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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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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