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Demoulin v. Ladner

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

July 29, 2019

RAYMOND DEMOULIN
v.
CAPTAIN SHANE LADNER

          RULING AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO SUPPRESS TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE

          JOHN W. deGRAVELLES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Motion in Limine to Suppress Testimony and Evidence filed by plaintiff Raymond Demoulin (“Plaintiff” or “Demoulin”). (Doc. 50.) It is opposed by defendant Shane Ladner (“Defendant” or “Ladner”). (Doc. 59.) For the following reasons, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         On January 20, 2016, Plaintiff was an inmate at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center (“EHCC”) located in the Middle District of Louisiana. Plaintiff claims that Defendant applied excessive and unnecessary force in violation of his constitutional rights, resulting in serious injuries. Defendant denies the claim and contends that any force used was necessary and justified. Defendant also denies Plaintiff suffered any serious injuries in the incident.

         At issue[1] in this motion in limine is:

         1) Medical and Mental Health Records of Plaintiff from 10/01/2015 to 1/19/2016;[2]

         2) Warden's Unusual Occurrence Reports from January 20, 2016;

         3) Complete Medical and Mental Health Records of Shane Ladner;

         4) Disciplinary Reports for 1/20/2016 (Defendant's Exhibit 2).

         Medical and Mental Health Records from 10/01/15 to 1/19/16

         Plaintiff argues that “[t]he medicals that predate this incident are not relevant to this claim and should be excluded”, including “evidence that any other person, whether it be an inmate or corrections office (sic), caused the injuries of which he complained after the incident at hand.” (Doc. 50-2 at 2.) Defendant argues that evidence of “previous injuries sustained by the plaintiff to the same areas where he is complaining that were injured in his Complaint” is relevant to the question of what injuries, if any, were caused by Defendant and the amount which properly should be awarded, if any, for those injuries. (Doc. 59 at 2.)

         The Court agrees with Defendant. Evidence of previous or subsequent injuries or conditions in the area where he claims he was injured by Defendant is relevant to the question of damages. However, records not associated with such injuries or conditions will not be admitted into evidence.

         Warden's Unusual Occurrence Reports

         Plaintiff contends that these UORs are hearsay and should be precluded from evidence. (Doc. 50-2 at 2 (citing Mack v. Benjamin, No. 13-522, 2015 WL 7313869, at *2-3 (M.D. La. Nov. 20, 2015) (deGravelles, J.)).) Defendant responds that the documents are not being offered “for the statements therein, but instead to prove that the policies of Elayn Hunt correctional Center were followed by the officers.” (Doc. 59 at 3.)

         Here, the Court agrees with Plaintiff. Defendant has not attempted to explain how the UORs prove that the officers complied with prison policies, what policies Defendant contends that these documents prove were followed, how following these policies is relevant to an issue in the case or how the truth of the contents of the UORs would not ...


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