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Castillo v. Hogan

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 16, 2019

MICHAEL CASTILLO, Plaintiff,
v.
JASON HOGAN, et. al, Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Michael Castillo (“Plaintiff”) an inmate at the Cheshire Correctional Institution (“Cheshire CI”), has sued Sheryl Estrom, Jason Hogan, Allen Smith, Christopher Johnson, Belinda Stewart, and Ricardo Ruiz (collectively “Defendants”), corrections officials and medical providers, for alleged deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, and retaliation. Rev. Joint Trial Mem., ECF No. 110; Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 35.

         Before the jury trial beginning on April 22, 2019, both sides have filed motions in limine .

         Mr. Castillo moves to preclude Defendants from introducing evidence concerning his and inmate witness Melendez's criminal histories, prison disciplinary records, and Department of Correction's security risk group designations. Mot. in Limine to Exclude Pl. and Inmate Witness' Crim. Records, Prison Disciplinary Records, and Dep't of Corr. Security Affiliations at Trial (“Pl. Mot.”), ECF No. 74.

         Defendants move to exclude Plaintiffs Exhibits 25-27, [1] newspaper articles and a Department of Correction's Auditors' Report, as inadmissible. Mot. in Limine to Exclude Pl. Exhibits 19-21 (“Def. Mot.”), ECF No. 76.

         For the reasons below, Plaintiff's motion in limine, ECF No. 74, is DENIED without prejudice to the possibility of renewal at trial. Defendants' motion in limine, ECF No. 76, also is DENIED without prejudice to the possibility of renewal at trial.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         Mr. Castillo, an inmate in the custody of the Connecticut Department of Correction, was, at all pertinent times, incarcerated at Cheshire CI. Rev. Joint Trial Mem. at 3. Defendants are correctional officials and medical providers who are or were employed at Cheshire CI. Id.

         Mr. Castillo asserts two causes of action against Defendants. First, he alleges that Mr. Ruiz, Ms. Estrom and Ms. Stewart were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs for a period of eighteen months in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Id. Second, Mr. Castillo alleges that Mr. Johnson, Mr. Smith and Mr. Hogan retaliated against him “for exercising his Constitutional right to protection from being forced to incriminate himself or another person in connection with a State of Connecticut Department of Correction investigation, ” id. at 4, by denying him unnecessary medical attention.

         Mr. Ruiz, Ms. Estrom and Ms. Stewart argue that Mr. Castillo did not suffer from a serious medical condition and that they provided the medically indicated treatment. Id. Mr. Johnson, Mr. Smith and Mr. Hogan claim that they did not prevent Mr. Castillo from receiving medical care. Id. They allegedly “were in no way motivated by [Mr. Castillo's] supposed lack of cooperation with the [Connecticut Department of Correction's] investigation into gang activity.” Id. In any event, all of the Defendants assert an entitlement to qualified immunity.

         B. Procedural Background

         On August 14, 2014, Mr. Castillo filed his initial Complaint. Compl., ECF No. 1.

         On January 26, 2015, the case was assigned to this Court. Order of Transfer, ECF No. 7.

         On March 9, 2015, Mr. Castillo filed an Amended Complaint. Am. Compl. ECF No. 10.

         On April 30, 2015, the Court issued an initial review order dismissing two of the Defendants from the case, Warden Jon Brighthaupt and Deputy Warden Powers and permitting the case to proceed against the remaining Defendants. Initial Review Order, ECF No. 11.

         On June 16, 2015, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 15.

         On August 31, 2015, Mr. Castillo opposed the motion to dismiss. Opp. to Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 21.

         On February 22, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' motion to dismiss. Ruling on Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 27. The Court dismissed Mr. Castillo's state law claims, but permitted his federal law claims to proceed. Id. at 10.

         On May 31, 2016, Mr. Castillo filed his Second Amended Complaint. Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 35.

         On November 16, 2016, Defendants answered the Second Amended ...


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