Vega v. Lantz
A court can deny motions to preclude witnesses' testimony, without prejudice to a party raising specific objections at a later date. The plaintiff prisoner, Joe Burgos Vega, filed a civil-right suit against corrections officials and requested $6.5 million in damages. The plaintiff protested conditions of confinement, as a result of his classification as a high security risk, and asked the court to prohibit the defendants from barring the plaintiff's receipt of Halal meats for Islamic feasts. Vega alleged that a corrections official confiscated his Islamic ring, he was not permitted to purchase Islamic oils, the prison diet lacked sufficient calories during Ramadan, his request for circumcision was denied and he did not receive proper dental treatment. Vega's complaint alleged that the defendants violated RLUIPA, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 United States Code §2000cc. Both sides filed motions to preclude evidence. The defendants moved to preclude lay witnesses from offering expert testimony. The District Court denied the motion, without prejudice. The court also denied the defense motion to preclude testimony of the plaintiff's witness, Abdullah Antepli, without prejudice to the defendants raising specific objections at a later date. The court denied, without prejudice, the plaintiff's motion to preclude testimony from the defendants' witnesses, Imam Rushdan and Aly Ghanim, because the defendants indicated that they will not call those witnesses at trial. The plaintiff also moved to preclude the opinion testimony of Theresa Lantz, former commissioner of the Department of Correction, and Anthony Bruno, Director of Religious Services at the Connecticut Department of Correction, about Islamic doctrine and prison security concerns. The court denied the plaintiff's motion, without prejudice to the plaintiff raising specific objections at trial.