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Date: 02-24-2023

Case Style:

James A. Harnage v. Rikel Lightner, et al.

Case Number: 3:16-cv-01576

Judge: Alvin W. Thompson

Court: United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (New Haven County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Stephen R. Finucane and James W. Donohue

Description: New Haven, Connecticut civil rights lawyer represented Plaintiff, who sued Defendants on a prisoner civil rights violation theory under 42 U.S.C. 1983.

Federal Courthouse - New Haven, Connecticut

Federal Courthouse - New Haven, Connecticut

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The plaintiff has a conviction for larceny in the third degree, which is a Class D felony. The date of conviction is June 24, 1994. Thus, this conviction falls under Rule 609(b) because more than 10 years have passed since both the witness's conviction and his release from any confinement. Under 609(b)(1), the probative value of the conviction, “supported by specific facts and circumstances”, must substantially outweigh its prejudicial effect.

Here, the plaintiff testified during his deposition that he wrote bad checks. A person is guilty of larceny in the third degree under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-124a when the person commits larceny, as defined in § 53a-119, and certain other requirements are satisfied. A person may commit larceny, as defined in § 53a-119, in a number of ways. The two that appear relevant to writing bad checks are “obtaining property by false pretenses” and “obtaining property by false promise.” See § 53a-119(2) and (3). Thus, the specific facts and circumstances of the plaintiff's conviction for larceny in the third degree are highly probative with respect to propensity for truthfulness. The court concludes that the probative value of such information substantially outweighs its prejudicial effect because plaintiff is one of the two key witnesses in this case.

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(Ferguson, L.) (Entered: 02/24/2023)

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