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Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

Presently before the court in the above-captioned matter is the motion (Docs. 14, 17) filed by Ernesto Ruiz, Eusebia Ruiz, and Ely Felix Ruiz (collectively, "the Ruizes"), seeking the return of property and the award of attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and interest, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g) and 28 U.S.C. § 2465(b)(1). The Ruizes allege that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized $20,000 in United States currency from their safe deposit box and that, following an order (Doc. 12) of court directing the return of the seized property, the government failed to relinquish $3500 of the total amount seized. For the reasons that follow, the court will deny the motion in its entirety.

The case at bar presents a constitutional challenge to a state statute. The disputed enactment creates a right of action to enjoin the expressive conduct of violent criminals that causes mental anguish to victims or their families. Significantly, however, the fact that certain plaintiffs have been convicted of infamous or violent crimes is largely irrelevant to our First Amendment analysis. A past criminal offense does not extinguish the offender‟s constitutional right to free expression. The First Amendment does not evanesce at the prison gate, and its enduring guarantee of freedom of speech subsumes the right to expressive conduct that some may find offensive.

Judge John E. Jones III

On February 18, 2015, Storm, et al. v. Paytime, Inc. and Holt, et al. v. Paytime, Inc. were consolidated into one case for the remainder of the proceedings between the parties. (Storm, Doc. 46). However, due to the fact that these cases were filed separately and have had filings and motions pending in separate dockets, we will discuss their procedural histories separately.

Judge Yvette Kane

Pennsylvania legislature entitled the Pennsylvania Institution of Higher Education Monetary Penalty Endowment Act (“the Endowment Act,” or “the Act”) and seeks an order of this Court enjoining the law’s enforcement. (Doc. No. 1.) Defendants State Treasurer Rob McCord and Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chairman Mark Zimmer, each in his official capacity, have defended the law’s constitutionality.1 (Doc. Nos. 48, 49.) In their cross-motion for judgment on the pleadings, Defendants urge the Court to decline Plaintiff’s constitutional challenge based on the doctrines of issue and claim preclusion. (Doc. No. 74.) The factual predicate for this lawsuit is by now familiar, so the Court will recount only those facts with particular relevance to the present motions.

This case concerns the Defendant-employer’s allegedly wrongful termination of Plaintiff’s employment as a supervisor of home care providers. (Doc. No. 5 at 1-2.) Plaintiff began working for Defendant on August 22, 2011. (Id. at 2.) Defendant is a group of non-profit organizations that provide services for individuals with disabilities. (Id. at 1-2.) In August of 2012, Plaintiff reported what she believed to be violations of various state occupation and safety laws to responsible employees of the Defendant. (Id. at 5.) Specifically, Plaintiff claims that Defendant violated: (1) the Pennsylvania General Safety Law, 43 Pa. Stat. § 25-2; (2) the Pennsylvania Fire and Panic Act, 34 Pa. Stat. § 50.24(e); and (3) the Pennsylvania Universal Accessibility Law, 34 Pa. Code § 60.33. (Id. at 5.)

On April 12, 2012, NXP filed a complaint in this Court, alleging that BlackBerry had infringed six of their U.S. patents. (Doc. No. 1.) After receiving Defendants’ invalidity contentions, Plaintiff conceded its claim pertaining to U.S. Patent No. 5,763,955 (“‘955 patent”). Plaintiff subsequently submitted an amended complaint, reducing its asserted patents to five (“patents-in-suit”): No. 6,501,420 (“‘420 patent”), No. 6,434,654 (“‘654 patent”), No. 7,330,455 (“‘455 patent”), No. 5,597, 668 (“‘668 patent”), and No. 5,639,697 (“‘697 patent”). (Doc. No. 97.)

Judge Matthew W. Brann

This case concerns issues of first impression in Pennsylvania in a dispute over whether an oil and gas land lease was extended or expired by its own terms. Before the Court is the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiff’s Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 6). Danko

Before the Court is the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Attorney Fees (ECF No. 47) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d), and United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Local Rule 54.4. The underlying action concerned Plaintiffs’ claims of unlawful sex discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the Equal Rights Amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The Plaintiffs ultimately prevailed on the merits and seek compensation for their attorneys.

This case concerns a dispute over an oil and gas lease executed by the Parties.

This case was removed to this Court on December 15, 2010. The Court’s basis for jurisdiction is the parties’s diverse citizenship. Pennsylvania law applies.


On August 17, 2012, plaintiff Allegheny Enterprises, Inc. (hereinafter, “Allegheny”) filed an amended complaint seeking declaratory judgment (counts I & II), and asserting claims of conversion (count III), intentional interference with contractual relations (count IV), and interference with coal interests (count V) against defendant J-W Operating Company (hereinafter, “J-W Operating”).1 (Am. Compl., Aug. 17, 2012, ECF No. 53 (hereinafter, “Am. Compl.”)). Allegheny’s claims all substantially rest on its assertion that it owns “the coal, shallow gas and oil and the related rights” under lands that Allegheny refers to as the “Pardee Tract” and the “Jones/McConaghay Properties,” while J-W Operating owns the “deep gas and related rights” under the same lands, having acquired such rights by assignment from Allegheny. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 11, 17). Allegheny contends that, by the terms of a series of agreements with J-W Operating, its coal and shallow gas and oil rights are superior to the deep gas rights it assigned to J-W Operating (Id. ¶¶ 36, 42), and that J-W Operating has infringed (and threatens to further infringe) upon Allegheny’s rights by drilling ahead of Allegheny.