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.

07/22/2003

  • 3:02-CV-2219 MITCHELL v. WARD, et al.
    File:

    Before the Court is Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser’s Report and Recommendation, (Doc. 18), filed on June 5, 2003, regarding Plaintiff’s pro se action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on December 5, 2002, (Doc. 1). Plaintiff asserts that Defendants violated his constitutional rights because he was held beyond his maximum release date. In his complaint, Plaintiff requested both immediate release from custody and monetary damages. (Doc. 1, History of the Case at 3.)

    On February 19, 2003, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss and a brief in support of the motion. (Docs. 12, 13.) Defendants assert the following grounds for dismissal: 1) the Department and the natural person Defendants are immune from damages by reason of the Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution to the extent they are being sued in their official capacities; 2) Plaintiff’s claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is not cognizable because he has not obtained a favorable decision concerning the time added to his maximum sentence as a result of parole revocation proceedings; and 3) Plaintiff’s claims for injunctive and declaratory relief are moot because he was released from prison on February 9, 2003. Plaintiff filed a Brief in Opposition and a document entitled Motion in Opposition on April 14, 2003. (Docs. 16, 17.) Defendants did not file a reply.

07/21/2003

  • 3:03-CV-0193 BIANCO v. Warden of FCI Allenwood
    File:

    Before the Court is Petitioner John Bianco’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, (Doc. 1), in which he alleges that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) incorrectly calculated his federal sentence when it did not give him credit for all the time he had served on a state sentence. Petitioner is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Facility at Allenwood (FCI-Allenwood) serving a sixty-month sentence imposed on September 25, 2001, upon the revocation of his federal probation. Petitioner was on probation for a 1991 arrest for drug offenses in the Southern District of New York. In 1999, he was sentenced for the 1991 offenses to a term of four years probation. In January of 2001, while still on probation, Petitioner was arrested in California on drug related charges. Following Petitioner’s California arrest, a federal detainer was lodged for violation of his federal probation. After pleading guilty to state charges, he was sentenced in California to one year imprisonment on January 31, 2001. He was brought to New York in March of 2001 to answer on the federal probation violation. On September 25, 2001, Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York revoked Petitioner’s federal probation and sentenced him to sixty months imprisonment to run concurrently with his state sentence and to run “from the first day he entered federal custody.”

07/07/2003

  • 3:02-1372 THE STANDARD FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY v. GRIESBAUM
    File:

    Before the court are cross-motions for summary judgment filed by the parties in the above-captioned case. The defendant, Gerard Griesbaum, filed a motion for summary judgment on February 14, 2003. (Doc. No. 12). Additionally, he filed a brief in support that same day (Doc. No. 13), as well as a statement of material facts (Doc. No. 14) and exhibits (Doc. No. 16). The plaintiff, Standard Fire Insurance, filed its motion for summary judgment on February 18, 2003 (Doc. No. 17), together with a brief in support (Doc. No. 18) and a statement of material facts (Doc. No. 19).

06/16/2003

  • 3:01-CV-1503 MELLON BANK, N.A., Administrator of the Estate of BRENDA REED TESTA, Deceased v. USA, et al.
    File:

    This action is currently before the Court following an advisory jury verdict regarding Defendant United States of America’s liability in th above-captioned matter. The action arises out of the death of Brenda Testa who died on July 22, 2000, eighteen months after undergoing surgery for a ruptured cerebral aneurysm on January 3, 1999. Plaintiff’s Complaint, filed on June 20, 2001, sets forth counts for Wrongful Death, Survival Action and Punitive Damages, and alleges that Defendants were negligent and showed recklessness and carelessness in the care and treatment of Brenda Testa. (Doc. 1, Compl.)

06/09/2003

  • 3:01cv56 DENNISON v. PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiff Kerry Dennison began working at SCI-Mahanoy as a Psychological Services Associate in November of 1 995. Officials at SCI-Mahanoy fired Dennison on June 30, 2 000. At the time of his dismissal, Dennison had reached the level of a Psychological Services Associate 2. Dennison alleges that while he worked at SCI-Mahanoy the individual defendants continually harassed, intimidated, and threatened him in an effort to force him out of his position. Defendants took these actions in retaliation for Dennison’s complaints regarding discrimination in employment practices and parole determinations.

05/30/2003

  • 1:CV-01-930 SCHORR v. BOROUGH OF LEMOYNE, et al. #2
    File:
    Before the Court is Defendant Holy Spirit Hospital’s motion for summary judgment. The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

    Plaintiffs’ decedent, Ryan K. Schorr, (“Schorr”), suffered from bipolar disorder. Schorr’s condition deteriorated shortly before November 18, 2000, and his roommate and family applied for his involuntary committal pursuant to § 302 of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Procedures Act. A crisis intervention worker employed by Holy Spirit Hospital took and evaluated the application, and caused an order for involuntary commitment to be issued. The worker then contacted the Cumberland County Control Unit and arranged for West Shore Regional Police Department officers to detain Schorr pursuant to the commitment order and related warrant.

05/13/2003

  • 1:CV-01-1084 USA v. $1,790,021 IN U.S. CURRENCY
    File:

    Before the court are the following motions: (1) Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions for failure of party to attend his own deposition; (2) Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment; and (3) Claimant’s motion to suppress any and all evidence seized as a result of the unlawful stop, detention, arrest and subsequent search of Jose Montelongo on December 29, 2000. The parties have briefed the issues, and the motions are ripe for disposition.

  • 3:01cv1272 RINKER v. SIPLER, et al.
    File:

    On July 9, 2001, the plaintiffs filed the instant complaint, seeking damages for violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and the common law torts of assault and battery. Oral argument was held on defendants’ ensuing motion for summary judgment on October 28, 2002, bringing the case to its present posture.

  • 3:00-1916 SCOTTSDALE INSURANCE CO. v. MONTAGE SKI RESORT, et al.
    File:

    This action arises out of an incident that occurred on August 27, 1995 when Ralph Sparaney was attending a concert at the Montage Ski Area. (Doc. No. 1, Exh. A, ¶ 7). While attempting to purchase a beverage at the concession stand, it appears that he was stabbed in the back with a knife, sustaining serious injuries. (Id. at ¶ 10). The court further adopts the facts as set forth by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, in their decision on the underlying matter.

04/10/2003

  • 3:02cv2081 MEDINA v. ASHCROFT
    File:

    Petitioner Medina is a citizen of the Dominican Republic. (Govt. Ex. A, Record of Deportable/Inadmissible Alien, Form I-213). He entered the United States on October 18, 1985 as an imm igrant. Id. On March 12, 1999, petitioner was convicted in the Northampton County Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas of possession w ith intent to deliver a controlled substance, cocaine, a felony in violation of 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(30). (Govt. Ex. B, Record of Conviction). The court sentenced him to a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years imprisonment, a $200.00 fine and 500 hours of community service. (Govt. Ex. B, Record of Conviction).

    On March 23, 1999, the INS filed a Notice To Appear (NTA) thus commencing removal proceedings against Medina. The NTA charges that Medina’s drug conviction renders him removable from the United States pursuant to the following two sections of the immigration law: 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii); and 8 U.S.C. § 1227 (a)(2)(B)(i). (Govt. Ex. C, Notice To Appear).

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