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Redd v. Abla-Reyes

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

November 14, 2013

MAURICE REDD, Plaintiff,
v.
ARMANDO F. ABLA-REYES, in his individual and official capacity, and THE CITY OF ST. PAUL, Defendants.

Daniel J. Cragg and Jared Reams, Eckland & Blando, LLP, Counsel for Plaintiff.

Cheri M. Sisk, City of St. Paul Attorney's Office, Counsel for Defendants.

ORDER

MICHAEL J. DAVIS, Chief District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion in Limine to Exclude Testimony of Sgt. Mark Maloney. [Docket No. 47] The case is set for a jury trial starting Monday, November 18, 2013.

II. DISCUSSION

Plaintiff Maurice Redd moves to exclude the expert testimony of defense expert Sargent Mark Maloney as inadmissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 702. Defendants' witness list states that Maloney "[w]ill testify as to police practices and reasonableness of officer's actions."

1. Contents of Maloney's Report

In Maloney's Expert Report, he opines regarding 1) the sources and standards for justifiable use of force under Minnesota and federal law (Report at 8-9); 2) when use of force is authorized under Minnesota law (id. at 9-10); 3) whether the St. Paul Police Department's Use of Force Policy is consistent with Minnesota and federal law (id.at 10-11); 4) whether Defendant St. Paul Police Officer Armando Abla-Reyes followed the law and acted "in good faith" during his interaction with Redd (id. at 11-15); 5) whether Abla-Reyes had probable cause to arrest Redd (id. at 15-16); 6) whether Abla-Reyes acted "appropriately" when he "dealt with" Redd (id. at 17); 7) whether Abla-Reyes used excessive force on Redd (id. at 17-18); 8) whether a reasonable officer in the same situation would have reasonably determined that the amount of force used by Abla-Reyes was appropriate (id. at 18, 21); 9) other reasonable force options available to Abla-Reyes during his encounter with Redd (id. at 18-19); 10) whether a reasonable officer would have expected Redd to sustain Redd's alleged injuries (id. at 20); and 11) whether Defendant City of St. Paul was negligent in retaining Abla-Reyes (id. at 19-22).

Defendants argue that Maloney will testify to the reasonableness of Officer Armando Abla-Reyes' actions through the lens of a uniformed officer in a public space and will assist the jury in understanding what they see on the surveillance video.

2. Standard for Expert Testimony

The admissibility of expert testimony is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence 702. The proponent of the testimony has the burden to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the testimony is admissible under Rule 702. Lauzon v. Senco Prods., Inc. , 270 F.3d 681, 686 (8th Cir. 2001). Under the Rule:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence ...

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