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.

04/23/2002

  • 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.

  • 3:CV-01-1278 SELECT REHAB, INC. v. USA
    File:

    Plaintiff, Select Rehab, Inc., filed the present action seeking a refund of taxes paid when Defendant determined that Plaintiff’s medical directors were employees rather than independent contractors for purposes of federal employment tax liability.

    Presently before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 4.) The motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. Because I find that Plaintiff acted reasonably and in good faith in making the decision to treat the physicians as independent contractors, Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment will be granted.

04/04/2002

  • 3:CV-00-1507 MERA v. LOHMAN, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiff Ed Mera is the former Township Manager of Hanover Township, Pennsylvania. Plaintiff filed the present civil rights action on August 23, 2000, alleging
    that Defendants Florence K. Lohman, Brian C. McDermott, John J. Sipper, Richard C. Swoboda, members of the Board of Commissioners of Hanover Township, and Hanover Township violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights when the Board of commissioners voted to terminate him from his position as Township Manager in June 2000. (Compl., Doc. 1.) Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on September 25, 2001. (Doc. 17.) Defendants moved for summary judgment on September 28, 2001. (Doc. 22.) Both motions for summary judgment have been fully briefed and are ripe for disposition.

03/22/2002

  • 3:01-CV-1149 REAVES v. WARDEN, U.S.P. LEWISBURG
    File:

    This case is before the Court for consideration of Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt’s Report and Recommendation, (Doc. 10), concerning Reginald Reaves petition for habeas corpus filed pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 2241, (Doc. 1). The Magistrate Judge recommends that this Court dismiss Petitioner’s habeas corpus action. (Doc. 10 at 8.) Petitioner has filed objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation, (Doc. 13), and Respondent has filed a brief opposing Petitioner’s objections, (Doc. 14). Therefore, we will review the matter de novo. See Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 822 F.2d 335, 340 (3d Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 976 (1987).

02/02/2002

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

01/27/2002

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

    Judge Raymond J. Durkin on September 21, 1999. (Doc. No. 12) This action arose out of a fire that occurred on January 20, 1999 at 25-26 Pugh Street, Edwardsville, Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs, Anthony and Henrietta Valenti, were the owners of a rental property located at the above mentioned address. They were insured by the Allstate Insurance Company for fire damage under Insurance Policy No. 098095949. The policy was in effect on the date of the fire which destroyed the building. Following the fire, the plaintiffs submitted a claim for property damage to the Allstate Insurance Company. Allstate denied the claim.

    The fire was an arson, a fact not disputed by any of the parties. The defendant, however, claimed that Anthony Valenti was responsible for an intentional act of arson on the property. Therefore, pursuant to an exclusion in the policy, Allstate claimed that plaintiffs were not entitled to any compensation under its policy. Further, the defendant alleged that the plaintiffs made false and fraudulent representations in the presentation of their claim to Allstate.

12/28/2001

  • 3:00-CV-1251 SMITH v. CGU
    File:

    In an independent action in the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, Thomas Smith, a passenger, received a verdict against Mark Hartung, the driver of an automobile owned by Deborah Palma.

    In this case, a declaratory judgment action, Defendant CGU (the insurer of Deborah Palma) asks the Court to declare it is not responsible to pay the verdict amount to Thomas Smith because Mark Hartung did not have permission to use the automobile of Deborah Palma.

    As discussed fully herein, we find Thomas Smith cannot prove that Mark Hartung had permission to use the automobile. We will, therefore, grant the Defendant, CGU’s request, and declare it is not responsible to pay the verdict amount to the Plaintiff, Thomas Smith.

11/30/2001

  • 3:01-1932 FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORP. v. STEVENS
    File:

    On October 5, 2001, the plaintiff filed an “Action in Mortgage Foreclosure” against the defendant. (Doc. No. 1). Thereafter on November 27, 2001, plaintiff filed a “Motion For Special Service Pursuant To Special Order Of Court.” (Doc. No. 3). The request was made because of plaintiff’s apparent inability to serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint.

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