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Opinions

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.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

Presently before the court is a motion by defendant, Franklin Timothy Brown (“Brown”), to suppress evidence seized by police as a result of a traffic stop on grounds that the officers’ actions were not supported by individualized suspicion of criminal activity. The motion will be denied.

Presently before the court are pre-trial motions in which the defendant, Arthur Garcia, challenges the constitutionality of the criminal statute under which he is charged, prohibiting the use of “any . . . means of interstate . . . commerce . . . [to] persuade[] . . . any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years[] to engage in . . . any sexual activity,” and seeks to suppress evidence obtained by state police during an investigation into the alleged statutory sexual assault underlying the charge. The motions will be denied.

“Racial profiling” has become a familiar phrase in the last decade. Debate has swirled over the existence and persistence of the practice, in which law enforcement officials target individuals for investigation or detention based on race.1 The issue also pervades this case. Raphael Christopher asserts that members of a county sheriff’s department stopped his vehicle and issued him a traffic citation because he was an African-American driving an expensive car in the wrong neighborhood. The officers, as might be expected, dispute these charges.
 
Presently before the court are cross-motions for summary judgment. Plaintiff argues that the officers acted outside of their jurisdictional authority under state law, rendering their conduct presumptively unconstitutional. Defendants counter that their actions represented a good-faith fulfillment of law enforcement duties, entitling them to immunity from liability. After reviewing the summary judgment record in light of governing federal law, the court finds that it cannot agree with either position.

Judge John E. Jones III

Pending before the Court is a Motion to Quash Subpoena or For Protective Order (“Motion to Quash”) (doc. 80) filed by the Non-Party Subpoenaed Witnesses, Joseph Maldonado (“Maldonado”) and Heidi Bernhard-Bubb (“Bernhard-Bubb”), on June 16, 2005 and a Motion to Compel Non-Parties to Comply with Subpoenas (“Motion to Compel”) (doc. 85) filed by the Defendants on June 15, 2005 in this matter.
 
For the reasons that follow, both Motions will be granted in part and denied in part as detailed herein.

Pending before the Court is a Motion to Intervene (“the Motion”) (doc. 61) filed by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (“FTE” or “Applicants”) (doc. 61) on May 23, 2005. We will deny the Motion for the reasons that follow.

Pending before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. 19) filed by Plaintiff Jeanette Ott (“Plaintiff”) on March 1, 2005. We also have before us a Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. 20) filed by Defendants Litton Industries, Inc. Employees’ Health/Long Term Disability Plan and Unum Life Insurance Company of American (collectively “Defendants”) on March 1, 2005. For the reasons that follow, we will grant Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment and deny Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.

Judge A. Richard Caputo

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Service Electric's Motion For Summary Judgment and Permanent Injunction. (Doc. 38.1.) Plaintiff's motion will be granted in part and denied in part. The motion will be granted insofar as Plaintiff seeks a declaration that the exclusive franchise right to operate a cable television system within the municipal boundaries of Defendant City of Hazleton, currently held by Plaintiff, remains valid. The motion will also be granted insofar as Plaintiff seeks a permanent injunction preventing Defendant from implementing any franchise that is inconsistent with the exclusivity of the franchise currently held by Plaintiff. The motion will be denied in all other respects. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 and 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).

Motion of Third-Party Merrill Lynch Defendants to Dismiss Counts IV, V, and VI of Third-Party Complaint.

Judge Yvette Kane

Granville White has appealed from a judgment of conviction imposed by Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser under the Assimilative Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 13. On August 11, 2004, White was arrested at the New Cumberland Army Depot (“Army Depot”) for driving a motor vehicle while his license was suspended due to a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. Judge Smyser imposed a sentence of 75 days imprisonment, but White has remained on bond pending a determination of his appeal.

White makes only one argument in support of his appeal: that the government presented insufficient evidence to establish an essential element of the offense charged, namely, that he was driving his motor vehicle on a “highway” or “trafficway” at the time he was stopped at the Army Depot

Judge Richard P. Conaboy

Here we consider Magistrate Judge Malachy E. Mannion’s Report and Recommendation in which he recommends we deny Plaintiff’s appeal of Defendant’s denial of her application for Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB”). (Doc. 13.) Plaintiff has filed objections to the Report and Recommendation, (Doc. 14), and , Defendant responded to Plaintiff’s objections, (Doc. 15).
 
Therefore, this matter is ripe for disposition. Because Plaintiff filed objections, we will make a de novo determination regarding the matters to which Plaintiff has objected. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). After a thorough examination of the record, we conclude that this matter must be remanded to the Commissioner for further consideration.

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