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.

10/04/2007

  • 4:CR-07-302 USA v. CORDOVA-LOPEZ
    File:

    Felipe Cordova-Lopez is a foreign national subject to deportation to Mexico. On August 8, 2007, this court ordered Felipe Cordova-Lopez to be detained for twenty days as a material witness for the United States. The United States sought Mr. Cordova-Lopez’s testimony in the prosecution against a defendant who was charged with immigration offenses. However, on August 28, 2007, this court dismissed the material witness warrant against Mr. Cordova-Lopez because the defendant entered a guilty plea. As a result, there was no trial and Mr. Cordova-Lopez was never called to testify as a material witness.

    On August 20, 2007, Mr. Cordova-Lopez filed the instant motion for material witness fees, arguing that pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1821(b) he should be compensated $40 for each day he was detained. (Doc. No. 39). The United States filed its opposition brief on August 30, 2007. (Doc. No. 52). Mr. Cordova-Lopez then filed a brief in support of his motion on August 31, 2007. (Doc. No. 53).

     

09/14/2007

  • 1:06-CV-1877 WAMPLER v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
    File:

    Beginning in 1996, Plaintiff Sherry Wampler worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. (Compl. ¶ 3.) Wampler suffers from sleep-related medical issues, IgA deficiency,1 asthma, and susceptibility to upper respiratory infections. (Compl. ¶ 7.) On March 27, 1998, Wampler submitted a written request for a modified work schedule to accommodate sleep-related medical issues. (Compl. ¶ 4.) In addition, Wampler took sick leave due to her illnesses. In her complaint, Wampler alleges that Defendant criticized her, discriminated against her, and retaliated against her for taking sick leave. (Compl. ¶¶ 8-10.) Additionally, Wampler alleges that her employment was terminated on February 9, 2006, “for allegedly leaving work early and taking extended lunches.”

  • 1:05-CV-2247 AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION, et al. v. NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION, et al.
    File:

    Before the Court is an action under the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq., challenging an administrative order of the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”). The parties have extensively briefed two issues now before the Court for determination: (1) the standard of review the Court should apply when considering the NCUA’s decision; and (2) the proper scope of discovery. For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that: (1) the challenged action of the NCUA must be reviewed on the merits under the “arbitrary and capricious” standard of § 706(2)(A) and for procedural errors under § 706(2)(D) of the APA; and (2) that the agency’s action must be evaluated based on the administrative record before the Court.

08/30/2007

  • 3:05-1398 ZUDER v. AIGELDINGER, et al.
    File:

    In his complaint the plaintiff alleges that on July 25, 2003 the defendants, all members of the Pennsylvania State Police, violated his civil and constitutional rights when they used excessive and unreasonable force against him after arrest . (Doc. No. 1). Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that while he was in custody, the defendants repeatedly hit, kicked, and threw him against barrack walls in violation of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. (Id. ¶¶ 16, 23-25). He also alleges that the defendants deprived him of due process when they took, but never returned, $800 from his person. (Id. ¶¶ 18, 27-29). Finally, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants conspired to deprive him of these rights, and as a result, the plaintiff has suffered substantial injury. (Id. ¶¶ 31-32). Based upon the foregoing, the plaintiff [hereinafter also referred to as Zuder] seeks the return of his $800, together with unspecified damages, punitive damages plus interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs. (Id. pp.7-8).

05/22/2007

  • 1:05-CV-1504 JONES v. SOUTHCENTRAL EMPLOYMENT CORP., et al.
    File:

    In this action Plaintiff Gertha Jones has alleged that Defendants’ termination of her employment and subsequent failure to hire her for two different positions constituted unlawful discrimination on the basis of Plaintiff’s race, age, and disability, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (“Title VII”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634 (“ADEA”), and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. (“ADA”). Now pending before the Court is Defendants’ joint motion for summary judgment. (Doc. No. 29.) For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted because Plaintiff is estopped from establishing a prima facie element of each of her claims, namely, that she was qualified for any of the jobs in question.

05/16/2007

  • 1:06-CR-389 USA v. KAPP and 1:06-CR-422 USA v. DUNCAN
    File:

    Now before the Court are motions to dismiss indictments in two separate criminal actions: United States v. Kapp and United States v. Duncan. Defendants have moved to dismiss indictments for violations of 18 U.S.C. § 2250, and have separately challenged the applicability and constitutionality of that statute on similar bases. For reasons of judicial economy, the Court will address both motions in a single order. For the reasons that follow, Defendants’ motions will be granted.

  • 3:06-CV-00324 DANIELS v. FERNWOOD CORPORATION
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Defendant’s motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c). (Doc. 11.) For the reasons set forth below, Defendant’s motion will be granted.

    The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to Title 28 of the United States Code, section 1332 (“diversity of citizenship”). Because we are sitting in diversity, the substantive law of Pennsylvania shall apply to the instant case. Chamberlain v. Giampapa, 210 F.3d 154, 158 (3d Cir. 2000) (citing Erie R.R. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 78 (1938)).

05/15/2007

  • 3:06-CV-01898 VICKY M. and DARIN M. v. NORTHEASTERN EDUCATIONAL INTERMEDIATE UNIT 19, et al.
    File:

    Presently before the Court are three motions to dismiss. The first was filed by Defendant Susan Comerford Wzorek. (Doc. 5.) The second was filed by Defendants Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19, Fred R. Rosetti, Ed.D. and Clarence Lamanna, Ed.D. (Doc. 6.) The third motion was filed by Defendants The School District of Abington Heights, David Arnold, Ed.D., William McNulty, and Mariellen Sluko. (Doc. 7.)

05/01/2007

  • 3:07-CV-0717 ARIAS-MARAVILLA v. STANKOVIC, Register of Wills for Luzerne County
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs Heather Buck and Jose Guadelupe Arias-Maravilla’s Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction prohibiting Defendant Dorothy Stankovic, Register of Wills for Luzerne County, her agents and employees, from requiring Plaintiff Arias to prove his lawful presence in the United States as a condition of obtaining a marriage license. (Doc. 3.) A hearing was held on Thursday, April 26, 2007, supplemental briefs were filed and Plaintiffs’ motion is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs’ motion will be granted. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343(a), as well as 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

03/19/2007

  • 3:04-CV-2427 DOE v. REV. ALBERT M. LIBERATORE, JR., et al.
    File:

    Presently before the Court are Defendants Diocese of Scranton (the “Diocese”), Sacred Heart of Jesus Church (“Sacred Heart”), Bishop James C. Timlin (“Bishop Timlin”), Rev. Joseph R. Kopacz (“Father Kopacz”) (collectively the “Diocesan Defendants”) and Brother Antonio F. Antonucci’s (“Brother Antonucci”) (collectively “Defendants”) motions for summary judgment (Docs. 75-1, 76) as to Counts I, III, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII of Plaintiff John Doe’s Complaint (Doc. 1). The Diocesan Defendants also seek summary judgment as to Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages. For the reasons stated below, the Court will grant in part and deny in part Defendants’ motions. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1367(a).

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