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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 John E. Jones III

Pending before the Court is Plaintiff The Harrisburg Authority’s (“THA”) appeal from the July 14, 2009 discovery order issued by Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser, (Doc. 78), which resolved THA’s Motion to Compel, (Doc. 59). For the reasons that follow, we shall deny the appeal and affirm the Magistrate Judge’s July 14, 2009 order.

Currently pending before the Court are three motions for summary judgment. The first was filed by Defendant Xspand, Inc. (“Xspand”). (Doc. 445). The second is a partial motion for summary judgment filed by Plaintiff Municipal Revenue Service, Inc. (“Plaintiff” or “MRS”). (Doc. 449). The third was filed by Defendant Bear Stearns & Co., Inc. (“Bear”). (Doc. 451). For the reasons that follow, all three motions shall be granted in part and denied in part.

Pending before this Court is Defendant Michael Coates’ Motion to Suppress (Doc. 28) filed on June 15, 2009. Evidentiary hearings were conducted on October 28, 2009 and November 25, 2009. After the official transcripts were filed, the parties filed post-hearing submissions. (Docs. 72, 73 and 74). Accordingly, the matter is ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow, the Motion shall be denied.

Currently pending before the Court are two motions to dismiss the amended complaint of Plaintiff Keystone Redevelopment Partners, LLC (“Keystone”). Both motions to dismiss (collectively, “the Motions”), filed by Intervenor/Defendant HSP Gaming L.P. (“HSP”) and the Board Defendants respectively, were filed on March 27, 2009. (Doc. 51) (the “HSP Motion”); (Doc. 53) (the “Board Motion”). For the following reasons, we shall grant in part and deny in part the Motions.

This matter is before the Court in what the respondents correctly note is a rather unique procedural posture. Before the Court are the Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Declaratory Relief (Doc. 9) of petitioners Alexander Alli and Elliot Grenade as well as the petitioners’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 27) and Motion for Class Certification (Doc. 17). By this Memorandum and Order, the Court does not finally resolve the petitioners’ claims, but sets forth its initial legal holdings and establishes a framework for additional proceedings.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

This is a property dispute arising between the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) and Sunshine Development, Incorporated (“Sunshine”). USPS contends that it appropriately exercised a purchase option provision contained in a lease governing a United States Post Office branch in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and is thereby entitled to purchase fee simple title to the property. Sunshine rejects this contention, argues that the lease expired, and claims that USPS is a holdover tenant liable for fair market rents. Presently before the court is Sunshine’s motion for partial summary judgment. (See Doc. 20.) For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted.

Presently before the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1) filed by Shahid Qureshi (“Qureshi”) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Qureshi challenges the denial of his application to adjust status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255a of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) and seeks an order directing the following parties to adjust his status to that of lawful permanent resident: the Administrative Appeals Office of the Bureau of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“AAO”); Robert P. Weimann, chief of the AAO; Evangelia A. Klapakis, district director of the Philadelphia District of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”); United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“USICE”), and; James T. Hayes, Jr., director of USICE (collectively, “respondents”). For the reasons that follow, Qureshi’s petition will be denied.

This multidistrict matter arises from defendants’ alleged attempts to fix prices for chocolate confectionary products in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. Plaintiffs contend that defendants, who control approximately 75% of the U.S. chocolate candy market, conspired to inflate prices artificially and reaped windfall profits as a result of several coordinated price increases implemented between 2002 and 2007.
 
All defendants filed motions to dismiss (Docs. 464, 469, 476) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). A subset of defendants comprised of Cadbury plc, Cadbury Holdings Ltd. (“Cadbury Holdings”), Mars Canada, Inc. (“Mars Canada”), Nestlé S.A., and Nestlé Canada, Inc. (“Nestlé Canada”) also challenged the court’s personal jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(2). (See Docs. 466, 471, 473, 474.) These defendants (hereinafter collectively “the Rule 12(b)(2) defendants”) allege that they do not engage in business in the United States, maintain no presence here, and are therefore beyond the court’s jurisdictional ken. On March 3, 2009, the court deferred ruling on these issues and granted plaintiffs a period of limited discovery to develop a factual basis for jurisdiction over the Rule 12(b)(2) defendants. See In re Chocolate Confectionary Antitrust Litig. (Chocolate I), 602 F. Supp. 2d 538, 573-74, 577 (M.D. Pa. 2009). Discovery closed on April 24, 2009, and all parties to the Rule 12(b)(2) motions submitted supplemental briefs and accompanying exhibits. For the reasons that follow, the jurisdictional motions of Mars Canada, Nestlé S.A., and Nestlé Canada will be granted; the motions filed by Cadbury plc and Cadbury Holdings will be denied.

Judge Yvette Kane

This putative class action is brought by three plaintiffs, Frank Robert Chester, Zachary Wilson, and Donald Hardcastle (“Plaintiffs”), each of whom has been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs allege that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s practice of executing condemned prisoners by means of lethal injection subjects them to an unnecessary risk of excruciating pain and suffering and therefore violates Plaintiffs’ rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and to due process of law under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs seek preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to enjoin Defendants from executing Plaintiffs by lethal injection as currently authorized and implemented by the Commonwealth.

On January 23, 2009, plaintiff Thomas Meros, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against defendant Mark Dows. (Doc. No. 1-1). Plaintiff alleges Defendant Dows, the director of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners (“PBLE”), violated his due process and equal protection rights by denying him admission to the Pennsylvania bar. Id. Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief, monetary damages and all other relief the court deems appropriate. Id.

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