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.

Pearce v. Hazel Park Police Officer

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 30, 2019

MEGAN PEARCE, individually and as NEXT FRIEND of BABY B, her infant child, Plaintiffs,
v.
Hazel Park Police Officer, MICHAEL EMMI, in his individual capacity, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING MOTIONS IN LIMINE (ECF NOS. 112, 113, 114, 123)

          GEORGE CARAM STEEH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The court heard argument on the parties' motions in limine on October 29, 2019, and ruled from the bench. The court expands upon the basis for its rulings below.

         I. Motion to Exclude Undisclosed Witnesses

         Defendant seeks to exclude the following witnesses, who were identified by Plaintiff for the first time in the Joint Final Pretrial Order: Lori Pearce, Stephen Pearce, Tabitha Carter, Henry Pearce, Karen Fuhrman, Gere Green, Undersheriff Mike McCabe, and Sgt. Douglas Stewart. Plaintiff states that she does not plan to call Gere Green or Sgt. Stewart.

         A party who fails to disclose evidence as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 may be precluded from introducing that evidence at trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(c)(1) (“If a party fails to provide information or identify a witness as required by Rule 26(a) or (e), the party is not allowed to use that information or witness to supply evidence on a motion, at a hearing, or at a trial, unless the failure was substantially justified or is harmless.”); see also LR 16.2(8) (“Except as permitted by the Court for good cause a party may not list a witness unless the witness has been included on a witness list submitted under a prior order or has been deposed.”).

         “A noncompliant party may avoid sanction if ‘there is a reasonable explanation of why Rule 26 was not complied with or the mistake was harmless.'” Howe v. City of Akron, 801 F.3d 718, 747 (6th Cir. 2015). The Sixth Circuit considers five factors when determining whether a nondisclosure was “substantially justified” or “harmless”:

(1) the surprise to the party against whom the evidence would be offered; (2) the ability of that party to cure the surprise; (3) the extent to which allowing the evidence would disrupt the trial; (4) the importance of the evidence; and (5) the nondisclosing party's explanation for its failure to disclose the evidence.

Howe, 801 F.3d at 747-48.

         Plaintiff contends that there is no surprise to Defendant regarding Stephen Pearce and Lori Pearce (Plaintiff's mother), who were listed on Defendant's witness list. (ECF No. 69.) In light of Defendant's listing of these witnesses, there is no surprise to Defendant. The court finds that the failure of Plaintiff to previously list Lori Pearce or Stephen Pearce is harmless.

         Plaintiff contends that Undersheriff Michael McCabe was encompassed by categories of witnesses included on Defendant's witness list: “any and all representatives, agents, current or former employees of Oakland County” and the “Oakland County Sheriff's Department.” Plaintiff also argues that Tabitha Carter (Plaintiff's best friend) and Henry Pearce (Plaintiff's father), are included in the category “each and every family member, neighbor, friend, acquaintance, and/or co-worker of Plaintiff.” (ECF No. 35) As for Karen Fuhrman, Plaintiff asserts that she was mentioned in deposition testimony.

         General categories of witnesses do not provide sufficient notice to Defendant, nor does the mere mention of a potential witness in deposition testimony. At this late date, an attempt to cure the surprise to Defendant by allowing depositions would be disruptive to the trial and the parties' trial preparation. Plaintiff offers no justification for failing to specifically name these witnesses prior to the Joint Final Pretrial Order. Accordingly, the court finds that the failure to identify these witnesses prior to the Joint Final Pretrial Order is neither substantially justified nor harmless. The court excludes the testimony of Tabitha Carter, Henry Pearce, Karen Fuhrman, and Undersheriff McCabe.

         II. Defendant's Motion to Exclude Evidence Related to the Criminal Investigation of Fuhrman

         Defendant seeks to exclude several broad categories of evidence as irrelevant and/or ...


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.