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Opinions

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

Presently before the court in this interpleader action are cross-motions for summary judgment by defendants, Patrick Kelley and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), seeking disbursement of payments owed under a pension benefit plan administered by plaintiff, Asbestos Workers Local No. 23 Pension Fund (“Fund”), and governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001-1401. Patrick Kelley, named as designated beneficiary under the plan, became entitled to a guaranteed amount of benefits following the death of his father, Richard Kelley, the participant in the plan. The IRS contends that tax liens against Richard Kelley’s property attached to the term benefits payable to Patrick Kelley. The Fund filed this interpleader action to resolve the rights of the IRS and Patrick Kelley to the benefit payments.

Judge William W. Caldwell

Slobodan Milosevic, a citizen of Serbia subject to a final order of removal that would return him to his native country, has filed a counseled, amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, seeking an order requiring the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) to reopen his appeal of the removal order so that he can adjust his status on the basis of his marriage to an American citizen, the marriage occurring after the Board had denied his appeal.

Judge A. Richard Caputo

Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 4) for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted filed by Defendant Jeffrey Sodl and Defendant Stroudsburg Area School District (hereinafter School District). Because the Plaintiffs have failed to allege that the School District or Sodl created a danger which caused the injuries to Catherine R. Giovinco, I will grant Defendants’ motion. Since granting the motion to dismiss will dispose of all the federal claims, I will remand the remaining claims to state court. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 for the claims against Sodl and the School District and 28 U.S.C. § 1367 for the state law claims against Defendants Danielle Foster and Patricia Foster.

Presently before the Court is Defendant Mercy Health’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The motion will be denied because there are material issues of fact as to whether McAndrew was disabled, whether she was a qualified individual, and whether Mercy Health discriminated and/or retaliated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Because the Court will not grant summary judgment for the Americans with Disabilities Act claims, I will also continue to maintain supplemental jurisdiction over the state Workers’ Compensation retaliation claim.

Presently before the Court is Petitioner Jose Cristobal Canales-Martinez’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus requesting a stay of removal and challenging the removal order. I will deny Petitioner’s petition. I find that Petitioner was never eligible for INA § 212(c) relief, thus there can be no impermissible retroactive effect under INS v. St. Cyr. I also find that the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not precluded from initiating INA § 238 removal proceedings while an INA § 240 removal proceeding is pending because the bases for removal under each section are independent from one another. The Court has jurisdiction to decide this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

Judge Richard P. Conaboy

Before the Court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Complaint and for a More Specific Complaint, (Doc. 6), filed on September 29, 2003. On June 30, 2003, Plaintiffs filed a complaint asserting five counts against Defendants: Count I - Violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985; Count II - Abuse of Process; Count III - Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Count IV - Slander and Defamation; Count V - Negligence. (Doc. 1.) Federal jurisdiction is based on federal question jurisdiction of the §§ 1983 and 1985 claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343 and supplemental jurisdiction of the common law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
 
In the pending motion, Defendants request the Court to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or, in the alternative, to dismiss all counts except Count IV for defamation and require Plaintiffs to file a more specific complaint as to that count. (See Doc. 7 at 4.) Defendants filed a brief in support of their motion on October, 2003, (Doc. 7), and Plaintiffs filed an opposing brief on October 24, 2003, (Doc. 11). Defendants did not file a reply brief and the time for such filing has passed. Therefore, the matter is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’ motion is granted in part and denied in part. In addition, we grant Plaintiffs leave to supplement their complaint regarding the § 1983 liability of Defendants Sugarloaf Township, Sugarloaf Township Police Department and Sugarloaf Township Supervisors.

The plaintiff has brought this civil action under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to obtain judicial review of the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying the claim of the plaintiff for Social Security disability insurance benefits.

On June 14, 1995, the plaintiff, Virginia A. Leslie, applied for disability insurance benefits. She claimed that she became disabled on April 30, 1992, as the result of chronic degenerative changes, and herniated or bulging discs. Her claim was denied initially and on reconsideration. The plaintiff filed a request for a hearing, and a hearing was held before an administrative law judge (ALJ) on March 11, 1999. Tr. 25-67.

Judge James M. Munley

On April 18, 2001 d ecedent L inda Jaskoloka, an em ployee of Tobyhanna Township Department of Public works, was working on the highway clearing brush alongside the road and loading it into her truck. See Police Report, Defendant’s Exhib. B. She sustained fatal injuries when a driver, Matthew Ferrell, struck her and crushed her between his automobile and the back o f the dump truck she was using . Id.; Compl. ¶ 5; Answer ¶ 4.

Defendant Jaskoloka, administratrix, made a claim upon Plaintiff Selective to recover underinsured motorist benef its pursuant to a township insurance policy worth $1,000 ,000.00. Compl. ¶¶ 9, 11. Defendant had previously recovered $15,000 from the tortfeasor. Compl. ¶¶ 7-8. It is undisputed that decedent was in the course and scope of employment when killed. Compl. ¶ 5; Answer ¶ 4. Defendant, however, further contends that decedent was an “occupant” of the township’s dump truck, as the term has been defined by the courts of this Commonwealth, when killed. Answer ¶ 4. As such, defendant contends that decedent was covered under the township’s in surance policy.

Judge Yvette Kane

According to Plaintiff’s complaint, on December 7, 2001, Commerce Bank (“Commerce”) lent PoolPak, Inc. (“PoolPak”) $250,000. On December 24, 2001, Commerce lent PoolPak an additional $250,000. In exchange for these loans totaling $500,000, Commerce held a security interest in any and all outstanding accounts receivable due to PoolPak. On June 6, 2003, Commerce assigned its interest in PoolPak’s accounts receivable to Plaintiffs Frank H. and Rebecca K. Countess. Plaintiffs claim they are entitled to recover $470,806.00 from Defendant Pool Fact, Inc. for goods PoolPak delivered to Defendant, for which Defendant refused to pay.

This is a declaratory judgment action filed by Plaintiff Clarendon National Insurance Company against the City of York, Pennsylvania to disclaim coverage for the civil action against the City and several York police officers filed in this Court and docketed as civil action number 03-169 (the “underlying action” or the “Allen case”).
Charles Robertson, then mayor of York, signed an application for insurance on May 26, 2000. (Doc. No. 23, Ex. I, attach. B). A supplemental application was signed on July 17, 2000. Based on these applications, Plaintiff issued the City public officials and employment practices liability insurance (Policy No. APR 15-00123), effective August 19, 2000 through August 19, 2001, in return for a policy premium of $23,243.

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