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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

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through the Office of Attorney General, initiated this action as parens patriae, to enjoin the defendant, Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (“SARAA”), from acquiring, by eminent domain, a tract of land adjacent to the Harrisburg International Airport (“HIA”). This land is the site of a private parking enterprise servicing HIA. In its complaint, the Commonwealth invokes federal antitrust laws, seeking to enjoin SARAA’s “conduct in unlawfully obtaining and maintaining a monopoly for airport parking services.” (Doc. 1 ¶ 52.)
 
Presently before the court is a motion to dismiss (Doc. 6) filed by SARAA. Based upon clear application of Parker immunity, the court is constrained to grant defendant’s motion.

The David Wills House (“Wills House”) is a majestic, three story, federal-style brick building that stands on the eastern corner of the town square in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Built circa 1816, the structure was originally a one-story building housing various merchant shops. In 1839 it was converted into the “American Hotel,” and twenty years later became the property of David Wills, a prominent attorney—and later county judge—who added two stories to the building and used it as his residence and law office.1 Although the almost 200 year-old building is historically significant in its own right, it is renowned as the quarters of President Abraham Lincoln on November 18, 1963. Lincoln was a guest of the Wills House the night before he delivered the “Gettysburg Address,” his now famous dedication of a national cemetery on the grounds of the Battle of Gettysburg. Indeed, scholars still debate the extent to which Lincoln penned the extraordinary speech in the White House.
 
In October 2000 the Wills House became part of the Gettysburg National Military Park, and in March 2004 the Borough of Gettysburg sold the property to the National Park Service for $550,000. (See Doc. 1, Ex. 1 ¶ 3; Doc. 14 at 3.) The historic site’s popularity prompted Congress to appropriate approximately $5.5 million for its renovation. The Wills House attracted over 10,000 visitors in 2005 and, according to a commissioned study, the proposed renovations will attract an additional 140,000 visitors annually.
 
Adjacent to the David Wills House sits a two-story building owned by the defendants in this case, John and Antoinette Koscinski (“Koscinskis”). The first floor of this property is occupied by a commercial entity, and the second floor is comprised of apartments. The Koscinski property and the David Wills House share a common, or “party,” wall.4 In October 2005 the United States commenced the instant lawsuit, seeking an injunction to gain access to the Koscinski property for the purposes of repairing the common wall and renovating the Wills House. (See Doc. 1.) Following a telephone conference with counsel the court directed briefing on the appropriateness of an injunction, and a hearing was held on the matter on January 24, 2006. At the hearing the Koscinskis did not present any evidence and conceded the propriety of injunctive relief.

Judge Malachy E. Mannion

On July 26, 2004, the plaintiff, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, (“SCI-Mahanoy”), Frackville, Pennsylvania, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, in which he alleges that defendant Hopta violated his Eighth Amendment rights by subjecting him to unsafe conditions in the prison’s welding shop and that defendant Cerullo was deliberately indifferent to his resulting medical needs.

On October 26, 2001, the plaintiff initiated the instant action in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas as the result of the tragic suicide of her daughter, Deborah Cruise, in a Scranton Police Department holding cell. The plaintiff alleges that her daughter’s civil rights were violated, during her detention for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, by members of the Scranton Police Department. In addition, the plaintiff raises state law wrongful death and survivor claims.

The petitioner, an inmate incarcerated at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Dallas (“SCI-Dallas”), Pennsylvania, filed this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus on June 14, 2004, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1). The petitioner alleges that the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (“Parole Board”) changed its policies and procedures in 1996 in such a way as to apply unconstitutionally stringent standards for granting parole. He claims that these changes violate the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution

The plaintiff initiated the instant civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on February 9, 2004, in which he named only the State Police Defendants. (Doc. No. 1). By order dated October 6, 2004, the plaintiff was permitted to file an amended complaint adding defendants Tafton Fire Company, Inc. and Carrick1. (Doc. Nos. 16 & 17). On October 21, 2004, the State Police Defendants filed an answer to the plaintiff’s amended complaint.

Judge John E. Jones III

On December 14, 2004, Plaintiffs filed the instant suit challenging the constitutional validity of the October 18, 2004 resolution and November 19, 2004 press release (collectively, “the ID Policy”). It is contended that the ID Policy constitutes an establishment of religion prohibited by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief, nominal damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.
 
This Court’s jurisdiction arises under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition, the power to issue declaratory judgments is expressed in 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ cause of action arising under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Venue is proper in this District under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because one or more Defendants reside in this District, all Defendants reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the events or omissions giving rise to the claims at issue occurred in this District.
 
For the reasons that follow, we hold that the ID Policy is unconstitutional pursuant to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Pending before the Court is a Motion to Intervene (“the Motion”) (doc. 141) filed by the Courtroom Television Network LLC (“Court TV” or “Applicant”) on September 2, 2005. We will deny the Motion for the reasons that follow.

Judge Yvette Kane

The City of Philadelphia is host to approximately 2400 businesses that are licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“LCB”). Among these are licensed restaurants and eating establishments with “R” and “E” licenses that entitle their holders to sell beer and malt beverages for consumption off the licensed premises. In the parlance of liquor licensing, these establishments are known as “stop and go’s.” Among the operators of “stop and go’s” in Philadelphia are the approximately 400 members of the Asian-American Licensed Beverage Association (“AALBA”). The AALBA, along with six individual Asian-American owned businesses in Philadelphia, bring this action to enjoin the implementation of legislative changes to licensing laws that impact their businesses. Defendants are the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“LCB”), and the three current board members of the LCB. The City of Philadelphia has intervened as a Defendant.

Judge Richard P. Conaboy

The Defendant was charged in June of 2004 by way of a Superseding Indictment with two counts of criminal conduct, one of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, and a second count of selling and distributing methamphetamine. (See Doc. 12).
 
The Defendant has been in prison since June of 2004.
 
The Defendant has had Attorney Patrick Rogan and Attorney David E. Butler representing him at different times but he had some disagreements with them and at this point argues they did not properly interview him or question him and he was unsatisfied with their representation.

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