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Opinions

The Middle District of Pennsylvania offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to present, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Judge James M. Munley

Plaintiff Kerry Dennison began working at SCI-Mahanoy as a Psychological Services Associate in November of 1 995. Officials at SCI-Mahanoy fired Dennison on June 30, 2 000. At the time of his dismissal, Dennison had reached the level of a Psychological Services Associate 2. Dennison alleges that while he worked at SCI-Mahanoy the individual defendants continually harassed, intimidated, and threatened him in an effort to force him out of his position. Defendants took these actions in retaliation for Dennison’s complaints regarding discrimination in employment practices and parole determinations.

On July 9, 2001, the plaintiffs filed the instant complaint, seeking damages for violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the common law torts of assault and battery. Oral argument was held on defendants’ ensuing motion for summary judgment on October 28, 2002, bringing the case to its present posture.

Petitioner Medina is a citizen of the Dominican Republic. (Govt. Ex. A, Record of Deportable/Inadmissible Alien, Form I-213). He entered the United States on October 18, 1985 as an imm igrant. Id. On March 12, 1999, petitioner was convicted in the Northampton County Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas of possession w ith intent to deliver a controlled substance, cocaine, a felony in violation of 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(30). (Govt. Ex. B, Record of Conviction). The court sentenced him to a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years imprisonment, a $200.00 fine and 500 hours of community service. (Govt. Ex. B, Record of Conviction).

On March 23, 1999, the INS filed a Notice To Appear (NTA) thus commencing removal proceedings against Medina. The NTA charges that Medina’s drug conviction renders him removable from the United States pursuant to the following two sections of the immigration law: 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii); and 8 U.S.C. § 1227 (a)(2)(B)(i). (Govt. Ex. C, Notice To Appear).

Judge Richard P. Conaboy

Before the Court is Petitioner John Bianco’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, (Doc. 1), in which he alleges that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) incorrectly calculated his federal sentence when it did not give him credit for all the time he had served on a state sentence. Petitioner is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Facility at Allenwood (FCI-Allenwood) serving a sixty-month sentence imposed on September 25, 2001, upon the revocation of his federal probation. Petitioner was on probation for a 1991 arrest for drug offenses in the Southern District of New York. In 1999, he was sentenced for the 1991 offenses to a term of four years probation. In January of 2001, while still on probation, Petitioner was arrested in California on drug related charges. Following Petitioner’s California arrest, a federal detainer was lodged for violation of his federal probation. After pleading guilty to state charges, he was sentenced in California to one year imprisonment on January 31, 2001. He was brought to New York in March of 2001 to answer on the federal probation violation. On September 25, 2001, Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York revoked Petitioner’s federal probation and sentenced him to sixty months imprisonment to run concurrently with his state sentence and to run “from the first day he entered federal custody.”

Before the Court is Magistrate Judge Malachy E. Mannion’s Report and Recommendation, (Doc. 14), regarding Plaintiff Victor C. Telesha’s appeal of the denial of his claim for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) under Title II of the Social Security Act (Act), 42 U.S.C. §§ 401-433. The Magistrate Judge recommends that Plaintiff’s Appeal be denied. (Doc. 16 at 9.) Because Plaintiff has filed objections to the recommended disposition, (Doc. 15), we will make a de novo determination regarding the matters to which Plaintiff has objected. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
 
After a thorough examination of the record, we conclude that the ALJ’s failure to address the disability determination of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, and his incomplete review of evidence regarding both HIV Wasting Syndrome (Listing 14.08(I)) and Plaintiff’s credibility are cause for remand.

Judge Yvette Kane

Before the Court is Defendant Holy Spirit Hospital’s motion for summary judgment. The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiffs’ decedent, Ryan K. Schorr, (“Schorr”), suffered from bipolar disorder. Schorr’s condition deteriorated shortly before November 18, 2000, and his roommate and family applied for his involuntary committal pursuant to § 302 of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Procedures Act. A crisis intervention worker employed by Holy Spirit Hospital took and evaluated the application, and caused an order for involuntary commitment to be issued. The worker then contacted the Cumberland County Control Unit and arranged for West Shore Regional Police Department officers to detain Schorr pursuant to the commitment order and related warrant.

Judge Malachy E. Mannion

This action arises out of an incident that occurred on August 27, 1995 when Ralph Sparaney was attending a concert at the Montage Ski Area. (Doc. No. 1, Exh. A, ¶ 7). While attempting to purchase a beverage at the concession stand, it appears that he was stabbed in the back with a knife, sustaining serious injuries. (Id. at ¶ 10). The court further adopts the facts as set forth by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, in their decision on the underlying matter.

On June 17, 2002, the petitioner, an inmate at the Low Security Correctional Institution at Allenwood, (“Allenwood”), White Deer, Pennsylvania, filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. He challenges the process provided to him at a Disciplinary Hearing Officer, (“DHO”), hearing, as well as the sufficiency of the evidence relied upon by the DHO to find him guilty. The petitioner further complains that he did not receive a hearing every thirty days while he was in segregation, and that, after his release from segregation and before the DHO hearing, his phone calls were unjustly limited to one call per week. The petitioner is seeking expungement of the institutional incident report and restoration of privileges and good conduct time credits lost as a result of the action taken against him by the DHO.

By way of relevant background, on March 30, 2001, the plaintiff filed the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges that the above-named defendants violated his civil right to be free from unlawful arrest and seizure, in relation to his arrest on March 30, 1999, for alleged violations of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device & Cosmetic Act, 35 Pa.C.S. §§780-113. The plaintiff bases his claim upon “blatant misrepresentations and significant omissions contained within Defendants’ Affidavit of Probable Cause.”

Judge Sylvia H. Rambo

Before the court are the following motions: (1) Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions for failure of party to attend his own deposition; (2) Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment; and (3) Claimant’s motion to suppress any and all evidence seized as a result of the unlawful stop, detention, arrest and subsequent search of Jose Montelongo on December 29, 2000. The parties have briefed the issues, and the motions are ripe for disposition.

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