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.

09/30/2002

  • 1:CV-01-1725 BELL v. ROSSOTTI, et al.
    File:

    On September 10, 2001, Plaintiff Thurston Bell, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint against IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti in his official capacity, and IRS agents Chris Roginsky and Kathleen Lennon in their official and individual capacities. In his suit, Bell seeks (1) a declaratory judgment that his websites and their content are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, (2) an injunction against Defendants preventing them from approaching him and his family, and (3) compensatory damages in the amount of $30,000 and punitive damages of $1,000,000 from each of the Defendants sued in their individual capacities for violations of his First Amendment rights.

09/25/2002

  • 1:CV-99-2190 PIPER v. AMERICAN NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF TEXAS, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiffs Donald E. Piper, Sr. (“Mr. Piper”) and Diana L. Piper (“Mrs. Piper”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) make the following allegations against defendants. On November 19, 1998, Plaintiffs discussed the purchase of health insurance coverage with an insurance salesperson named Dennis Shillen (“Mr. Shillen”). Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Shillen was recruited and trained by NBA, and that he was an authorized agent of American National. Plaintiffs filled out and signed an application for group health insurance that would be provided by American National. In order to be enrolled in the group policy, which was issued by American National to NBA, Plaintiffs were required to become members of NBA. Therefore, Plaintiffs joined NBA at the same time they applied for the health insurance, paying a $12 fee for the membership.

08/28/2002

  • 3:01cr151 USA v. MARCUS ANTHONY WILMINGTON
    File:

    The facts underlying the instant criminal case are as follows: Kirk Schwartz, a detective with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and Ronald Paret, an agent with the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Narcotics, boarded and searched a Greyhound Bus stopped at the Delaware W ater Gap Toll Plaza. The defendant, Marcus Anthony Wilmington, was a p assenger o n the bus. The authorities allegedly searched a bag on the bus and found three kilograms of cocaine. No one on the bus, including the defendant, claimed the bag in which the cocaine was found. The defendant claimed to have one bag, and he allowed the officials to search it. The officials connected the bag containing the cocaine to Wilmington based upon the contents of the bag that Wilmington claimed and allow ed them to search. The officials arrested the de fendant. He is charged with distribution of a controlled substance, specifically in excess of 500 grams of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1). The defendant is free on bail pending trial. He has filed the instant suppression motion.

06/17/2002

  • 3:cv-01-2177 AMAYE v. ELWOOD, et al.
    File:

    On November 16, 2001, Petitioner, an alien in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”), detained at the York County Prison, York, Pennsylvania, filed this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 1). This case is currently before us via Magistrate Judge Smyser’s Report and Recommendation filed on February 15, 2002. (Doc. 12). The Petitioner is proceeding pro se. The Report and Recommendation recommends “that since the Petitioner has not applied to the INS for cancellation of removal pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1229(b)(2), waiver of removal pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(7), or asylum pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1158, those claims be dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. It is further recommended that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus be granted, that the removal order be vacated and that the petitioner be released from custody. In the alternative, it is recommended that the case be remanded to the INS for a review of the petitioner’s detention as set forth” in the Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 12). The Respondent filed objections to the Report and Recommendation on February 25, 2002. (Doc. 14).

06/11/2002

  • 1: CV 01-2136 Churches of God, et al. v. MATAMORAS COMMUNITY CHURCH
    File:

    This action brought by individual members of the Churches of God seeks to enjoin the Matamoras Community Church from employing ministers not credentialed by the Churches of God and otherwise practicing their faith in a manner inconsistent with the Constitution and bylaws of the Churches of God. Specifically, Plaintiffs seek to enjoin Defendant from “using church property in ways not sanctioned by the Churches of God.” Compl. at p. 8. Now before the Court is Defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The motion has been fully briefed, and the Court held oral argument on March 14, 2002. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.

06/04/2002

  • 1:CV 00-1269 COSTENBADER-JACOBSON v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiff, formerly Assistant Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery (“Lottery”), alleges that during the course of her employment she was discriminated against because of her sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiff also alleges that she was ultimately discharged in retaliation for the claim of discrimination she filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and that the discharge thus violated Title VII and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court exercises jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and venue is proper. Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment, which has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

04/23/2002

  • 3:00-2243 RICE v. SKYTOP LODGE
    File:

    The general facts in this case are not in dispute. On December 30, 1998, the plaintiff was sledding at Skytop Lodge when he ran into an orange plastic fence which had been placed at the bottom of the hill by Skytop to keep sledders from traveling out onto a lake at the bottom of the sledding hill. On his third run, the plaintiff came in contact with the fence causing him to break his right leg between the ankle and the knee.

  • 3:00-2243 RICE v. SKYTOP LODGE (2)
    File:

    The general facts in this case are not in dispute. On December 30, 1998, the plaintiff was sledding at Skytop Lodge when he ran into an orange plastic fence which had been placed at the bottom of the hill by Skytop to keep sledders from traveling out onto a lake at the bottom of the sledding hill. On his third run, the plaintiff came in contact with the fence causing him to break his right leg between the ankle and the knee.

04/15/2002

  • 1:CV-02-0119 MUHAMMAD v. MENDEZ, et al.
    File:

    This case is a habeas corpus petition brought by Hatim Muhammad against Warden Jake Mendez of the United States Penitentiary at Allenwood in White Deer, Pennsylvania and the United States Parole Commission (“Commission”) filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner raises various procedural due process violations regarding his initial parole hearing on April 26, 2000 and challenges the Commission’s decision to depart from the guideline ranges for setting a reconsideration hearing. The matter is fully briefed and ripe for consideration. Because Petitioner relies upon inapplicable federal parole statutes and the Commission did not abuse its discretion in departing from the guideline ranges, Muhammad’s petition will be denied.

04/08/2002

  • 1:CV-01-2439 VIETH, et al. v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, et al. (2)
    File:

    Plaintiffs Richard Vieth, Norma Jean Vieth, and Susan Furey brought this action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Defendant Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Defendant Executive Officers, and Defen dant P residing Officers. Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of the enactment of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1200 (“Act 1”), Pennsylvania’s Congressional redistricting plan, which Governor Schweiker signed into law on January 7, 2002.

    In our previous order of February 22, 2002, we dismissed several claims brought by the Plaintiffs which challenged the constitutionality of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1200 (Act 1), the congressional redistricting plan enacted by the General Assembly and signed into law on January 7, 2002. On March 11-12, 2002, we held a hearing on the Plaintiff’s sole remaining claim: Act 1 violates the constitutional principle of “one-person, one vote.” Upon conclusion of this hearing, we ordered the parties to file proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.

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