United States District Court, D. Nevada
JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.
Presently before the court is pro se plaintiff Robert Joseph McCarty's (hereinafter "plaintiff") motion in limine to include and exclude specific documents as evidence. (Doc. # 253). Defendants filed a response, (doc. #256), to which plaintiff replied, (doc. #257).
On or about September 26, 2011, plaintiff filed a civil rights action against Nevada's attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto, Charlene Hoerth ("Hoerth"), Patrick Saunders ("Saunders"), two Nevada Department of Safety employees, and two federal officials, John Roos, ambassador to Japan, and Joseph Koen, United States consul to Japan.
On December 2, 2011, plaintiff filed an amended complaint for monetary damages, injunctive relief, expungement of his criminal record, and a full name and identity change. (Doc. # 8).
On March 22, 2013, plaintiff filed a second amended complaint naming eight additional defendants to those already identified in the amended complaint. (Doc. # 133). In his second amended complaint, plaintiff alleged that his civil rights were violated when he was required to register as a sex offender in Nevada based on his sex offense conviction in Japan. Plaintiff asserted that his conviction was secured wrongfully, without due process.
Thereafter, federal and state defendants each filed two motions to dismiss all parties and claims. (Docs. # 136, 156, 193 & 221). The court denied dismissal of plaintiff's prospective injunctive relief claims against state defendants Hoerth and Saunders in their official capacities but dismissed all other parties and claims. (Docs. # 234, 235, 244 & 246).
Plaintiff now moves in limine to include and exclude specific documents as evidence.
II. Legal Standard
"The court must decide any preliminary question about whether... evidence is admissible." Fed.R.Evid. 104. Motions in limine are procedural mechanisms by which the court can make evidentiary rulings in advance of trial, often to preclude the use of unfairly prejudicial evidence. United States v. Heller, 551 F.3d 1108, 1111-12 (9th Cir. 2009); Brodit v. Cambra, 350 F.3d 985, 1004-05 (9th Cir. 2003). "Although the Federal Rules of Evidence do not explicitly authorize in limine rulings, the practice has developed pursuant to the district court's inherent authority to manage the course of trials." Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 41 n.4 (1980).
Judges have broad discretion when ruling on motions in limine. See Jenkins v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 316 F.3d 663, 664 (7th Cir. 2002); see also Trevino v. Gates, 99 F.3d 911, 922 (9th Cir. 1999) ("The district court has considerable latitude in performing a Rule 403 balancing test and we will uphold its decision absent clear abuse of discretion.").
"[I]n limine rulings are not binding on the trial judge [who] may always change his mind during the course of a trial." Ohler v. United States, 529 U.S. 753, 758 n.3 (2000); accord Luce, 469 U.S. at 41 (noting that in limine rulings are always subject to change, especially if the evidence unfolds in an unanticipated manner). "Denial of a motion in limine does not necessarily mean that all evidence contemplated by the motion will be admitted at trial. Denial merely means that without the context of trial, the court is unable to determine whether the evidence in question should be excluded." Conboy v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, no. 2:11-cv-1649-JCM-CWH, 2013 WL 1701069, at *1 (D. Nev. April 18, 2013).
Plaintiff requests a pretrial ruling on the admissibility of certain evidence. He asks the court to admit his sworn affidavit "inasmuch as there is no offered evidence whatsoever to refute plaintiff's torture." (Doc. # 253-1). Plaintiff also requests that the court admit the Report of the United Nations Committee Against Torture. (Doc. # 253-2). Further, he asks that the court admit the "undisputed" definition of torture pursuant to Article 1 of the United Nations Declaration Against ...