The Middle District of Pennsylvania offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to 2016, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.


  • 1:04-CV-2360 REITZ and SCHRAMM v. RENDELL, et al.

    The subject of the November 2, 2004 Presidential Election has been before this Court since April of this year when the United States Attorney General sought and obtained injunctive relief under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973ff-1 et seq. (“UOCAVA”), to protect the right of overseas and military voters to participate in primary elections. In connection with United States of America v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al., (Civil Action No. 1:04-CV-830), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has reported to the United States Attorney General regarding the Commonwealth’s compliance with election laws as they affect overseas and military voters, including providing information concerning the mailing of absentee ballots



    In connection with the November 2, 2004 General Election, Pennsylvania’s sixty-seven counties have issued a total of 26,739 absentee ballots to overseas and military voters. The first of these was dispatched to voters in remote locations on August 24, 2004. These ballots included the names of Ralph Nader as a candidate for President and Peter Miguel Camejo, a candidate for Vice President. Thereafter, the sufficiency of Messrs. Nader and Camejo’s nomination paper was the subject of a legal challenge in the Commonwealth and Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania. As the challenge was heard on appeal and remand, Nader and Camejo were ordered off the ballot, then on the ballot, and then off the ballot again.

    The 2004 Pennsylvania General Election Ballot was first certified by the Secretary of the Commonwealth pursuant to state law on September 17, 2004. At that time, consistent with the court order then in effect, the Secretary’s Ballot Certification excluded the names of Nader and Camejo. Counties issued absentee ballots reflecting the amended certified list of candidates without Messrs. Nader and Camejo listed as candidates. On September 21, 2004, the Secretary amended the Certification to add Nader and Camejo to the ballot. On October 13, 2004, pursuant to court order, Nader and Camejo were again removed from the Secretary’s list of certified candidates.


  • 3:02-CV-1499 KRIPPLEBAUER v. CELOTEX CORP., et al.

    We consider in this Memorandum Plaintiff William P. Kripplebauer’s Motion for New Trial, (Doc. 164), filed pursuant to Rule 59(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The matter has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition.

  • 3:03-CV-1478 IZZO v. USA

    Presently before the Court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 19) pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court converted Defendant’s motion to a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 24.) Due to the limitations on Congress’ waiver of the United States’ sovereign immunity set forth in the Federal Tort Claims Act, 5 U.S.C. § 8101, et seq., and the compensation system established for federal employees by the Federal Employee Compensation Act, 5 U.S.C. § 5101, et seq., the Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action. Accordingly, the Court will grant Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 19) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Because Defendant’s motion will be decided on jurisdictional grounds alone, the Court will not address the converted Rule 12(b)(6) motion.


  • 3:CV-03-1366 KENNEDY v. MENDEZ, et al.

    Presently before the Court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment (Doc. 16), Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser’s Report and Recommendation (Doc. 30), and Plaintiff’s Objection to Magistrate Report and Recommendation Dated January 15, 2004. (Doc. 31.) On August 13, 2003, Plaintiff, an inmate at United States Penitentiary at Allenwood (hereinafter USP-Allenwood) filed the present action. The Complaint raised claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (hereinafter FTCA), 20 U.S.C. § 26714, et seq., and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiff claims that while incarcerated at USP-Allenwood he has not received proper medical treatment for abdominal pain, anal pain, knee pain, and a positive purified protein derivative (PPD) test.


    In 1990 the petitioner was convicted on two charges of rape, and sentenced to 10 to 20 years incarceration. His minimum sentence was served as of September 13, 2000, and his maximum sentence is due to expire on September 13, 2010. (Doc. No. 31, Declaration of Benjamin A. Martinez, Chairman, Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (“Martinez Decl.”), ¶ 23). The Parole Board interviewed the petitioner for parole consideration on three occasions: June 2000, June 2003 and June 2004. Before each interview the petitioner was advised by Department of Corrections staff who evaluated him that they were recommending that he not be granted parole due to, among other things, his refusal to participate in a sex offender program.


  • 3:02-1369 KEMPER v. VARNER, et al.

    On May 2, 1995, the petitioner pled guilty to 3 counts of criminal homicide, 1 count of burglary, and 2 counts of theft by unlawful taking. Subsequent to the plea colloquy, he was sentenced on the same date to 3 consecutive life imprisonment terms on the homicide counts; 10 to 20 years imprisonment on the burglary charge, to run consecutively to the 3 life terms, and 2 terms of 3 ½ to 7 years imprisonment on the theft by unlawful taking charges, also to run consecutively to the other terms.

    On May 9, 1995, the petitioner wrote to his court appointed attorney, and advised him that he wished to file a Post Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”) petition, and a direct appeal, and that he wished to withdraw his guilty plea. Counsel replied that he would not take any further action on the matter because the petitioner had waived his right to withdraw his guilty plea as part of the plea bargain.


  • 3:CV-03-1803 FLOOD, et al. v. MAKOWSKI, et al. (5)

    The present action focuses on the events leading up to and surrounding the investment contracts made by the Luzerne County Retirement Board and Board members during the period of 1988 and 2002. Plaintiffs allege that various Board members engaged in a pay-to-play scheme in which contracts to invest or manage pension plan assets were awarded in exchange for campaign contributions to various Board members’ reelection campaigns.


  • 1:CR-02-146-02 USA v. BROWN

    On October 17, 2003, following a jury trial, Defendant Franklin Brown was found guilty on ten counts of a thirty-seven count indictment. After the conviction, the probation office completed its Presentence Investigation Report, which set Defendant’s base offense level at six.1 The probation office calculated that Defendant’s base offense level should be adjusted upward by the following enhancements: (1) plus sixteen based on the amount of the loss calculated to be $38,113,383; (2) plus two because the offense involved more than minimal planning; (3) plus four because Defendant was an organizer and leader of the conspiracy to obstruct justice; (4) plus two for an abuse of a position of trust; and (5) plus two for an obstruction of justice enhancement. With enhancements, Defendant’s total offense level is thirty-two with a corresponding sentencing range of 121-151 months. Defendant submitted various objections, which, if resolved in his favor, would reduce his total offense level by ten levels.



    The plaintiff, Adam Odenwalt, filed the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on behalf of himself and his two (2) minor children. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants have violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights in denying him contact visits with his minor children. The defendants have moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).