LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The public feud between Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul and his neighbor, Rene Boucher, is expected to come to a head during a civil trial later this month -- and Paul's attorneys have filed a motion to withhold some information from the jurors.
The jury trial is expected to begin on Jan. 28.
In a motion filed in Warren Circuit Court on Wednesday, Paul's attorneys asked that the judge exclude certain evidence from the record, including information about Paul's political stances, as well as his past personal and professional history with Boucher.
The motion points out that the case is "unique" because Paul is a U.S. Senator, and his affiliation with the Republican Party, "is widely known in the Warren County community."
"However, any detailed discussion of Senator Paul's political beliefs, including his stance on particular issues or candidates, is irrelevant to this damages trial," the motion states. "[The] Defendant testified that his attack had nothing to do with politics...Any reference to Senator Paul's detailed political positions could only serve to alienate potential jurors who do not share his beliefs."
Among other things, Paul's attorneys asked that the judge exclude previous professional disagreements between the Senator and Boucher. According to the motion, Boucher said he worked in operating rooms with Paul from 2001 to 2002.
At one point during that period, Boucher said Paul became angry when Boucher refused to place a patient under anesthesia, due to the fact that there wasn't another surgeon in the hospital.
On another occasion, Boucher said Paul got upset when his surgery was delayed by five minutes while the anesthetist performed an EKG.
Paul couldn't remember either incident, according to the motion.
Paul's attorneys also asked that the judge withhold information about the condition of the Senator's yard, as well as past interaction between Paul and Boucher involving their respective yards.
According to the motion, Paul testified that "years ago," he and his wife, "heard through the grapevine...that [Boucher] was complaining about our swing set or something."
The motion goes on to cite testimony from Boucher that he tried to approach Paul about the condition of his yard in 2017, and spoke with members of their home owners association about it, but no formal complaint was filed.
In the months leading up to the 2017 attack, the motion says Boucher became concerned that branches from maple trees planted on Paul's property were falling into his yard, so he trimmed the trees without Paul's permission. Afterward, Boucher said Paul would collect yard trimmings and pile them near the property line.
Boucher said he, in turn, would take the piles and place them on the curb for collection.
According to the motion, Boucher said this continued until Nov. 2, the night before the attack, when he, "unlawfully entered the Pauls' property and set fire to a brush pile, burning himself in the process."
"The next day, November 3, Defendant saw Dr. Paul moving another load of yard trimmings to the pile near the property line and, in Defendant's own words, 'lost it and became irate [and] tackled him.'"
Paul's attorneys are asking the judge to withhold information about the yard dispute because Boucher has already pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and been sentenced to 30 days in a federal prison. As a result, the attorneys argue, Boucher's motive "has no bearing" on the amount of damages Paul should receive.
"At trial, Defendant is likely to attempt to frame this case as merely a dispute between neighbors that escalated out of hand," the motion states. "If anything, discovery has revealed that this 'dispute' was entirely one-sided, existing only in Defendant's mind."
Similarly, the motion argues that photographs of Paul's yard taken after the attack, as well as the value of Paul's property, should be excluded. Boucher testified that realtors and neighbors told him that the condition of Paul's yard negatively affected the property value of Boucher's own home.
As part of his lawsuit, Paul is asking a judge to award him $4,000 in medical bills he has already incurred, as well as damages for the upcoming surgery, estimated to cost somewhere between $5,000 and $8,000.
The Republican lawmaker is scheduled to cross the border for outpatient surgery scheduled sometime during the week of Jan. 21 at a hospital in Thornhill, Ontario, his attorneys said in a recent filing.
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