Plaintiff sued Defendant after she was not hired for as a deputy sheriff. Plaintiff filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence uncovered after the initial complaint and response.
Under Rule 8(c), a defendant may use after-acquired evidence of wrongdoing as an affirmative defense in a failure-to-hire claim.
Red Deer (Plaintiff), a female Native American, sued Cherokee County, Iowa (Defendant) for race, age, and sex discrimination when she was not hired as a deputy sheriff. During the lawsuit, the Defendants discovered Plaintiff had misrepresented the reasons she left her previous jobs on her job application, dishonest conduct which would have prevented them from hiring her if they had known about it about at the time. Plaintiff filed a motion in limine to exclude the after-acquired evidence.
Is after-acquired evidence an affirmative defense that must be plead and proven by the defendant?
Yes. The Defendant is allowed to amend the lawsuit to include the after-acquired evidence as an affirmative defense.
The Court concluded that this after-acquired evidence was an affirmative defense, subject to Rule 8(c), because (1) the defendant has the burden of proving the defense, (2) the defense, if proven, would limit the Plaintiff’s relief, and (3) the Plaintiff should be put on notice of this defense in the response to the complaint to avoid undue prejudice, consistent with the purpose of Rule 8(c).