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.



    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.



    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.


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


    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.


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

    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.



    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.



    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 ).


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

    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.


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

    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.


  • 1:CV-02-0977 DIENER, et al. v. REED, Mayor of Harrisburg, PA

    We are considering Plaintiffs’ request for permanent injunctive relief. Plaintiffs, a group of street preachers and protesters, were either arrested or threatened with arrest at events in the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, mostly on charges of disorderly conduct. They filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that their First Amendment rights had been violated. They named as defendant, Stephen R. Reed, the Mayor of Harrisburg, in his official capacity. The complaint seeks injunctive and declaratory relief and nominal and compensatory damages.


  • 1: CV-02-1734 KAHN v. KENNETH ELWOOD, District Director, INS

    Before the court are the following motions: (1) Petitioner’s Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal Pending Resolution of Appeal from Order of District Court; (2) Respondents’ Motion to Lift the Stay of Removal; and (3) Respondents’ motion for an Expedited Decision.