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Silva v. Chung

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

May 29, 2019

GULSTAN E. SILVA, JR., as Personal Representative of the Estate of Sheldon Paul Haleck, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTOPHER CHUNG; SAMANTHA CRITCHLOW; AND STEPHEN KARDASH, Defendants.

          ORDER #3 ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE

          HELEN GILLMOR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 5

         MOTION TO BAR ALL EVIDENCE OF SHELDON HALECK'S PRIOR CRIMES, MISCONDUCT, WRONGS OR ACTS, AND ANY ACTS OF JESSICA HALECK NOT RELEVANT TO THE EVENTS OF MARCH 16, 2015 (ECF No. 286) is GRANTED, IN PART, AND DENIED, IN PART

         DEFENDANTS' MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 3

         MOTION TO ADMIT EVIDENCE OF PRIOR DRUG USE AND DRUG USE ON THE DAY OF THE INCIDENT (ECF No. 273) is GRANTED

         DEFENDANTS' MOTION IN LIMINE No. 4 MOTION TO ADMIT EVIDENCE OF HALECK'S ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES SUSTAINED ONE DAY PRIOR TO THE INCIDENT (ECF No. 274) is GRANTED, IN PART, AND DENIED, IN PART

         The Parties seek rulings on the admission of evidence relating to:

         (1) allegations the Decedent was involved in multiple motor vehicle accidents on March 15, 2015;

         (2) injuries the Decedent received as a result of the multiple motor vehicle accidents on March 15, 2015;

         (3) the arrest of the Decedent on March 15, 2015, for a charge of refusal to obey an officer's order to stop his vehicle in relation to the motor vehicle accidents;

         (4) on March 15, 2015, the Decedent struggled with police officers when arrested;

         (5) the charge of Resisting Arrest on March 15, 2015;

         (6) the Decedent being under the influence of drugs during the incidents on March 15, 2015;

         (7) the Decedent being under the influence of drugs on March 16, 2015, during the subject incident;

         (8) the Decedent's history of substance abuse;

         (9) the Decedent's history of mental illness;

         (10) the Decedent's behavior in August 2014 which triggered a call to law enforcement and subsequent hospitalization for psychiatric care;

         DAMAGES EVIDENCE

         (11) the Decedent's history of substance abuse and mental illness;

         (12) the Decedent's marriage.

         I. ADMISSION OF RELEVANT EVIDENCE

         Evidence is relevant if it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probative than it would be without the evidence and the fact is of consequence in determining the issues at trial. Fed.R.Evid. 401. Only relevant evidence is admissible. Fed.R.Evid. 402.

         Relevant evidence is inadmissible when its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence. Fed.R.Evid. 403.

         Plaintiff has brought an excessive force claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks to prove that the Defendant Officers used excessive force when they arrested the Decedent on March 16, 2015. Plaintiff claims that the Decedent died as a result of the force used by the Defendant Officers.

         1. Allegations The Decedent Was Involved In Multiple Motor Vehicle Accidents On March 15, 2015

         Evidence that on March 15, 2015, the day before the arrest, the Decedent was in multiple car accidents is relevant to the physical condition of the Decedent on the following day March 16, 2015.

         The series of car accidents is also probative of the mental state of the Decedent as related to the Defendants' theory of the case. Defendants claim that the Decedent was in a state of excited delirium that was triggered by the previous events including those on March 15, 2015. Evidence that the Decedent was in numerous car accidents is relevant to the Decedent's physical condition on March 16, 2015. Evidence showing a continuing pattern of recklessness over the 24-hour period is relevant to the Decedent's state of mind on March 16, 2015. It corroborates the Defendants' testimony and the Defendants' expert's Excited Delirium Syndrome theory. Defendants claim that the Decedent's altered mental state on March 15, 2015 continued through the incident on March 16, 2015. Defendants claim that on the day prior to the subject incident, the Decedent continued driving his vehicle after being involved in numerous collisions. They assert that the Decedent was in such a state of excited delirium and that he did not acknowledge the damage caused to his vehicle or others.

         Evidence that the Decedent's excited delirium began on the night of March 15, 2015 and continued throughout the subject incident on March 16, 2015 is relevant to the Defendants' theory of the case. The evidence supports the Defendant Officers' claim that on March 16, 2015, the Decedent refused to obey commands and acted irrationally. The evidence is probative as to the Decedent's continued failure to acknowledge ...


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