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.

05/03/2016

  • 14-v-00450
    File:
    R.L., a minor, by and through his parents, Michael Lordan and Jill Lordan, commenced this action by filing a Complaint on March 11, 2014, alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of his First Amendment free speech rights and Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. (Doc. 1). The Complaint also includes a state law claim for violation of R.L.’s free speech rights under the Pennsylvania Code.

03/30/2016

  • 13-v-2287
    File:
    Capitol Presort Services, LLC (“Capitol Presort”) commenced this breach of contract action against XL Health Corporation (“XL Health”) asserting that XL Health unilaterally terminated a service agreement between the parties prior to the expiration of its initial term. Before the court are the parties’ respective cross-motions for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.

02/22/2016

  • 11-v-2316
    William Dommel (“Dommel”) and his late father, Robert Dommel,1 participated in the commercial horse-breeding business for over twenty-five years. (Doc. 97 ¶ 7; Doc. 106 ¶ 7). Between March 2006 and May 2007, the Dommels entered into three loan agreements with Jonestown Bank and Trust Company (“the Bank”), totaling approximately $4,330,000.  The documents memorializing these agreements consist of promissory notes, mortgages, and guaranties (collectively, “the loan documents”).
     
    The Dommels pledged three properties in toto as security for the loans: 1) “Farm One” located at 83 Sherk’s Church Road, Palmyra, Pennsylvania, consisting of 96 acres, (2) “Farm Two” located at 7 Coon Creek Road, Palmyra, Pennsylvania, consisting of 68 acres, and (3) a hunting camp located in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, consisting of 500 acres. According to the terms of each mortgage, the Dommels waived “all notices of Mortgagor’s default of, or Mortgagee’s election to exercise, or Mortgagee’s actual exercise of any right, remedy or option under, this Mortgage or under the Note, unless expressly required under this Mortgage or documents evidencing or collateralizing the Note.” 

     

01/20/2016

  • 15-CV-5
    File:
    Hollihan v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
    The putative class action at bar challenges the confidential treatment regime of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (“Department”) colloquially known as the “One Good Eye” policy. Culled to its essence, this administrative policy denies cataract surgery to inmates who retain a threshold modicum of visual acuity in one eye, notwithstanding physician recommendations to the contrary. The court finds that such draconian medical treatment, as unearthed in the complaint, may transgress the Eighth Amendment.

12/10/2015

  • 15-cv-105

    Presently before the Court are the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment, and the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment. Docs. 27, 29. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny the Plaintiffs’ motion in its entirety and grant Defendants’ motion for Summary Judgment.

06/30/2015

  • 14-cv-129
    File:

    Presently before the court in the above-captioned matter is the motion (Docs. 14, 17) filed by Ernesto Ruiz, Eusebia Ruiz, and Ely Felix Ruiz (collectively, "the Ruizes"), seeking the return of property and the award of attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and interest, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g) and 28 U.S.C. § 2465(b)(1). The Ruizes allege that the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") seized $20,000 in United States currency from their safe deposit box and that, following an order (Doc. 12) of court directing the return of the seized property, the government failed to relinquish $3500 of the total amount seized. For the reasons that follow, the court will deny the motion in its entirety.

04/28/2015

  • 14-cv-2148
    File:

    The case at bar presents a constitutional challenge to a state statute. The disputed enactment creates a right of action to enjoin the expressive conduct of violent criminals that causes mental anguish to victims or their families. Significantly, however, the fact that certain plaintiffs have been convicted of infamous or violent crimes is largely irrelevant to our First Amendment analysis. A past criminal offense does not extinguish the offender‟s constitutional right to free expression. The First Amendment does not evanesce at the prison gate, and its enduring guarantee of freedom of speech subsumes the right to expressive conduct that some may find offensive.

04/13/2015

  • 13-cv-2022
    File:
    This matter involves an apparently novel legal question arising at the intersection of a student’s right to a free appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) and a correctional institution’s legitimate interest in security and prison management. Specifically, we are tasked to interpret the strictures of 20 U.S.C. § 1414(d)(7)(B), which allows certain incarcerated students’ Individualized Education Programs to be modified where the state proves a bona fide security interest that cannot otherwise be accommodated. The action is before us on the parties’ cross motions for judgment on the supplemented administrative record. (Docs. 36, 38).

03/13/2015

  • 14-cv-1138
    File:
    On February 18, 2015, Storm, et al. v. Paytime, Inc. and Holt, et al. v. Paytime, Inc. were consolidated into one case for the remainder of the proceedings between the parties. (Storm, Doc. 46). However, due to the fact that these cases were filed separately and have had filings and motions pending in separate dockets, we will discuss their procedural histories separately.
     

01/15/2015

  • 1:13-cv-00457
    File:

    Pennsylvania legislature entitled the Pennsylvania Institution of Higher Education Monetary Penalty Endowment Act (“the Endowment Act,” or “the Act”) and seeks an order of this Court enjoining the law’s enforcement. (Doc. No. 1.) Defendants State Treasurer Rob McCord and Commission on Crime and Delinquency Chairman Mark Zimmer, each in his official capacity, have defended the law’s constitutionality.1 (Doc. Nos. 48, 49.) In their cross-motion for judgment on the pleadings, Defendants urge the Court to decline Plaintiff’s constitutional challenge based on the doctrines of issue and claim preclusion. (Doc. No. 74.) The factual predicate for this lawsuit is by now familiar, so the Court will recount only those facts with particular relevance to the present motions.

     

     

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