Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McLaughlin v. Williams

United States District Court, D. Nevada

November 6, 2017

MICHAEL TRACY McLAUGHLIN, Plaintiffs,
v.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is petitioner Michael Tracy McLaughlin's motion for deposition in lieu of live testimony. (ECF No. 100). Respondents State of Nevada and Brian Williams filed a response, (ECF No. 107), to which petitioner replied, (ECF No. 108).

         Also before the court is petitioner's motion in limine to admit witness testimony. (ECF No. 99). Respondents filed a response, (ECF No. 106), to which petitioner replied, (ECF No. 109).

         I. Background

         This is a habeas corpus proceeding where petitioner challenges his state court convictions. As the parties are familiar with the facts of the case, the court will not recite them herein.

         On November 4, 2016, the Ninth Circuit issued an order in the instant case vacating and remanding this court's denial of relief on petitioner's claims. The Ninth Circuit opinion stated, in relevant part,

The new evidence here consists of sworn declarations from Petitioner's mother, Petitioner's half-brother, and an investigator who worked for Petitioner's federal habeas lawyer. . . . [Assuming the truth of Petitioner's allegations, ] Petitioner has established cause and prejudice under Martinez. The new evidence bears on both the strength of the voluntary intoxication defense and Petitioner's trial lawyer's deficient performance to such an extent that it “fundamentally alters” the claim. . . . [M]uch of the new evidence clearly could have had an effect on the state habeas court's resolution of the prejudice prong of the underlying IAC claim. For instance, had Petitioner's state habeas counsel known of the new evidence, he could have shown that trial counsel was able to establish Petitioner's level of intoxication at trial without putting Petitioner on the stand, thus making a voluntary intoxication defense more viable.

(ECF No. 76 at 4). The Ninth Circuit remanded the case to this court for purposes of conducting an evidentiary hearing to resolve any contested issues of fact.

         II. Legal Standard

         i. Motion for deposition in lieu of live testimony

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern an evidentiary hearing in a § 2254 proceeding. See Rule 12, Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. Under Rule 45(c)(1)(A), a party has the power to subpoena a witness to attend a hearing within 100 miles of the location of the hearing. Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(c)(1)(A). A court may order a witness to appear at a hearing if the witness “resides, is employed, or regularly transacts business in person” within 100 miles of the location of the hearing. Id. Rule 45 alternatively provides parties with the power to subpoena a witness to attend a deposition within 100 miles of the place the witness “resides, is employed, or regularly transacts business in person.” Id. Under Rule 32(a)(4), a witness outside of the 100-mile area of the location of the hearing is deemed unavailable, and courts may allow a moving party to admit a deposition of the witness at a hearing. Fed.R.Civ.P. 32(a)(4).

         ii. Motion in limine

         “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). Motions in limine may be used to exclude or admit evidence in advance of trial. See Fed. R. Evid. 103; United States v. Williams, 939 F.2d 721, 723 (9th Cir. 1991) (affirming district court's ruling in limine that prosecution could admit impeachment evidence under Federal Rule of Evidence 609).

         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); accor ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.