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The Middle District of Pennsylvania offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to 2012, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Judge A. Richard Caputo

Presently before the Court are cross motions for summary judgment filed by Plaintiff Robert A. James and Defendant Estelle B. Richman, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare. (Docs. 30 and 32.) For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, as to his request for a permanent injunction, will be granted. Plaintiff’s request for a declaratory judgment will be denied. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment will be denied. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

Judge Malachy E. Mannion

The plaintiff commenced this action on September 21, 2005, by filing her complaint. (Doc. No. 1.) In the complaint, the plaintiff accuses the defendant of disability-based discrimination and related offenses. She raises six counts. First, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), Pub. L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327 (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (2006)), by refusing to reasonably accommodate her disability even though she would have been able to perform the essential functions of her job with a reasonable accommodation. Second, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), Pub. L. No. 103-3, 107 Stat. 6 (codified as amended at 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (2006)), by failing to advise her of her rights under the FMLA while she was on protected leave. Third, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant unlawfully retaliated against her because of her exercising of her rights under the ADA and FMLA. Fourth, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955 (“PHRA”), Pub. L. No. 744, Pa. Laws 222 (codified as amended at 43 PA. CON. STAT. ANN. § 955 (West 2006)), by refusing to reasonably accommodate her disability even though she would have been able to perform the essential functions of her job with a reasonable accommodation. Fifth, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant unlawfully retaliated against her by terminating her for filing a claim under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act of 1915 (“WCA”), Pub. L. No. 736, Pa. Laws 338 (codified as amended at PA. STAT. ANN. tit. 77, § 1 et seq. (West 2006)). Finally, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 ("PDA”), Pub. L. No. 95-555, 92 Stat. 2076 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (2006)),1 by taking an adverse employment action against her because she was pregnant.

The plaintiff, formerly an inmate at the Allenwood Low Security Correctional Institution (“LSCI Allenwood”) in White Deer, Pennsylvania, commenced this action on December 8, 2004, by filing a complaint against Susan Gerlinski, warden of LSCI Allenwood, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), and the United States of America. The action was brought pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. (Doc. No. 1.) Since the filing of the action, the plaintiff has been deported to his native Columbia.

Presently before the court is a “MOTION FOR THE UNSEALING OF AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE IN SUPPORT OF SEARCH WARRANT AND THE UNSEALING OF THE APPLICATION AND RELATED DOCUMENTS FOR SEALING OF AFFIDAVIT, RETURN OF PROPERTY AND REQUEST FOR HEARING,” (Doc. No. 6), filed on behalf of the Scranton Housing Authority.

Judge John E. Jones III

Pending before the Court is Defendants’ Pocono Health System and Pocono Medical Center (collectively “Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ State Law Class Claim (doc. 10) filed on August 24, 2006.
 
For the reasons that follow, the Motion will be granted.

Two Motions are pending before this Court. First, Defendant, Bell Justice Facilities Corp. (“Defendant” or “Bell”), filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (doc. 47) on March 31, 2006. Second, Plaintiff, Scandale Associated Builders & Engineers, Ltd. (“Plaintiff” or “Scandale”), filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. 49) on March 31, 2006. On May 19, 2006, both Motions were dismissed without prejudice. On August 23, 2006, this Court entered an Order enabling these Motions to be reasserted. For the reasons that follow, the Motions shall be denied.

We have a plethora of motions before us which will be addressed in this Memorandum and Order. First, we have three Motions to Compel Arbitration and Stay All Proceedings, or Alternatively, for Additional Time to Respond to Complaint (docs. 7, 8, 10) filed by Defendants KPMG LLP (“KPMG”), Presidio Advisors LLC and Presidio Growth LLC (collectively, “Presidio”), and Deutsche Bank AG (“Deutsche Bank”) and Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. (“DBSI”) (collectively “Deutsche Bank Defendants”) on January 13, 2006. Second, pending before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (doc. 9) filed by Defendant Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP1 (“Sidley Austin”) on January 13, 2006. Finally, we have before us a Motion to Remand for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (doc. 23) filed by Plaintiffs on February 6, 2006.
 
For the reasons that follow, we will deny Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand, grant in part and deny in part Sidley Austin’s Motion to Dismiss, order Plaintiff Mr. Chebalo to submit to arbitration his claims against the Deutsche Bank Defendants, and stay all further proceedings in this case against all Defendants pending the completion of the arbitration process between Plaintiff Mr. Chebalo and the Deutsche Bank Defendants in accordance with the arbitration clause contained in the Customer Agreement. In addition, the Court will set a telephonic status conference for December 4, 2006, which will be initiated by Plaintiffs’ counsel, advising the Court on the progress of the arbitration procedure.

Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs', Marakay Rogers, Esq., The Green Party of Pennsylvania, The Constitution Party of Pennsylvania, Ken V. Krawchuk, and Hagan Smith, Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction ("the Motion"). (Rec. Doc. 19). A hearing was held on the merits of the Motion on February 2, 2006, and thereafter the parties submitted briefs and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. (Rec. Docs. 29, 34 and 35).
 
For the following reasons, the Motion ( doc. 19) will be denied.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

This controversy lies at the intersection of local land use law and the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601–3631. The instant action was commenced by Community Services, Inc. (“CSG”),1 on behalf of eight mentally disabled individuals who currently reside at a closed state hospital. CSG contends that defendants Heidelberg Township (“Township”), Heidelberg Township Board of Supervisors (“Township Supervisors”), and Heidelberg Township Zoning Hearing Board (“Zoning Board”), intentionally interpreted a zoning ordinance to prevent, and refused to grant a reasonable accommodation to permit, these individuals from moving into a home within the Township, in violation of the FHA. CSG requests that the court preliminarily enjoin the defendants from further impeding a move onto the property. After a carful review of the record, and following argument by counsel for the parties, the court will grant CSG’s request.

Judge Yvette Kane

Plaintiffs Common Cause of Pennsylvania, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, Representative Greg Vitali, and four individual citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, seek to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts to address alleged legislative misconduct by state officials that they claim resulted in constitutional violations. The Complaint, as amended on October 31, 2005, and again on February 8, 2006, alleges that the leadership of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, together with the Governor and the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, conspired to violate Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights by adopting and approving – in a manner that foreclosed public comment, full participation of all elected representatives, and honest judicial review – legislation providing substantial pay increases for the members of the General Assembly, the judiciary, and senior members of the executive branch of state government.

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