United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER RE: MOTIONS IN LIMINE
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion in
Limine (Dkt. #49) and Defendant Feast Buffet, Inc.
(“Feast Buffet”)'s Motions in Limine (Dkt.
#50). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' Motion
is GRANTED and Defendant, Feast Buffet, Inc.'s Motions
are GRANTED IN PART.
may file motions in limine before or during trial “to
exclude anticipated prejudicial evidence before the evidence
is actually offered.” Luce v. United States,
469 U.S. 38, 40 n.2, 105 S.Ct. 460, 83 L.Ed.2d 443 (1984). To
resolve such motions, the Court is guided by Fed.R.Evid. 401
and 403. Specifically, the Court considers whether evidence
“has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable
than it would be without the evidence, ” and whether
“the fact is of consequence in determining the
action.” Fed.R.Evid. 401. The 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.
Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine
move to exclude evidence or prevent reference to evidence
that Plaintiffs allegedly filed false income tax returns.
Dkt. #49 at 2.
4, 2019, Feast Buffet filed an untimely response to
Plaintiffs' Motion. Dkt. #55. See Local Rules
W.D. Wash. LCR 7(d)(4) (“Any opposition papers shall be
filed and served no later than the Monday before the noting
date.”). The Court will nonetheless consider the
arguments raised in Defendant's Response in the interest
of judicial economy, given that parties' evidentiary
disputes will otherwise be raised during trial.
argue that their alleged filing of false or inaccurate income
tax returns and information is not relevant to any of the
claims or issues in the case or, alternatively, any
evidentiary value is substantially outweighed by the
misleading effect it would have at trial. Dkt. #49 at
3-5. Feast Buffet responds that Plaintiffs' tax
returns are not unfairly prejudicial and are relevant to
demonstrating that Plaintiffs willingly consented to Feast
Buffet's pay practices. Dkt. #55 at 1-2.
Court agrees with Plaintiffs that evidence of their alleged
false income tax returns is more prejudicial than probative
of Plaintiffs' willing submission to Feast Buffet's
nonpayment of wages and risks confusing the issues for the
jury. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' Motion in
Defendant's Uncontested Motions in Limine 2-3,
has proposed eight (8) Motions in Limine which Plaintiff does
not oppose. Dkt. #50 at 4-6, Dkt. #53 at 6-7. The Court notes
Plaintiffs' claim that Feast Buffet violated the Local
Rule 7 meet-and-confer requirement by failing to raise all
issues contained in its Motions in Limine prior to filing.
See Dkt. #53 at 5-6 (citing Local Rules W.D. Wash.
LCR 7(d)(4)). However, given that Plaintiffs do not oppose
the majority of Defendant's Motions, the Court declines
Plaintiffs' request to issue sanctions under Rule 11.
Accordingly, the following unopposed Motions in Limine are
GRANTED, wherein parties agree to:
2. Exclude evidence of an alleged threat received by
Plaintiff Cai Mingfeng subsequent to quitting his ...