This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff, v. CARRIE MARIE NEIGHBORS, and GUY MADISON NEIGHBORS, Defendants.
) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )
Case No. 07-20124-01/02-CM
UNITED STATES MOTION IN LIMINE Comes now the United States of America, plaintiff herein, by and through the undersigned Assistant United States Attorney, and moves for rulings in limine and provides notice of the following issues for the Court to consider prior to the presentation of evidence in the present case. The defendants, through various postings on several internet web sites and during cross examination at several pretrial hearings, have made repeated inaccurate, untrue and spurious allegations of misconduct against witnesses, law enforcement agents and attorneys involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case. Based upon these allegations, the government reasonably believes that the defendants will attempt to inject these issues into the trial of the case and requests that before any inquiry into any of these unfounded and untrue allegations be made during the trial of this case, the defendant be required to establish relevancy and their good faith basis for the allegation.
While the “right to confrontation may be violated if the trial court precludes an entire relevant area of cross-examination[,]” Parker v. Scott, 394 F.3d 1302, 1316 (10th Cir. 2005), the presentation of evidence nevertheless “must comply with established rules of evidence and procedure,” United States v. Solomon, 399 F.3d 1231, 1239 (10th Cir. 2005). The Sixth Amendment does not guarantee “cross-examination that is effective in whatever way and to whatever extent, the defendant might wish.” Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U.S. 673, 679 106 S.Ct. 1431, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1986). In sum, “a criminal defendant states a violation of the Confrontation clause by showing that he was prohibited from engaging in ”otherwise appropriate cross-examination designed to show a prototypical form of bias on the part of the witness, and thereby “to expose to the jury the facts from which jurors could appropriately draw inferences relating to the reliability of the witness.” Id. at 680. United States v. Turner, 553 F.3d 1337, 1349 (10th Cir. 2009) Rule 608, Fed.R.Crim.P. Impeachment with specific acts of misconduct is governed by the provisions of Rule 608, Fed.R.Evid., which provides in pertinent part: (B) Specific instances of conduct. Specific instances of conduct of a witness, for the purpose of attacking or supporting the witness’ character for truthfulness, other than conviction of crime as provided in rule 609, may not be proved by extrinsic evidence. They may, however, in the discretion of the court, if probative of truthfulness or untruthfulness, be inquired into on cross-examination of the witness (1) concerning the witness’ character for truthfulness or untruthfulness, or (2) concerning the character for truthfulness or untruthfulness of another witness as to which character the witness being cross-examined has testified. Id. In this case, the defendants have filed motions for disclosure of the government witnesses’ substance abuse history and current drug use, their criminal histories including arrests and charges filed, and any pending warrants. Clearly, the defendants seek information relating to prior bad acts and the government requests that the 2
defendants be directed not to refer to any of those matters or to any of the following matters during cross examination or during their cases-in-chief without first establishing, out of the presence of the jury, the good faith basis for each allegation of misconduct or other bad act and the relevance of each allegation to the issues in this case: 1. Evidence missing from the evidence room of the Lawrence, KS, Police Department; 2. Guns seized by Lawrence Police Department being sold in area pawn shops; 3. Drug or alcohol use or investigations of drug/alcohol use by law enforcement officers; 4. Disciplinary actions imposed upon law enforcement officers; 5. Planting or falsifying evidence; 6. Theft of money or property belonging to arrested persons; 7. Impersonation of FBI agents; 8. Use of racial epithets by prosecutor or witnesses; 9. Racially motivated investigation and prosecution; 10. Any other specific instance of misconduct offered to impeach the credibility of a witness called by the government [C]ourts require a “good faith” basis before permitting a party to cross examine regarding prior bad acts. See, for example, U.S. v. OvalleMarquez, 36 F.3d 212, 219 (1st Cir.1994) cert. denied, 514 U.S. 1007, 115 S.Ct. 1322, 131 L.Ed.2d 202 (1995). While the purpose of crossexamination is to impeach the credibility of a witness, the basis for the impeachment cannot be speculation and innuendo with no evidentiary foundation. Id. The general rule in such situations is that the questioner must be in possession of some facts which support a genuine belief that the witness committed the offense or the degrading act to which the questioning relates. United States v. Sampol, 636 F.2d 621, 658 (D.C.Cir.1980) (quotation omitted) . United States v. Ruiz-Castro 92 F.3d 1519, 1528 (10th Cir. 1996) (reversed on other 3
grounds United States v. Flowers, 441 F.3d 900, 903 (10th Cir.(Kan.)). “Specific instances of misconduct of a witness, for the purpose of attacking or supporting the witness’ credibility, other than conviction of crime as provided in rule 609, any not be proved by extrinsic evidence.” United States v. Abeita, 974 F.2d 1346, *3 (1992 WL 201078 (C.A. 10 (N.M.)). The defendants have repeatedly made spurious and unfounded allegations of illegal and unethical conduct against the government’s witnesses and counsel, apparently attempting to poison the jury pool and to force the government to dismiss their cases by repeated instances of character assignation. At the government’s Motion to Revoke Bond held on July 18 and July 21, 2008, when pressed by the government counsel for defense counsel’s good faith basis for the argumentative and inflammatory questions being asked by her of the government’s witness, counsel was either unable or unwilling to identify the source or sources which formed her good faith basis for asking questions of one of the Lawrence Police Officers about specific instances of misconduct. (Document [Doc.] 150, Case No. 07-20124 at pp. 50-58, pp. 61-63, pp. 66-70.) Based upon the evidence presented at that hearing, the United States submits that counsel’s failure to articulate a good faith basis for her questions at the detention hearing in 2008 concerning specific acts of misconduct was occasioned by the total lack of an evidentiary foundation for each question. As she told the court, counsel for Guy Neighbors had not independently investigated the allegations (Doc. 150 at p. 52) and her basis for the questions was information obtained from unnamed attorneys about irregularities in other cases (Doc. 150 at p. 57). The United States submits that without a more extensive foundation for these types of questions, inquiry into specific acts of 4
misconduct is not proper. The United States respectfully requests that unless and until counsel for the defendants have clearly identified a legally sufficient good-faith basis for each question put to government witnesses concerning a specific instance of misconduct and have also established the relevance of each question, they be directed not to question the government’s witnesses in open court about such conduct. Respectfully submitted, LANNY D. WELCH United States Attorney s/ Marietta Parker, KS Dist. Ct. #77807 Assistant United States Attorney 500 State Avenue; Suite 360 Kansas City, Kansas 66101 Telephone: 913-551-6730 Facsimile: 913-551-6541 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ELECTRONICALLY FILED Attorneys for Plaintiff Certificate of Service I hereby certify that on the 5TH day of August, 2009, the foregoing was electronically filed with the clerk of the court by using the CM/ECF system which will send a notice of electronic filing to the following: John Duma 303 E. Poplar Olathe, KS 66061 Attorney for Defendant Carrie Marie Neighbors Cheryl A. Pilate Morgan Pilate LLC 142 N. Cherry Olathe, KS 66061 Attorney for Defendant Guy Madison Neighbors
I further certify that on this date the foregoing document and the notice of electronic filing were mailed by first-class mail to the following non-CM/ECF participants: None s/Marietta Parker Assistant United States Attorney
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.