United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: MOTIONS IN LIMINE
Xinis United States District Judge.
Court has before it Petitioner's Motion in Limine to
Exclude Respondent's Proposed Expert With Incorporated
Memorandum of Law, and Request for Hearing [ECF No. 36],
Petitioner's Motion in Limine to Exclude Inadmissible
Portions of Respondent's Article 14 Declaration with
Incorporated Memorandum of Law, and Request for Hearing [ECF
No. 39]. The Court finds that a hearing is unnecessary.
brief,  Petitioner, Enedina Alvarez (the
“Petitioner” or “Mother”), filed her
Verified Petition for Return of the Children to Mexico and
Issuance of Show Cause Order [ECF No. 1] (“Petition for
Return”) on April 12, 2017. An evidentiary hearing
was scheduled to be held on May 30, 2017, and the Court
referred the case to a Magistrate Judge for confidential
mediation proceedings. Initial Scheduling Order, ECF
No. 13. The Mother filed an Amended Verified Petition for
Return of the Children to Mexico [ECF No. 11] on April 20,
2017, which added a request that this Court recognize and
accord comity to the Mexico trial court's decision and
the Mexico appellate court's decision.
April 26, 2017, the Court issued an Agreed Scheduling Order
[ECF No. 16] based upon the parties' Consent Scheduling
Order [ECF No. 15]. The Father filed his Answer [ECF No. 21]
on May 10, 2017, denying that the Mother had legal custody
over the children and denying that the children had been
wrongfully removed from Mexico. Answer ¶¶ 35-39,
ECF No. 21.
Child Abduction, done at The Hague The Agreed Scheduling
Order [ECF No. 16] required the parties to designate any
experts on or before May 17, 2017. Respondent requested an
extension of time for certain pre-trial filings, which was
granted in part, extending the deadline to designate an
expert witness until the close of business on May 24, 2017.
Memorandum and Order 2, ECF No. 27. Respondent's Expert
Designation [ECF No. 30] was timely filed, but it did not
comply with Rule 26(a)(2)(B). The Court also granted
Respondent's request to delay the disclosure of
declaration of foreign law until May 24, 2017, provided that
an untranslated version of the document was provided to
Petitioner's counsel by May 22, 2017. Id.
Court also provided for relief to the Petitioner as a result
of the extension:
Petitioner may, at or before the trial hearing, request
appropriate relief in response to the extensions herein, for
example in regard to any rebuttal expert or continuance in
part of the trial hearing for further cross examination of
Respondent's witnesses or presentation of additional
witnesses for the Petitioner.
current Motions in Limine, the Petitioner requests this Court
to exclude Respondent's expert for failure to comply with
the Rule 26 written report requirements and to
redactportions of the Respondent's Article 14
declaration of foreign law.
Motion to Exclude Respondent's Expert
broad purpose of the discovery rules is to enable parties to
prepare for trial. “[D]iscovery is founded upon the
policy that the search for truth should be aided.”
McDougall v. Dunn, 468 F.2d 468, 473 (4th Cir.
1972)(quoting Tiedman v. Am. Pigment Corp., 253 F.2d
803, 808 (4th Cir. 1958)). Article 11 of the Hague Convention
contemplates an outside limit of six weeks from the date of
filing for the determination of the merits of a wrongful
removal case. Given such tight timelines, the parties must
cooperate with each other to complete discovery expeditiously
in advance of any evidentiary hearing that the Court
conducts. Likewise, the Court and parties must operate under
a more flexible standard to permit both sides a fair
opportunity to develop their respective factual records.
regard to the instant motion to exclude expert testimony,
Rule 26 provides:
Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, [the
expert witness] disclosure must be accompanied by a written
report--prepared and signed by the witness--if the witness is
one retained or specially employed to provide expert
testimony in the case . . . . The report must contain:
(i) a complete statement of all opinions the witness will
express and the basis ...