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.

11/30/2006

  • 3:04-CV-0087 STATE FARM v. HILL, et al.
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 18) as to its action seeking a declaratory judgment that it is not required to provide coverage, defend or indemnify Defendant Joe Calvin Neff pursuant to Neff’s automobile insurance policy as a result of any personal injury or property damage caused by Neff on March 31, 2002. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff’s motion will be granted in part and denied in part. The Court has jurisdiction over this declaratory judgment action, filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2201(a), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).

11/29/2006

  • 3:03-CV-1690 WALTER, et al. v. PIKE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, et al.
    File:

    Presently before the Court are three motions for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’ motions will be granted in part and denied in part. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiffs’ substantive due process claim will be denied. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiffs’ procedural due process claim will be granted. Defendants Westfall Township, Pike County, and the Pike County District Attorney’s Office are entitled to assert the defense of municipal immunity and will be released as named defendants in this action. Defendants DeSarro and Jacobs are not entitled to absolute immunity as to their investigative roles in the elicitation of a confession from Joseph Stacy. Defendant Mitchell is not entitled to the defense of qualified immunity for any of his actions taken in this case. Defendants DeSarro and Jacobs are entitled to assert the defense of qualified immunity as to their failure to warn the Walter family of the danger posed by Joseph Stacy in the period leading up to the murder of Michael Walter. These Defendants are not entitled to the qualified immunity defense, however, for their involvement in the elicitation of the confession from Joseph Stacy.

    This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (“federal question jurisdiction” and 28 U.S.C. § 1367 (“supplemental jurisdiction” over related state-law claims).

11/21/2006

  • 3:05-CV-2647 JAMES v. RICHMAN, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare
    File:

    Presently before the Court are cross motions for summary judgment filed by Plaintiff Robert A. James and Defendant Estelle B. Richman, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare. (Docs. 30 and 32.) For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, as to his request for a permanent injunction, will be granted. Plaintiff’s request for a declaratory judgment will be denied. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment will be denied. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

11/07/2006

  • 4:05-1906 REIFER v. COLONIAL INTERMEDIATE UNIT 20

    The plaintiff commenced this action on September 21, 2005, by filing her complaint. (Doc. No. 1.) In the complaint, the plaintiff accuses the defendant of disability-based discrimination and related offenses. She raises six counts. First, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), Pub. L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327 (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (2006)), by refusing to reasonably accommodate her disability even though she would have been able to perform the essential functions of her job with a reasonable accommodation. Second, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), Pub. L. No. 103-3, 107 Stat. 6 (codified as amended at 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. (2006)), by failing to advise her of her rights under the FMLA while she was on protected leave. Third, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant unlawfully retaliated against her because of her exercising of her rights under the ADA and FMLA. Fourth, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act of 1955 (“PHRA”), Pub. L. No. 744, Pa. Laws 222 (codified as amended at 43 PA. CON. STAT. ANN. § 955 (West 2006)), by refusing to reasonably accommodate her disability even though she would have been able to perform the essential functions of her job with a reasonable accommodation. Fifth, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant unlawfully retaliated against her by terminating her for filing a claim under Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act of 1915 (“WCA”), Pub. L. No. 736, Pa. Laws 338 (codified as amended at PA. STAT. ANN. tit. 77, § 1 et seq. (West 2006)). Finally, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant discriminated against her in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 ("PDA”), Pub. L. No. 95-555, 92 Stat. 2076 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (2006)),1 by taking an adverse employment action against her because she was pregnant.

10/24/2006

  • 4:04-2657 BORJA v. USA
    File:

    The plaintiff, formerly an inmate at the Allenwood Low Security Correctional Institution (“LSCI Allenwood”) in White Deer, Pennsylvania, commenced this action on December 8, 2004, by filing a complaint against Susan Gerlinski, warden of LSCI Allenwood, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), and the United States of America. The action was brought pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. (Doc. No. 1.) Since the filing of the action, the plaintiff has been deported to his native Columbia.

06/22/2006

  • 04-MISC NOS. 318-322 IN THE MATTER OF THE SEARCH OF THE SCRANTON HOUSING AUTHORITY

    Presently before the court is a “MOTION FOR THE UNSEALING OF AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE IN SUPPORT OF SEARCH WARRANT AND THE UNSEALING OF THE APPLICATION AND RELATED DOCUMENTS FOR SEALING OF AFFIDAVIT, RETURN OF PROPERTY AND REQUEST FOR HEARING,” (Doc. No. 6), filed on behalf of the Scranton Housing Authority.

06/12/2006

  • 1:05-CV-2036 COMMON CAUSE OF PENNSYLVANIA, et al. v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiffs Common Cause of Pennsylvania, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, Representative Greg Vitali, and four individual citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, seek to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts to address alleged legislative misconduct by state officials that they claim resulted in constitutional violations. The Complaint, as amended on October 31, 2005, and again on February 8, 2006, alleges that the leadership of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, together with the Governor and the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, conspired to violate Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights by adopting and approving – in a manner that foreclosed public comment, full participation of all elected representatives, and honest judicial review – legislation providing substantial pay increases for the members of the General Assembly, the judiciary, and senior members of the executive branch of state government.

01/23/2006

  • 3:04-1634 FLANYAK v. HOPTA
    File:

    On July 26, 2004, the plaintiff, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, (“SCI-Mahanoy”), Frackville, Pennsylvania, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, in which he alleges that defendant Hopta violated his Eighth Amendment rights by subjecting him to unsafe conditions in the prison’s welding shop and that defendant Cerullo was deliberately indifferent to his resulting medical needs.

12/12/2005

  • 3:01-2310 CRUISE v. MARINO, et al.
    File:

    On October 26, 2001, the plaintiff initiated the instant action in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas as the result of the tragic suicide of her daughter, Deborah Cruise, in a Scranton Police Department holding cell. The plaintiff alleges that her daughter’s civil rights were violated, during her detention for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, by members of the Scranton Police Department. In addition, the plaintiff raises state law wrongful death and survivor claims.

11/07/2005

  • 3:04-1297 WALLACE v. PENNSYLVANIA BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE, et al.
    File:

    The petitioner, an inmate incarcerated at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Dallas (“SCI-Dallas”), Pennsylvania, filed this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus on June 14, 2004, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1). The petitioner alleges that the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (“Parole Board”) changed its policies and procedures in 1996 in such a way as to apply unconstitutionally stringent standards for granting parole. He claims that these changes violate the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution

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