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.

01/31/2003

  • 3:02-CV-0831 USA v. 2001 HONDA ACCORD EX VIN #1HGCG22561A035829
    File:

    This case arises out of a civil forfeiture action brought by the United States against Defendant vehicle, a 2001 Honda Accord EX VIN #1HGCG22561A035829 (“the Honda”), for its alleged use in facilitating the transportation and sale of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), otherwise known as Ecstasy. (Doc. 1). The matter before the Court is Claimant Kimberly A. Marckesano’s (“Marckesano” or “Claimant”) Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Motion has been fully briefed by the parties. A hearing was held on this matter on January 22, 2003. The Motion for Summary Judgment is ripe for disposition.

  • 3:00cr0320 USA v. SUSAN GILBRIDE
    File:

    Defendant Susan Gilbride pled guilty on December 14, 2000, to charges of Credit Card Fraud. On April 25, 2001, this court sentenced her to twelve (12) months of imprisonment, the sentence to run consecutively to a state court sentence. The court recommended that the Federal Bureau o f Prisons (hereinafter “BOP”) allow the defendant to serve her f ederal sentence at Catholic Social Services Community Contract F acility (hereinafter “CSCC”). In addition, the court imposed a three (3) year term of supervised release with special conditions requiring the payment of partial restitution of $3,471.50 and participation in counseling.

    The state paroled the defendant on July 14, 2002, and she began to serve the sentence imposed by this court. As recommended, BOP designated CSCC as the place for service of defendant’s sentence. She is scheduled to be released on July 13, 2003.

01/28/2003

  • 3:01-CV-0294 ARIEL LAND OWNERS, INC. v. LORI DRING AND NANCY ASARO
    File:

    Before the Court is a motion by Defendants Lori Dring and Nancy Asaro to stay concurrent state court proceedings concerning this matter. (Doc. 57.) In opposition, Plaintiff Ariel Land Owners, Inc. contends that Defendants removed this case in violation of the one-year time limitation of 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b). Therefore, Plaintiff argues, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case. (Doc. 61.) The Court agrees. I lack subject matter jurisdiction to hear this case because § 1446(b) applies to this case and because this one-year time limitation is a jurisdictional requirement. I will remand this matter to the Court of Common Pleas of Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Because I lack subject matter jurisdiction, all other pending motions will be denied as moot.

01/27/2003

  • 3:99-1234 VALENTI v. ALLSTATE INSURANCE CO. (2)
    File:

    The plaintiffs’ make three (3) contentions in their post trial motions:

    First, the court erred in its decision to deny the plaintiffs’ motion in limine with regard to the testimony of Thomas Davis, Jr. because that testimony was highly prejudicial with little or no probative value; Second, the court erred in its determination that the plaintiffs’ insurance policy was joint with regard to plaintiffs Anthony and Henrietta Valenti; and, Third, there was insufficient evidence for the jury to find that the plaintiff had committed insurance fraud.

01/24/2003

  • 1:CV-01-2439 VIETH, et al. v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, et al. (3)
    File:

    PER CURIAM

    Before the court are Plaintiffs’ motion to impose remedial districts and Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The parties have briefed the issue, as has amicus curiae. Additionally, the parties have presented oral argument on the instant motion. Accordingly, the matter is ripe for disposition.
     
    This case involves an ongoing challenge to Pennsylvania’s congressional redistricting effort. The Commonwealth initiated the redistricting process in response to the year 2000 decennial census which indicated that Pennsylvania would lose two seats in Congress due to shifts in the national population. Accordingly, the Commonwealth enacted its initial redistricting plan. That plan has been referred to throughout this litigation as Act 1.

01/13/2003

  • 1:CR-02-146-01 & 02 USA v. GRASS & BROWN
    File:

    On June 21, 2002, a federal grand jury sitting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania issued a thirty-seven count indictment against Defendants Grass and Brown, former officers and directors for the Rite Aid Corporation.1 The indictment alleges that Defendants engaged in a conspiracy intended to enrich themselves by defrauding Rite Aid and its stockholders, creditors, and vendors. This conspiracy allegedly lasted the duration of Defendant Grass’s tenure as Rite Aid’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”). The indictment also alleges that Defendants Grass and Brown engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct justice by impeding investigations by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the Grand Jury.

01/10/2003

  • 3:01cv0961 SMITH v. CONTINENTAL CASUALTY COMPANY
    File:

    Geisinger Medical Center employed Plaintiff Harold A. Smith (hereinafter “plaintiff”) as an emergency room physician. Geisinger provides disability insurance benefits to its employees through a plan that is an “employee welfare benefit plan” as that term is defined by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. ERISA governs the instant case as it arises from the denial of long term disability benefits afforded under an employee welfare benefits plan.

    Plaintiff stopped wo rking in February 1997. H e could not, at that time, work for more than one or two hours at a time because of profound fatigue. He also claims to have suffered from cognitive dysfunctions, and pain in his extremities , bladder, legs and buttocks. Plaintiff asserts that he is disabled as he is unable to work in the specialized field of medicine that he practiced immediately prior to his disability, that is, an Emergency Room Department Physician. He made a claim to Continental for disability benefits. Continental denied the claim in July 1997. The terms of the policy provide for an appeal process which the plaintiff proceeded to utilize. Continental denied his appeal in January 1998. Plaintiff claims that he sought to submit new evidence, and Continental informed him in July 1999 that it would not consider the new evidence. Accordingly, plaintiff instituted the instant action to recover the disability benefits.

01/07/2003

  • 3:01cv10 CARTER FOOTWEAR, INC. v. AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE CO., et al.
    File:

    Carter, along with its subsidiary, Carter Dominican Republic, Inc., was in the business manufacturing a nd selling sh oes. In Sep tember of 1998, Ca rter had warehouse facilities in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and a manufacturing plant in the Dominican Republic. Carter would purchase raw materials for its shoes and perform initial processing tasks in Wilkes-Barre. It would then ship the raw materials to the Dominican Republic where they would be assembled into shoes. The finished shoes would be shipped back to Wilkes-Barre for either direct transfer to customers or storage in Carter’s warehouse.

    At some point in the spring of 1998, Carter hired Sterling & Sterling, Inc ., (“Sterling”), as an insurance broker. Carter instructed Sterling to find replacement marine open cargo insurance coverage with the same terms and conditions as an expiring marine open cargo policy Carter then had. Sterling sought a quote for such coverage from American and sent American a copy of Carter’s then effective policy. On April 9, 1998, American and
    Sterling came to an agreement for Carter’s insurance, and American issued Marine Open Cargo Policy No. 87621, (the “policy”), to Carter. It appears from the record that the American policy contained the same terms and conditions as Carter’s previous marine open cargo policy; but the parties dispute who is responsible for drafting the policy. (Doc. 28, Ex. F at ex. 8 ).

01/02/2003

  • 1:CV-02-0420 BUILES v. NYE, Warden Snyder County Prison, et al.
    File:

    Petitioner, Jorge Yamel Builes, a citizen of Columbia, has filed a counseled petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, contesting a final order of removal issued by the
    Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) deporting him to Columbia. The petition is also styled as a civil rights complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 for injunctive relief. The INS initiated removal proceedings against Builes after his conviction for conspiracy to distribute heroin.

12/10/2002

  • 1:CV-02-1214 PONNAPULA v. ASHCROFT, et al.
    File:

    Petitioner is a native and citizen of Pakistan who was admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant on September 4, 1983, and was granted lawful permanent resident status (“LPR status”) on January 26, 1986. (In re Ponnapula, May 22, 2001 BIA decision at 1 [hereinafter “BIA decision”].) In 1993, a New York State grand jury, sitting in Manhattan, indicted Petitioner, along with several other defendants, for grand larceny in the first degree, see N.Y. Penal Law § 155.42, and for falsifying business records in the first degree, see id. § 175.10.5 (Decl. of Alexander E. Eisemann in Supp. of Mot. for Temp. Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause at 2, ¶ 3 [hereinafter “Eisemann Declaration”].) Over the next year, Petitioner and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office engaged in plea negotiations.

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