United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
C. MULLEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER COMES before this Court on Defendant City of
Charlotte's (“Defendant”) Motions in Limine
(Doc. Nos. 65, 66, 75) and Defendant's Motion to
Bifurcate (Doc. No. 74). Plaintiff has responded to the
Motions (Doc. No. 69, 70, 76, 77). Thus, the matter is ripe
case is set for trial on March 19, 2019. In anticipation of
trial, Defendant submitted three documents entitled
“Motion in Limine” requesting fifteen (15)
different categories of evidence be excluded for a variety of
reasons. The requests can be broken into three distinct
categories: (1) Motions to which Plaintiff does not object;
(2) Motions that require brief discussion by the Court; and
(3) Motions that will be determined during trial. The Court
will discuss each category below.
Motions to which Plaintiff does not object
Defendant moved to exclude the following categories of
evidence: the existence of liability insurance,
Defendant's ability to pay, and evidence regarding
Plaintiff's claim for unemployment or testimony provided
at the Employment Security Commission. (Doc. No. 65, p. 1-2).
In Plaintiff's Response, Plaintiff indicated to the Court
that Plaintiff did not object to those Motions. (Doc. No. 70,
p. 1). Due to the consent of the Parties and after review of
the Motions and surrounding law, the Court
GRANTS Defendant's Motions as it
pertains to those categories of evidence.
Motions that require discussion
Back Pay and Front Pay
Defendant moved to prevent Plaintiff from presenting evidence
of back pay to the jury. Defendant argues that back pay is an
equitable remedy within the province of the Court, and
therefore, should not be submitted to the jury. Plaintiff
argued in Response that while the issue of back pay is
equitable as it pertains to Title VII cases, back pay is a
legal remedy to be submitted to the jury in Section 1983
cases. Because Plaintiff has sued Defendant under both
theories, Plaintiff argues the issue of back pay should be
submitted to the jury, and therefore, the Court should not
exclude the evidence.
also moved to prevent Plaintiff from presenting evidence of
front pay to the jury. Again, Defendant argued that because
it is an equitable remedy, it should be the Court not the
jury to decide that issue. Plaintiff argued that Section 1983
allows the jury to consider evidence of front pay damages.
Court will withhold ruling on this issue pending a hearing
prior to jury selection. The Court instructs the Parties to
come prepared to discuss the issue of whether back and front
pay are equitable remedies to be decided by the Court or
legal remedies to be presented to the jury. The Court further
instructs the Parties to come prepared to discuss the use of
an advisory jury on these issues in the event the Court
determines that these remedies are equitable.
Defendant moved to allow the trial to proceed first to
liability, and if liability is found, then and only then
present evidence of damages. Defendant made this Motion based
upon Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(b). Plaintiff
responded arguing that the ...