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.

11/26/2003

  • 3:03-CV-1090 ROSKOS v. SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP, et al.
    File:

    Before the Court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Complaint and for a More Specific Complaint, (Doc. 6), filed on September 29, 2003. On June 30, 2003, Plaintiffs filed a complaint asserting five counts against Defendants: Count I - Violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985; Count II - Abuse of Process; Count III - Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Count IV - Slander and Defamation; Count V - Negligence. (Doc. 1.) Federal jurisdiction is based on federal question jurisdiction of the §§ 1983 and 1985 claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343 and supplemental jurisdiction of the common law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

    In the pending motion, Defendants request the Court to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or, in the alternative, to dismiss all counts except Count IV for defamation and require Plaintiffs to file a more specific complaint as to that count. (See Doc. 7 at 4.) Defendants filed a brief in support of their motion on October, 2003, (Doc. 7), and Plaintiffs filed an opposing brief on October 24, 2003, (Doc. 11). Defendants did not file a reply brief and the time for such filing has passed. Therefore, the matter is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’ motion is granted in part and denied in part. In addition, we grant Plaintiffs leave to supplement their complaint regarding the § 1983 liability of Defendants Sugarloaf Township, Sugarloaf Township Police Department and Sugarloaf Township Supervisors.

11/25/2003

  • 3:02cv673 SELECTIVE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA v. JASKOLOKA
    File:

    On April 18, 2001 d ecedent L inda Jasko loka, an em ployee of Tobyhanna Township Department of Public works, was working on the highway clearing brush alongside the road and loading it into her truck. See Police Report, Defendant’s Exhib. B. She sustained fatal injuries when a driver, Matthew Ferrell, struck her and crushed her between his automobile and the back o f the dump truck she was using . Id.; Compl. ¶ 5; Answer ¶ 4.

    Defendant Jaskoloka, administratrix, made a claim upon Plaintiff Selective to recover underinsured motorist benef its pursuant to a township insurance policy worth $1,000 ,000.00. Compl. ¶¶ 9, 11. Defendant had previously recovered $15,000 from the tortfeasor. Compl. ¶¶ 7-8. It is undisputed that decedent was in the course and scope of employment when killed. Compl. ¶ 5; Answer ¶ 4. Defendant, however, further contends that decedent was an “occupant” of the township’s dump truck, as the term has been defined by the courts of this Commonwealth, when killed. Answer ¶ 4. As such, defendant contends that decedent was covered under the township’s in surance policy.

11/19/2003

  • 3:02cv2014 ROWINSKI v. SALOMON SMITH BARNEY, INC.
    Judge:
    File:

    Plaintiff alleges that SSB “failed to ensure that the analysis provided to its millions of retail brokerage customers would not be influenced by its investment banking operations.” Compl. ¶ 24. Contrary to SSB’s marketing and contractual obligations to its consumer clients, plaintiff alleges that SSB’s research and analysis was not objective, but rather a tool for the benefit of its investment banking business. Id. As a result, plaintiff contends that SSB charged its consumer clients a premium for providing a valuable product: objective analysis, but it actually provided them with another, valueless product: biased research. Compl. ¶¶ 47-51.

11/07/2003

  • 1: CV-03-1481 COUNTESS v. POOL FACT, INC.
    File:

    According to Plaintiff’s complaint, on December 7, 2001, Commerce Bank (“Commerce”) lent PoolPak, Inc. (“PoolPak”) $250,000. On December 24, 2001, Commerce lent PoolPak an additional $250,000. In exchange for these loans totaling $500,000, Commerce held a security interest in any and all outstanding accounts receivable due to PoolPak. On June 6, 2003, Commerce assigned its interest in PoolPak’s accounts receivable to Plaintiffs Frank H. and Rebecca K. Countess. Plaintiffs claim they are entitled to recover $470,806.00 from Defendant Pool Fact, Inc. for goods PoolPak delivered to Defendant, for which Defendant refused to pay.

11/06/2003

  • 1:CV-02-1500 CLARENDON NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. CITY OF YORK, PENNSYLVANIA
    File:

    This is a declaratory judgment action filed by Plaintiff Clarendon National Insurance Company against the City of York, Pennsylvania to disclaim coverage for the civil action against the City and several York police officers filed in this Court and docketed as civil action number 03-169 (the “underlying action” or the “Allen case”).

    Charles Robertson, then mayor of York, signed an application for insurance on May 26, 2000. (Doc. No. 23, Ex. I, attach. B). A supplemental application was signed on July 17, 2000. Based on these applications, Plaintiff issued the City public officials and employment practices liability insurance (Policy No. APR 15-00123), effective August 19, 2000 through August 19, 2001, in return for a policy premium of $23,243.
  • 4:CV-03-1184 CANALES-MARTINEZ v. THOMAS RIDGE, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, et al.
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Petitioner Jose Cristobal Canales-Martinez’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus requesting a stay of removal and challenging the removal order. I will deny Petitioner’s petition. I find that Petitioner was never eligible for INA § 212(c) relief, thus there can be no impermissible retroactive effect under INS v. St. Cyr. I also find that the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not precluded from initiating INA § 238 removal proceedings while an INA § 240 removal proceeding is pending because the bases for removal under each section are independent from one another. The Court has jurisdiction to decide this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.

11/04/2003

  • 3:00cv1142 BROMINSKI v. COUNTY OF LUZERNE, et al.
    File:

    In August 1992, Luzerne County hired the plaintiff to serve as its Chief Clerk of Assessment. Complaint ¶ 12. During his employment, plaintiff supervised 40-50 employees in the County’s Tax Assessor’s office. See Defendants’ Exhib. 3, p. 22-23. In December 1999, as part of its annual budgeting process, the County finalized the 2000 fiscal year budget. See id. Exhib. 1B. In order to meet the parameters of the budget and the total amount of salaries that were allowed, the county realigned certain departments and eliminated certain positions from the budget, including three (3) full-time positions in the County Assessor’s office. See id. Exhib. 2. After the budget was adopted on December 30, 1999, the plaintiff was notified of the elimination of his position and his termination. See id. Exhib. 3, p. 36.

    In January 1999, plaintiff announced his candidacy and sought the democratic nomination for the office of County Commissioner of Luzerne County. Complaint ¶ 14. Plaintiff was unsuccessful in his campaign for County Commissioner. Id. ¶ 19. Plaintiff claims that he was terminated from his position in retaliation for exercising his constitutional rights. Id. ¶ 21.

10/30/2003

  • 1:03-CR-129 USA v. LYNCH
    File:

    Defendant has moved to suppress all of the evidence seized and to suppress his identification by the officers as “tainted.” Defendant argues (1) it was unreasonable for Officer Fry to stop Defendant’s vehicle, (2) the officers’ identification of Defendant as the driver of the vehicle was unnecessarily suggestive and therefore unreliable, (3) the search of Defendant’s vehicle and the seizure of its contents were unlawful and not justified under the inventory or plain view exceptions.

10/27/2003

  • 3:01cv1998 RADER v. WEA MANUFACTURING, INC.
    File:

    On January 18, 1993, WEA Manufacturing, Inc. (“WEA”) hired plaintiff as a full-time Mechanical Designer in its Research and Development (“R&D”) Department. Complaint ¶ 6. Plaintiff was fifty-three years of age at the time he was hired. Id. ¶ 5-6. WEA operates a manufacturing facility that produces various multimedia products, including Compact Discs (“CDs”), information CDs (“CD-ROMs”) and Digital Versatile Discs (“DVDs”). Jeffrey Raider Aff. ¶ 3.

    On December 13, 2000, plaintiff was informed that the Machine and Mold Shop (“the Shop”) was going to be eliminated and all part fabrication would be outsourced. Id. ¶ 26. Plaintiff was also informed that, since his position was part of this department, he would be terminated. Id. ¶ 27. On April 10, 2001, at the age of sixty-one, plaintiff was terminated. Id. ¶ 43. Plaintiff claims that the functions of his position were still required and were distributed among several other employees who were not as qualified or experienced. Id. ¶ 48. Plaintiff also claims that all of the other younger Shop employees and their supervisor were not terminated. Id. ¶ 6.

10/17/2003

  • 1:CV-99-854 SHELLEM v. MAYS, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiffs’ civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 is before the Court on Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Defendants argue that this 1983 civil rights action must be dismissed on two bases: (1) that the undisputed facts do not demonstrate violation of a constitutional right, and (2) that even assuming that Plaintiffs have established violation of a protected right, Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment will be denied.

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