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Motion in Limine (Witness & Evidence Hearing)
Oct. 12 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Shaun P. Hardy will stand trial for the murder of my daughter, Anne-Christine Johnson, beginning on Mon., Oct. 15. However, last Friday at a pre-trial conference hearing, the Galveston 212 court added another date to its daily docket. At 9 a.m. Fri., Oct. 12, the court will hear a motion in limine*, which asks the court for an order or ruling limiting or preventing certain evidence from being presented by the other side at the trial of the case. As is always the case, all such hearings are open to the public.
* DEFINITION: In U.S. law, a motion in limine (Latin: [ɪn ˈliːmɪˌne]; “at the start”, literally, “on the threshold”) is a motion, discussed outside the presence of the jury, to request that certain testimony be excluded. The motion is decided by a judge in both civil and criminal proceedings. It is frequently used at pre-trial hearings or during trial, and it can be used at both the state and federal levels.
The reasons for the motions are wide and varied, but probably the most frequent use of the motion in limine in a criminal trial is to shield the jury from information concerning the defendant that could possibly be unfairly prejudicial to the defendant if heard at trial. Other reasons arise under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to comply with discovery.
Black’s Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004) defines “motion in limine” as “a pretrial request that certain inadmissible evidence not be referred to or offered at trial.” A motion in limine can be used to get a ruling to allow for the inclusion of evidence, not only to get a ruling as to whether or not evidence will be precluded from trial. They are made “preliminary,” and it is presented for consideration of the judge, arbitrator or hearing officer, to be decided without the merits being reached first.