions in limine
Defendant should be barred from referring to plaintiff's
prior criminal convictions related to sex
offender status and registration (Dkt. #121)
first motion in limine, plaintiff argues that his
two felony convictions for violating Wis.Stat. §
301.45(4)(a), “Sex Offender-Fail/Update Information,
” and Wis.Stat. § 301.45(6)(a)(1), “Sex
Registry Violation, ” are unfairly prejudicial and
should not be mentioned by defendant. In response, defendant
argues that the jury should be allowed to consider those two
felony convictions, along with five others, in evaluating his
character for truthfulness.
Green was released from confinement for these two felonies
within the last ten years, the parties agree that these
felonies must be admitted unless their “probative value
is substantially outweighed by a danger of . . . unfair
prejudice[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 609(a)(1)(A); 403. Defendant
argues that any prejudice resulting from the admission of
Green's two felony convictions for sex offender
registration violations is limited because Schroeder's
counsel will only ask about the date and name of each
conviction. Assuming Green answers those questions
accurately, then no further evidence need be introduced
regarding those crimes. Defendant also argues that the two
convictions are particularly probative because Green has
contradicted his own statements regarding the events on which
this lawsuit is based, and so the jury must be presented with
“complete information” to evaluate his character
for truthfulness. (Def.'s Opp'n Br. (dkt. #146) at
3.) On the other hand, plaintiff correctly points out that
revealing an individual's sex offender status often
evokes strong, negative reactions.
court is persuaded that the danger of unfair prejudice
substantially outweighs any probative value of the jury
learning of the specific nature of these two convictions,
including that they involve “sex offender”
registration or update violations. Accordingly,
plaintiff's motion will be GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN
PART. No reference will be made to the name or nature of
these two felony convictions, unless plaintiff were to deny
felony convictions “for failing to make certain
disclosures required by law.”
Plaintiff should be permitted to appear in civilian
attire without visible restraints (Dkt.
does not oppose plaintiff's motion to wear civilian
attire without visible restraints during the trial itself to
avoid potential, unfair prejudice this may engender with the
jury. The court will, therefore, GRANT plaintiff's
motion, subject to resolution of any security concerns.
Defendant's motions in limine
Eyewitness statements in police reports should be excluded
as hearsay (Dkt. #98)
filed this motion before the court entered the order denying
summary judgment and granting plaintiff's motion for
assistance in recruiting counsel. Likely because the court
reset deadlines for Rule 26(a)(3) disclosures and motions
in limine after plaintiff obtained counsel,
plaintiff never responded to this motion, and defendant did
not re-file it after the new deadlines were established.
Lacking any basis to evaluate whether witness statements
referred to in police reports are being offered for the truth
of the matter asserted or fall under any exception to the
hearsay rule, the court will RESERVE on this motion pending
argument at the final pretrial conference.
Plaintiff should be barred from presenting any evidence that
he suffered from post-traumatic stress
disorder (“PTSD”) or another psychological
condition as a result of defendant's actions (Dkt.
suffered no physical injuries, plaintiff claims damages for
emotional and psychological harm caused by defendant shooting
at him. In support of those claims, plaintiff seeks to
introduce medical records from the Dane County Jail and DOC.
Lacking any medical expertise, defendant objects to Green
testifying as to any medical diagnosis or cause of PTSD (or
any other medical or psychological condition). Defendant also
argues that notes in Green's medical records that
reference such diagnoses are also inadmissible as hearsay,
since he has named no expert witness to testify about his
medical or psychological condition. ...