IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
April 10, 2013
TYRONE PATTERSON, PLAINTIFF,
CITY OF OMAHA, A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF NEBRASKA; MOLLY HIATT, BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND OFFICIALLY AS AN OFFICER OF THE OMAHA POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND PAUL HASIAK, BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND OFFICIALLY AS AN OFFICER OF THE OMAHA POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lyle E. Strom, Senior Judge United States District Court
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Tyrone Patterson for reconsideration of plaintiff's request for a new trial (Filing No. 140). Plaintiff argues that new evidence reveals a misunderstanding or misapplication of law by the jury. The new evidence presented is the report of an "expert" who made conclusions about the jury's reasoning based on a five-question survey answered by a single juror nearly two months after the trial.
The Court does not find this to be sufficient reason to overturn its prior order. Plaintiff has presented the secondhand statement of a juror to show a misrepresentation of the law or unsound reasoning by the jury. Cases cited by plaintiff do not support using post-verdict statements of the jury for this purpose. One of the cases plaintiff cites explicitly forbids such a use:
Jurors cannot be heard to testify that while the substance of the verdict returned into court was understood, it was predicated upon a mistake of the testimony, a misrepresentation of the law, unsound reasons, or improper motives . . . [J]urors are competent witnesses for the purpose of showing that through oversight, inadvertence, or mistake respecting the substance of the verdict returned into court, [it] was not the verdict on which agreement was actually reached in the jury room.
Young v. United States, 163 F.2d 187, 189 (10th Cir. 1947). The Eighth Circuit affirmed the decision of the District Court for the Western District of Missouri which relied, in part, on Young to deny a new trial in a case similar to the plaintiff's. Armstrong v. United States, 228 F.2d 764, 768-69 (8th Cir. 1956) (affirming district court's holding "that the verdict of the jury could not be affected, disturbed or impeached by the evidence of former jurors as to what had occurred during the deliberations of the jury in the jury room"). Armstrong v. United States, 228 F.2d 764, 769 (8th Cir. 1956). Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for
reconsideration is denied.
BY THE COURT:
Lyle E. Strom
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