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Fonticiella v. Steel Gang Quarter Horses LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

October 9, 2019

ALDO VICENTE FONTICIELLA
v.
STEEL GANG QUARTER HORSES LLC, ET AL.

          KAREN L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This action arises from an agreement between the parties concerning the board, training, and sale of certain horses. Pending here is an omnibus motion in limine filed by Plaintiff Dr. Aldo Vicente Fonticiella (“Fonticiella”) [Doc. No. 32]. Defendants Kaitlen Powell, Justin Powell, and Steel Gang Quarter Horses, LLC (“Steel Gang”) (collectively “Defendants”) have filed an opposition [Doc. No. 34].

         For the following reasons, Fonticiella's motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Fonticiella contends that he came to an agreement with Defendants in late August/early September 2017 with respect to a number of his horses. Under that agreement, Defendants were to board and care for all of the horses. Defendants were also permitted to attempt to sell three of Fonticiella's horses at specific horse sales on his behalf.

         Fonticiella further contends that, instead of fulfilling the terms of their agreement, Defendants went far outside of the authority that Fonticiella gave them under their agreement. He alleges that Defendants had one of the horses (known as Yellow Beard or Toby) castrated by Dr. Debbie Guillory, a veterinarian in Vidalia, Louisiana, without consulting him; that Defendants then transferred a number of Fonticiella's horses to third persons without Fonticiella's approval for amounts that were far less than their fair market value; that Defendants did not return the horses in question despite Fonticiella's demand for the return of these horses; that Defendants have not given Fonticiella the proceeds of the sales of any of the horses; and that Defendants' actions with respect to these horses constituted conversion.

         Fonticiella seeks damages, the return of his remaining horses, specific performance, and/or a declaratory judgment.

         Defendants deny these allegations. Additionally, they filed a counter-claim against Fonticiella alleging the non-payment of invoices for the training and board of some of Fonticiella's horses, as well as for the sale, consignment/removing horses from sales, veterinarian bills for the horses, expenses for registration with AQHA, photography expenses, and damages.

         Fonticiella presents four (4) subparts in his motion in limine for the Court's consideration. The Court will consider each in turn.

         II. Applicable Law and Analysis

         A. Applicable Law

         1.Motions in Limine

         A motion in limine is a motion made prior to trial for the purpose of prohibiting opposing counsel from mentioning the existence of, alluding to, or offering evidence on matters so highly prejudicial to the moving party that a timely motion to strike or an instruction by the court to the jury to disregard the offending matter cannot overcome its prejudicial influence on the jurors' minds. Mathis v. Pinnacle Entm't, Inc., CIV.A. 11-2199, 2014 WL 2880217, at *5 (W.D.La. June 23, 2014) (quoting Bocalbos v. Nat'l W. Life Ins. Co., 162 F.3d 379 (5th Cir. 1998)).

         2. Relevancy Under the ...


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