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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.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

Plaintiff Arthur Johnson ("Johnson" or ―Mr. Johnson‖) is a convicted murderer. He has been in the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ("the Department") since 1973, serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. For the past thirty-six years, the Department has held Mr. Johnson in solitary confinement—his entire existence restricted, for at least twenty-three hours per day, to an area smaller than the average horse stall. Astoundingly, Mr. Johnson continues to endure this compounding punishment, despite the complete absence of major disciplinary infractions for more than a quarter century.

Mr. Johnson initiated this cause to challenge his institutional exile as violative of the United States Constitution. Presently, Mr. Johnson moves the court to compel the Department to: (1) stop his interminable isolation and (2) release him to general population.

Capitol Presort Services, LLC (“Capitol Presort”) commenced this breach of contract action against XL Health Corporation (“XL Health”) asserting that XL Health unilaterally terminated a service agreement between the parties prior to the expiration of its initial term. Before the court are the parties’ respective cross-motions for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.

William Dommel (“Dommel”) and his late father, Robert Dommel,1 participated in the commercial horse-breeding business for over twenty-five years. (Doc. 97 ¶ 7; Doc. 106 ¶ 7). Between March 2006 and May 2007, the Dommels entered into three loan agreements with Jonestown Bank and Trust Company (“the Bank”), totaling approximately $4,330,000.  The documents memorializing these agreements consist of promissory notes, mortgages, and guaranties (collectively, “the loan documents”).

The Dommels pledged three properties in toto as security for the loans: 1) “Farm One” located at 83 Sherk’s Church Road, Palmyra, Pennsylvania, consisting of 96 acres, (2) “Farm Two” located at 7 Coon Creek Road, Palmyra, Pennsylvania, consisting of 68 acres, and (3) a hunting camp located in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, consisting of 500 acres. According to the terms of each mortgage, the Dommels waived “all notices of Mortgagor’s default of, or Mortgagee’s election to exercise, or Mortgagee’s actual exercise of any right, remedy or option under, this Mortgage or under the Note, unless expressly required under this Mortgage or documents evidencing or collateralizing the Note.”

The putative class action at bar challenges the confidential treatment regime of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (“Department”) colloquially known as the “One Good Eye” policy. Culled to its essence, this administrative policy denies cataract surgery to inmates who retain a threshold modicum of visual acuity in one eye, notwithstanding physician recommendations to the contrary. The court finds that such draconian medical treatment, as unearthed in the complaint, may transgress the Eighth Amendment.

Judge John E. Jones III

Presently pending before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 10) filed by Defendants Pedro A. Cortes and Jonathan Marks (collectively, “Defendants”). The Motion is filed in response to Plaintiff Roque de la Fuente’s Amended Complaint for Emergency Mandamus, Injunctive and Declaratory Relief (Doc. 4), filed on August 18, 2016. Due to the expedited nature of this proceeding and the close relation of the issues raised with matters of Pennsylvania election law, the Court requested that the parties brief the threshold issue of abstention on an accelerated schedule. We have now received a full complement of briefings (Docs. 11, 12, and 13) in response to the Motion and the Motion is accordingly ripe for the Court’s review. For the following reasons, the Court shall abstain and shall not proceed to the merits of Plaintiff’s claims.

On June 29, 2012, Lang filed a Complaint (Doc. 1), individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, against PHEAA. In his Complaint, Lang alleged that he and other PHEAA employees were required to arrive at work early to log in to various computer applications and perform other tasks so that they would be ready to handle calls at the beginning of their shifts. Lang alleged that he, and others similarly situated, were not paid for this time. PHEAA’s alleged failure to pay Lang and other employees for this time formed the factual basis for the two counts presented in Lang’s Complaint. In Count I, Lang alleged a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. Count II of the Complaint alleged violations of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, 43 P.S. § 260.1, et seq., and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, 43 P.S. § 333.101, et seq.

Presently pending before the Court is Plaintiff Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C.’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Count II (Doc. 23) filed on April 29, 2016. For the reasons that follow, the Court shall grant the Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment and declare that the subject lease between Plaintiff and Defendants does not permit class arbitration.

On March 5, 2015, Plaintiffs Michael L. Keyes, (“Mr. Keyes”), and Jonathan K. Yox, (“Mr. Yox”), filed a Complaint, alleging violations of their asserted Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and Fifth Amendment equal protection and due process rights. (Doc. 1). Count I of the Complaint contends that, as applied to Plaintiffs, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4) violates the Second Amendment. Count II alleges that, as applied to Mr. Yox, § 922(g)(4) violates the Second Amendment because Mr. Yox was under the age of 18 when he was involuntarily committed. Count III alleges that § 922(g)(4) violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment as applied to Plaintiffs. Lastly, Count IV alleges that § 922(g)(4) violates Plaintiffs’ equal protection rights secured under the Fifth Amendment. Plaintiffs seek various forms of declaratory and injunctive relief.

Before the Court is a motion by Plaintiffs, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pursuant to Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), for a preliminary injunction enjoining Defendants, Penn State Hershey Medical Center (“Hershey”) and PinnacleHealth System (“Pinnacle”) (collectively, “the Hospitals”), from taking any steps towards consummating their proposed merger pending the completion of the FTC’s administrative trial on the merits of the underlying antitrust claims.

R.L., a minor, by and through his parents, Michael Lordan and Jill Lordan, commenced this action by filing a Complaint on March 11, 2014, alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his First Amendment free speech rights and Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. (Doc. 1). The Complaint also includes a state law claim for violation of R.L.’s free speech rights under the Pennsylvania Code.