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Is is possible to file a motion in limine to exclude irrelevant/unrelated case law that has nothing to do with the issue?

Baltimore, MD |

Just wondering if it's possible to file a motion in limine to exclude irrelevant/unrelated case law that has nothing to do with the issue? And if so, how would I title it?

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

A motion in limine is typically a trial day motion, heard as a preliminary matter to exclude facts or evidence which is either inadmissible or calculated solely to cause undue prejudice to the opposing party. the idea is to get this heard before it is presented to the court or jury (typically a jury) because you cannot "un-ring the bell" once the improper evidence or argument is aired in open court. An objection at that point, even if upheld, will not wholly cure the violation. It might also be raised to narrow the issues in contention, because it is anticipated that the other side will attempt to raise and argue issues which have already been decided or which are not relevant to the proceedings. However, in most cases, especially in a matter tried solely before a judge and not a jury, a simple objection at the time the evidence or argument is raised will suffice. A motion in limine is not typically filed with respect to citation of case law; that is a matter for argument as to what authority applies to the legal issues in the case. If you are attempting to exclude citation to case law in a motion or brief, then there is no motion applicable to that relief--you simply file an opposing motion and memorandum of law disputing the citations and citing distinguishing or other applicable law.

Asker

Posted

Ahhh, thanks...that helps a lot! One thing though, I was told that there will be no oral argument, but I did file and request oral argument, but it has not yet been granted. If I request oral argument, is it usually granted and if not, how will I be able object? So, this case is now in the COSA and the judges decision used a case and ONLY this one case, however it does not even relate to the issue at hand, moreover the case is totally flawed and I can prove this to the judge. You said to file an opposing motion, but what would that motion be called, when it's in response to the appellee brief? Should I call it this: "opposing motion and memorandum of law disputing the citations and citing distinguishing or other applicable law."

Asker

Posted

The judge used an Indiana state case in his decision , however I have several SCOTUS cases that clearly contradict the Indiana case that he cited! I had these cases listed in my original complaint, but they were totally ignored! WHY and how do I get these to be acknowledged? I was thinking of filing a motion of judicial notice with these cases, although it's discretionary, I feel like I have to try///

Asker

Posted

One more thing, if you don't file a motion in limine, then why is it called a motion? I've seen many samples of a motion in limine document, so I guess I'm saying I DON"T GET IT! Would it hurt if I filed it, considering I'm Pro Se, how was I supposed to know?

Mark William Oakley

Mark William Oakley

Posted

In an appeal, you simply have a brief, an opposing brief, and a reply brief. You make your arguments regarding the opposing party's citation to case law in your brief or your reply brief. You do not move to exclude a case cited by the other party--you simply argue that the cited case is not applicable either on the law or facts. Because the case is not a Maryland opinion, it is at most "persuasive" authority, and has no binding precedential value in Maryland. That does not mean a Maryland court will not consider it, if in fact it addresses the same or similar factual or legal issue. Whether the COSA wants to adopt the reasoning of the out-of-state court's opinion is simply a matter for the COSA to decide, but you are free to argue that it should not adopt that reasoning or apply it to the facts in your case.

Asker

Posted

Hmmm, see that's the problem. I DID put the SCOTUS cases in my original complaint, which clearly outweighed the IN state case and it was completely ignored by the lower judge and I feel the COSA will do the same thing and I just want to make sure that I get to explain this to the judges IN PERSON and if there is no oral argument, how is that possible?

Mark William Oakley

Mark William Oakley

Posted

Oral argument is at the discretion of the three judge panel hearing the appeal. If they decide not to hold oral argument, you can always file a motion to reconsider that decision, but ultimately, you cannot force the panel to schedule oral argument. File a reply brief if you do not believe you adequately set forth your rebuttal to the out-of-state case in your original brief.

Asker

Posted

I did file a reply brief and told them basically what I told you, that the judges decision was clearly erroneous and that the case he used does not relate and is non binding. I stated the SCOTUS cases AGAIN and don't know why they are overlooking my cases. The lower judge even said the only way to negate the IN state case was to find one that contradicts it and I found many, from much higher courts, so why are they ignoring them? Since my original complaint was filed, a year and a half ago, I found loads more evidence (Congressional Records, SCOTUS Case Law) that 100% backs up my my claims, knowing this...when I file a motion to reconsider, am I allowed to add in new found evidence? Also, if my request for oral argument is granted, does that rule out a motion to reconsider or can I still file that even IF I am granted oral argument, but the case gets dismissed?

Mark William Oakley

Mark William Oakley

Posted

The appellate rules govern motions for reconsideration as well as filing for further review in the Court of Appeals, Maryland's highest court. You can file a motion to reconsider before the COSA once the opinion/decision is issued, whether or not oral argument takes place. COA only hears cases by permission, so you cannot directly appeal and get your case heard as in the COSA; rather, you must petition the COA for issuance of a writ of certiorari, which if granted, allows the appeal to proceed before that court. All new briefs would have to be filed should the case go there. Strict adherence to filing deadlines are required or further relief will be denied summarily.

Asker

Posted

Thanks, you've helped a lot! Would you happen to know...There are 5 defendants in my case, 4 are represented by one attorney and the last has never once responded to anything and I've sent EVERYTHING. When I filed my request for oral argument, I also gave the court notice of failure to respond and I came across FRAP RULE 34(e). Oral Argument which states: "(e) Nonappearance of a Party. If the appellee fails to appear for argument, the court must hear appellant's argument. If the appellant fails to appear for argument, the court may hear the appellee's argument. If neither party appears, the case will be decided on the briefs, unless the court orders otherwise." I guess this only counts when oral argument is granted, right? Shouldn't "something" happen for the main person who committed the fraud and ignores ALL correspondence regarding this case?

Mark William Oakley

Mark William Oakley

Posted

The plaintiff who files the case, and the appellant who appeals an adverse ruling of the trial court, always bears the burden of proof, regardless of whether the opposing party appears or responds. A court does not grant relief by default unless it first determines that the moving party is entitled to judgment or a ruling in its favor. Of course, when there is only one side making argument, there is no opposing point of view, and the court is more likely to be persuaded in the absence of rebuttal, but it is not automatic. Also, the federal rules do not apply in state court, although the rule you cite has a somewhat similar counter-part in Maryland.

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