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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.

Judge John E. Jones III

This patent dispute is before the Court on two motions: the Motion to Place the Second Amended Answer and Counterclaims on File (Doc. 91) of the defendant RB Rubber Products, Inc. (“RB Rubber”) and the Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(2) (Doc. 85) of the plaintiff Dodge-Regupol, Inc. (“DRI”). For the reasons set forth below, RB Rubber’s motion will be granted, and the second amended answer and counterclaims will be docketed. However, DRI’s motion will also be granted, and this case will be dismissed.1

This matter is before the Court on the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Indictment on Double Jeopardy and Collateral Estoppel Grounds. (Doc. 57.) Defendants John J. Rigas and Timothy J. Rigas (collectively “the Rigases”), argue that the conspiracy with which they are charged in this action is the same offense as the conspiracy charge prosecuted in a prior action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and therefore, the current prosecution is barred by the Fifth Amendment’s protection against double jeopardy. The defendants also argue that, in the prior New York action, they were acquitted of the conduct which underlies the tax evasion counts charged in this action, and therefore, that these charges are barred by the principle of collateral estoppel. For the reasons set forth below, the defendants’ motion will be denied.

This matter is before the Court on the motions to dismiss of the State Employees’ Retirement System (“SERS”), the State Employees’ Retirement Board (“SERB”) and related individual defendants (collectively “the SERS defendants”) (Doc. 10) and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (“AOPC”) and David Frankforter (collectively “the AOPC defendants”) (Doc. 11). For the reasons set forth below, the motion of the SERS defendants will be granted in part and denied in part. The motion of the AOPC defendants will be granted, and the claims against these defendants dismissed in their entirety.

The above-captioned actions are brought pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-68 and the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (“UTPCPL”), 73 PA. STAT. ANN. §§ 201-01 to -9.3.  Plaintiffs allege that defendants engaged in a fraudulent real estate scheme to sell homes in excess of market value in the Pocono Mountains region of Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Presently before the court is the motion for reconsideration (Civil Action No. 3:01-CV-1182, Doc. 422; Civil Action No. 1:04-CV-0832, Doc. 285) of the memorandum and order of court (Civil Action No. 3:01-CV-1182, Doc. 420; Civil Action No. 1:04-CV-0832, Doc. 283)2 dated March 21, 2008, which denied the partial motion for summary judgment (Doc. 360) of defendants Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation (“Chase”) and William Spaner (collectively hereinafter “the Chase defendants”). The UTPCPL claims are not subject to the pending motion. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be denied.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

Presently before the court is plaintiff’s motion (Doc. 86) to exclude portions of the deposition of Dr. Robert Brumback (“Dr. Brumback”) at trial.1 Dr. Brumback is a treating physician of plaintiff Douglas Trout (“Trout”) who assisted Trout with acquisition and fitting of a prosthetic leg following limb amputation. Dr. Brumback began treating Trout approximately two months following the allegedly negligent surgical procedure performed by defendant Dr. Reza Miraliakbari and the allegedly negligent treatment that Trout received at defendant Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (hereinafter “the Medical Center”). Dr. Brumback played no role in Trout’s treatment while he was under the care of defendants.
 
Plaintiffs object to portions of Dr. Brumback’s deposition pertaining to a patient’s treatment and recovery following a limb salvage procedure, to Trout’s ability to remodel his townhouse following injury, to Dr. Brumback’s opinion regarding the medical qualifications of defendants’ expert witness, and to Dr. Brumback’s lack of knowledge regarding medical records maintained by the Medical Center. The court will address these objections seriatim.

Presently before the court is the motion to dismiss (Doc. 16) the complaint of pro se plaintiff John D. Wilson (“Wilson”), who alleges that defendants, who are members of or counsel to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, discriminated against him on the basis of his race and religion. Wilson, an African American and member of the Jewish faith, claims that defendants revoked his parole when he failed to complete a required substance abuse rehabilitation program, which required participants to recite a Christian prayer. Wilson refused to participate in this element of the program. Defendants contend that Wilson’s claims are barred by the statute of limitations and by the favorable termination rule announced in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). For the reasons that follow, the motion to dismiss (Doc. 16) will be granted.

Presently before the court are motions to dismiss the indictments in two separate criminal actions, namely, United States v. Paul Shenandoah and United States v. Brian Dennis Douglas. (See No. 07-500, Doc. 22; No. 08-196, Doc. 20.) The motions challenge the constitutionality of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”) both on its face and as applied. The motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for disposition.
 
For purposes of judicial economy, the court will address both motions in a single memorandum. For the reasons that follow, the motions will be denied.

Presently before the court is the motion to intervene pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) (Doc. 84), filed by Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland (“F&D”). Both plaintiff Westra Construction, Inc. (“Westra”) and defendant United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company (“USF&G”) oppose the motion for intervention. (See Docs. 88, 89.) On April 16, 2008, the court held oral argument on the motion, which has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition.

This is an employment discrimination action in which plaintiffs Lisa Terrell (“Terrell”) and Naidea Garwood (“Garwood”), both of whom are African American, contend that defendants violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17; 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”), 43 PA. STAT. ANN. §§ 951-964. Plaintiffs were formerly employed in the 911 emergency call center of defendant City of Harrisburg Police Department (hereinafter “the police department” or “department”), and they allege that the department discriminatorily discharged them for their handling of two emergency calls. Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that plaintiffs have proffered insufficient evidence to support their claims. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted.

Judge Yvette Kane

On April 24, 2003, the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”) approved Members First Credit Union’s request to amend its credit-union charter to cover six counties in south-central Pennsylvania. In doing so, the NCUA determined that the six-county area, which covers over 3,000 square miles and has a population of more than 1.2 million people, constitutes a “well-defined local community.” Plaintiffs, led by the American Bankers Association (“Association”),1 maintain that the area does not constitute a well-defined local community. Accordingly, the Association brought suit against the NCUA to challenge the NCUA’s approval  pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. Members First Credit Union and two other affected credit unions intervened as defendants.

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