United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
C. Mullen United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's motion in
limine (Doc. No. 32) regarding Defendant's Trial
Exhibit 9 (“Exhibit 9”). Plaintiff moves the
Court in limine to exclude from evidence Exhibit 9,
“List of Jehovah's Witness Meetings in Charlotte
Area.” For the reasons stated herein, Plaintiff's
motion in limine (Doc. No. 32) is DENIED.
action arises out of the employment relationship between
Plaintiff, Mr. Woods-Jackman, and Defendant, Greater
Enrichment Program, Inc. (“GEP”). Defendant, a
non-profit corporation, employed Plaintiff as a Site Director
from the year 2012 until January 29, 2015, the date of
Plaintiff's termination. (Doc. No. 1, p. 3-5). In this
suit Plaintiff claims that Defendant unlawfully (1) failed to
accommodate his religious activities on Tuesday evening and
Saturday morning and (2) retaliated against him based on
request for time off for his religious activities.
a male and a Jehovah's Witness, contends that his
termination was in retaliation for his complaints of sex
discrimination by GEP supervisors and for requesting
religious accommodation. Id. at 6. In his complaint,
Plaintiff alleges that his supervisors showed favoritism
towards female employees, stating that he felt undermined,
harassed, and discriminated against based on his sex.
Id. at 4. Additionally, Plaintiff alleges he was
told that he would be required to attend mandatory parent
workshops on Tuesday nights despite normally being granted
Tuesday nights off to attend his church services.
Id. at 5. His complaint further states that when he
asked GEP to consider other scheduling options, GEP denied
his request. Id. Shortly thereafter, GEP terminated
his employment. Id.
now moves the Court in limine to exclude from
evidence Exhibit 9, “List of Jehovah's Witness
Meetings in Charlotte Area.” He contends that Exhibit 9
is inadmissible under Rules 401, 403, 802, and 901 of the
Federal Rules of Evidence. For the reasons stated below, the
Court finds Plaintiff's arguments unavailing.
401, which provides the threshold test for relevance, states
that evidence is relevant if: “(a) it has any tendency
to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without
evidence; and (b) the fact is of consequence in determining
the action.” Fed.R.Evid. 401.
argues that Exhibit 9 is not relevant under Rule 401 because
the fact “[t]hat there are other Kingdom Halls in the
Charlotte area is of no consequence in determining this
action.” (Doc. No. 33, p. 2). The Court finds that such
an argument is premature, however, as issues of relevance
will be determined during the course of trial.
403 states, “[t]he court may exclude relevant evidence
if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a
danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice,
confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay,
wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative
evidence.” Fed.R.Evid. 403. Evidence is unfairly
prejudicial and should be excluded when, “there is a
genuine risk that the emotions of a jury will be excited to
irrational behavior, and . . . this risk is disproportionate
to the probative value of the offered evidence.”
United States v. Williams 445 F.3d 724, 730 (4th
Cir. 2006) (quoting United States v. Aramony, 88
F.3d 1369, 1378 (4th Cir. 1996)).
asserts that Exhibit 9 should be excluded under Rule 403
because the exhibit risks a “danger of prejudice”
and serves only to “waste time” and
“distract from the core issues of the case.”
(Doc. No. 33, p. 2). Despite Plaintiff's contentions, the
Court is not convinced that Exhibit 9 poses such a risk. It
seems unlikely to the Court that the information contained in
Exhibit 9 is of the nature that would incite a jury to
“irrational behavior.” See Williams 445
F.3d at 730. Accordingly, the Court finds Plaintiff's