The Motion In Limine In California Eviction Law

Question: My attorney has advised me that as a landlord I should file a Motion in Limine along with a trial brief in my tenant eviction case. What is a Motion in Limine and why should it be used in a California Unlawful Detainer case?

Answer: A Motion in Limine can be a very useful tool in (1) preparing for trial as it helps your landlord attorney to organize his or her thoughts on the evidence that may be submitted by the Defendant(s) in your eviction case and (2) assisting the attorney in the preparation of objections to the evidence that may be submitted by the Defendants.

In Limine Motions are designed to facilitate the management of a case, generally by deciding difficult evidentiary issues in advance of trial. The usual purpose of motions in limine is to preclude the presentation of evidence deemed inadmissible and prejudicial by the party being evicted. A typical order in limine excludes the challenged evidence and directs counsel, parties, and witnesses not to refer to the excluded matters during trial. The advantage of such motions is to avoid the obviously futile attempt to unring the bell in the event a motion to strike is granted in the proceedings before the court.

The purpose of a Motion in Limine is to prevent the introduction of potentially prejudicial evidence by the tenant being evicted through argument and comment if such evidence will not be allowed to be introduced at trial in California.

A properly drafted Motion in Limine will require the tenant and/or his attorney to reveal to the court his or her evidence on a particular issue – such as on the defense of the breach of the warranty of habitability, retaliation, discrimination or any other defenses – to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the Defendant to attempt to make any type of argument to the jury or court on that particular issue.

The Motion in Limine is an excellent tool that allows the court to weed out evidence and issues that are simply not provable under California Law before the evidence is presented to the judge or jury. The value of this type of litigation tool far outweighs the costs if the case warrants it.

At Fast Eviction Service, help on any of the issues discussed in this article is simply a click or phone call away. Email intake@fastevict.com or call our office at (800) 686-8686 to discuss your questions for a free evaluation of your case.

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This post is filed under: Eviction Procedure