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.


  • 3:CV-99-0892 GORECKI v. MASSANARI

    Plaintiff brought this action on June 3, 1999 claiming the Social Security Administration’s denial of supplemental security income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, was not supported by substantial evidence. (Compl., Doc. 1.) Plaintiff filed his motion for summary judgment on December 15, 1999. (Doc. 11.) Defendant filed its motion for summary judgment and a brief in support on February 14, 2000. (Doc. 14.) Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt filed his Report and Recommendation on August 15, 2000 recommending that Plaintiff’s motion be denied and Defendant’s motion be granted. (“R. & R.” or “Report”, Doc. 16.) Plaintiff timely filed objections to the Report, (Pl.’s Objections to the R. & R., Doc. 17) to which Defendant responded on September 11, 2000. (Def.’s Response to Pl.’s Objections to the R. & R. by the Magistrate Judge, Doc. 18.) Because I find that the determination of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) was inconsistent with settled law, the report and recommendation of Magistrate Judge Blewitt will be adopted in part and not adopted in part.



    The instant non-jury trial requires us to determine whether the plaintiffs are entitled to $75,000.00 o r $500,000.00 in underinsured motorist insurance coverage (hereinafter “UIM coverage”). The plaintiffs are Joseph Clifford and Joseph Clifford, Administrator of the Estate of Christopher Clifford (hereinafter “plaintiff”), and the defendant is Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the Prudential Insurance Co. of America, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Co. (hereinafter “defendant” or “Prudential”). This case was removed from the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas on October 12, 1999. The plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action seeking to have the court reform the plaintiff’s insurance policy to provide UIM limits equal to the limits of the liability coverage. The parties agreed that the merits of the plaintiff’s complaint would be addressed at a nonjury trial. A trial was held on October 20, 2000, addressing the plaintiff’s declaratory judgment complaint. At that time, the parties formally presented their recommended stipulated facts and their respective legal theories.


  • 3:CV-00-1300 BELITSKUS, et al. v. KIM PIZZINGRILLI, Secretary of State of Pennsylvania, et al.

    This case requires the court to determine whether a provision of the Pennsylvania Election Code providing for a mandatory filing fee is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The court holds that, as applied to candidates such as Plaintiff John Stith who are unable to pay the filing fee, the Pennsylvania law violates the Equal Protection Clause.


  • 1:CR-01-71 USA v. FREDDIE SINKLER, JR.

    Before the Court is the Defendant’s “Pretrial Motion to Suppress Evidence” filed with the Court on May 7, 2001. Defendant seeks the suppression of evidence seized in connection with his January 7, 2001 arrest as violative of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Defendant’s motion has been briefed and an evidentiary hearing on the motion was held on July 19, 2001.



    The plaintiff in the instant case was employed by Miners from July 1994 until she was laid off in May 1998. Defendant Miners, a hospital, entered into a collective bargaining agreement (hereinafter “CBA”) with Defendant District Council, a labor union. While employed by Miners, plaintiff was a member of District Council.

    On October 31, 1996, Miners posted a vacancy for a registration clerk/switchboard operator position. Plaintiff Seritti bid on that position, but it was awarded to another employee. Plaintiff filed a grievance on November 13, 1996 alleging that Miners breached the CBA by appointing another employee to the open position. On November 20, 1996, Miners denied the grievance at Step 1 of the grievance/arbitration procedure set forth in the CBA. On December 3, 1996, Miners denied the grievance at Step 2 of the grievance procedure. On March 12, 1997, Miners denied the grievance at Step 3 of the grievance procedure. District Council informed Miners, by a letter dated April 23, 1997, that the union would proceed to arbitration on plaintiff’s grievance. District Council failed to process the grievance to an arbitrator.



    Plaintiff First Health Group Corp. (“First Health”) initiated this diversity action against David W. Norton (“Norton”) and National Prescription Administrators, Inc. (“NPA”), by filing a complaint, motion for temporary restraining order, motion for preliminary injunction, and motion for expedited discovery on February 22, 2000. Plaintiff’s complaint alleges claims of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contract, and tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage, against Norton and NPA, arising out of NPA’s successful 1999 bid to manage and administer Pennsylvania’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (“PACE”) program. Plaintiff’s claims against Norton arise out of his role as a former employee of First Health (and officer-in-charge of the PACE program) and his later role as a consultant to NPA in connection with the preparation of its successful 1999 bid to manage and administer the PACE program.


  • 1:CR-89-214-01 USA v. PINKSTON

    In July 1992, after he pled guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 846, this court sentenced the defendant, Julius John Pinkston, to 248 months in prison, later reduced to 198 months for substantial assistance in the prosecution of a codefendant.

    Pinkston has filed a pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his conviction and sentence, his first attempt at such postconviction relief. It is based on Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S. Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435 (2000).


  • 4:99-1208 SAMPSON FIRE SALES, INC., et al. v. OAKS, et al.

    This is a breach of contract matter as well as other claims brought in a complaint filed on July 9, 1999. (Doc. No. 1). The defendants answered and filed a counterclaim on August 3, 1999. (Doc. No. 6). This was followed by plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss the counterclaim, on August 20, 1999. (Doc. No. 7). On September 30, 1999, the matter was referred, following consent of the parties, to a United States Magistrate Judge. (Doc. No. 14). Taking up the motion to dismiss the defendants’ counterclaim, United States Magistrate Judge Raymond Durkin dismissed the counterclaim on January 28, 2000. (Doc. No. 16).



    Defendants, York County, York County Prison, Thomas Hogan and Christopher Reilly (the “York County Defendants”), have filed a motion to dismiss the Plaintiff’s complaint for failure to effect service upon them. They also request dismissal with prejudice because service on them now would be beyond the statute of limitations. We presume the motion is made under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(5). The Plaintiff has filed a cross-motion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m) for enlargement of time to effect service.

    Plaintiff, Yudaya Nanyonga, filed this civil rights action setting forth constitutional and state-law tort claims arising from treatment she received during her classification at the York County Prison as a detainee of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”). Nanyonga names the INS and Doris Meissner, the INS Commissioner, (“the Federal Defendants”) as well as the York County Defendants. Hogan is the prison warden and Reilly is a member of the York County Board of Commissioners. Twenty-five John and Jane Does have also been named.


  • 3:00-1606 OSTRANDER v. HORN, et al.

    On May 17, 2000, defendants Horn and Chesney authorized thirty (30) CERT officers to conduct “a live exhibition/exercise3” at SCI Frackville within the Restricted Housing Unit, (“RHU”). With “invited civilians” looking on, the CERT officers forcefully extracted him from his cell and “carried/dragged” him to the RHU exercise area, where he was placed in a “cage” and left there with his hands cuffed behind his back. Approximately twenty (20) CERT officers, fully equipped with assorted weapons, were lined up against the wall in the exercise area, causing him to become fearful and emotionally distressed.