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Belanus v. Dutton

United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division

November 16, 2017

DUANE RONALD BELANUS, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF LEO DUTTON, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Dana L. Christensen, Chief District Judge United States District Court.

         Currently pending are Defendants' Motion in Limine (Doc. 156), Defendants' Amended Motion in Limine (Doc. 158) and Plaintiff Duane Belanus's three Motions in Limine (Docs. 160, 176, 177), Motion for On-Call Procedures (Doc. 161), Motion to Supplement/Amend Defendants (Doc. 170), Motion for Judicial Notice (Doc. 174), and Motion to Issue Subpoena (Doc. 192).

         I. MOTIONS IN LIMINE

         A. Defendants' Motions in Limine

         Defendants' motions in limine will be granted and there shall be (1) no reference to Defendants' insurance status; (2) no reference to the Montana Association of Counties; (3) no reference to offers to compromise; (4) Mr. Belanus is prohibited from asking the jurors to put themselves in his position and give him what they would want in this litigation if they or their loved ones were similarly damaged; (5) witnesses will not be allowed to offer testimony which constitutes a legal opinion or conclusion and counsel/Mr. Belanus shall not be allowed to elicit such testimony from any witness; (6) no evidence will be admitted that was not previously disclosed in discovery; (7) Mr. Belanus may not use lay testimony to establish either cause or permanency of alleged injuries; and (8) the parties may not comment or make reference to any pretrial motion, including motions to exclude evidence, in the presence of the jury.

         B. Mr. Belanus's Motion in Limine A

         Mr. Belanus requests that counsel be required to refer to Mr. Belanus, inmate witnesses, and other individuals by name. This request will be granted.

         Next he requests that general terms such as inmates or offenders not be used when referencing day-to-day operations, rules, or procedures. He asks that these individuals be referred to as "incarcerated citizen" or "incarcerated individual." This request is denied. The parties shall be allowed to use common terms such as inmate or offender.

         C. Mr. Belanus's Motion in Limine B

         Mr. Belanus requests that counsel not be allowed to refer to Mr. Belanus's filings and arguments made in other cases. Mr. Belanus argues these other cases are irrelevant and would only serve to confuse and prejudice the jury. This includes reference to Mr. Belanus's criminal matter.

         The Court will grant this motion. Should either party believe that reference to another proceeding is necessary at this trial, they should seek permission to discuss the matter outside the presence of the jury.

         The Court does note that the agreed facts presented in the proposed pretrial order (which was not signed) makes reference to the criminal charges for which Mr. Belanus was convicted. (Doc. 183 at 3.) This issue will be discussed at the final pretrial conference.

         C. Mr. Belanus's Motion in Limine C

         Mr. Belanus requests that Defendants be required to wear civilian clothing during trial. This motion will be denied. Defendants are law enforcement officers and as such have ...


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