United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the parties' Motions in
Limine. The Court will address each motion below.
Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Plaintiff's Prior
Lawsuits Unrelated to His Claims Against Defendant. (ECF #
asks the Court to exclude from trial the introduction of any
evidence or testimony concerning Plaintiff's past
lawsuits or legal actions that are unrelated to his
employment with Defendant. Specifically, Plaintiff requests
that the Court preclude Defendant from introducing at trial
any evidence concerning his prior lawsuit with Kevin Conwell
or his involvement with prior creditor lawsuits. According to
Plaintiff, such evidence is irrelevant to the claims in this
case, would substantially prejudice Plaintiff and is
impermissible character evidence which must be excluded.
opposes the Motion, contending that Plaintiff left work with
RTA for three hours to testify at the Conwell trial. Conwell
was indicted for assaulting Plaintiff. Plaintiff told his
supervisor Campbell he would return and make up the hours
rather than go unpaid for the time he missed. When he
returned, Plaintiff told Campbell to designate the time off
as “jury duty” which Campbell refused but instead
instructed Plaintiff he could leave a half hour early.
Plaintiff left at 5:30 in spite of Campbell's instruction
he could leave at 6:00. Campbell then issued Plaintiff a
written reminder for leaving earlier than Plaintiff was given
permission to leave. Thus, the issue is highly relevant to
Defendant's defense that Plaintiff was not terminated due
to his race but rather because he was a poor employee.
does not oppose the Motion insofar as it seeks to preclude
Plaintiff's past creditor suits or other lawsuits.
Held: The Court DENIES
Plaintiff's Motion concerning the Conwell lawsuit as it
is relevant to Plaintiff's performance as an employee but
GRANTS with regards to the creditor suits and any prior
lawsuits involving Plaintiff.
Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Plaintiff's
Instagram Account. (ECF # 66).
seeks to preclude Defendant from introducing any evidence or
testimony related to Plaintiff's Instagram account.
Plaintiff contends Defendant wants to offer Plaintiff's
Instagram account into evidence to show Plaintiff was late
for work or had attendance issues resulting, in part, from
his attendance at events or outings referenced on his
Instagram account. However, because Plaintiff was not an
hourly employee but was a salaried employee, he was subject
to a flex-time schedule and was not subject to RTA's
attendance procedures and could not be disciplined for
attendance infractions. Thus, it has no probative value.
opposes the Motion because Plaintiff's stated reasons for
opposing the introduction of his Instagram posts runs
contrary to the arguments he made previously in this case
that Plaintiff's attendance issues were related to the
workplace discipline he received. Thus, Defendant argues it
should be permitted to present evidence from Plaintiff's
Instagram account showing his attendance issues were related,
in part, to staying out late and attending various social
events, causing Plaintiff to be absent of tardy the following
The Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion. The Instagram posts
are relevant and probative of Plaintiff's work
performance and subsequent discipline, which are disputed
issues in the case, as is the issue of whether Plaintiff was
subject to a flex-schedule.
Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Religious
Discrimination. (ECF # 69).
seeks to preclude Plaintiff from offering into evidence
statements made by Plaintiff's supervisor, Frank
Campbell, while employed at RTA that “Muslims should be
nuked and exterminated from the world” and that the
Quran is “taking over the world.” Defendant
argues that Plaintiff, a Muslim, has dismissed his claim for
religious discrimination, thus, any anti-Islamic statements
are irrelevant to the claims remaining in the case and their
probative value is outweighed by their prejudicial effect.
opposes the Motion, contending they are relevant to
Plaintiff's Retaliation claim. Plaintiff filed his first
Complaint for discrimination with the RTA EEO department
solely based on religious discrimination arising, in part, on
Campbell's statements. Plaintiff's federal and Ohio
Retaliation claims are based on his complaining about both
race and religious discrimination. Thus, in order for the
jury to understand the reasons behind Plaintiff's first
EEO filing Campbell's statements provide the necessary
context and basis. Therefore, the statements are relevant to
Plaintiff's Retaliation claim and should be permitted
The Court GRANTS, IN PART, Defendant's Motion. Because
the basis for Plaintiff's Retaliation claim arises from
his complaints about discrimination based on his religion and
race, the statements are relevant to his claims. However,
because Plaintiff dismissed his religious discrimination
claim, any probative value of Campbell's discriminatory
statements based on religion are far outweighed by their
prejudicial effect and would serve to confuse the jury. Thus,
Plaintiff may testify that he filed a complaint with