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-00-0876 QWEST v. CYBER-QUEST, INC., et al.

    Plaintiffs Qwest Communications Corporation and Qwest Communications International filed this trademark and unfair competition action on May 16, 2000, alleging that Defendants adopted the mark “Cyber-Quest” in violation of federal and state law. (Complaint, Doc.1.) This court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1338(a), 1338(b) and 1367. On June 15, 2000, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (Motion to Dismiss, Doc. 3.) Two arguments form the nucleus of Defendants’ motion: 1) that the dissimilarity of the marks “Qwest” and “Cyber-Quest” precludes a finding, essential to Plaintiffs’ case, that an appreciable number of consumers are likely to be confused as to the source or affiliation of Defendants’ products and services; and 2) that Plaintiffs’ federal registration of the marks “Qwest” and “Qwest Communications” extends only to the use of the marks in conjunction with the provision of “telecommunications services,” and not to their use in providing computer equipment and services. (Memorandum Supporting the Motion to Dismiss, Doc. 3 at 9-12.) As Defendants’ have failed to carry their burden under the legal standard applicable to Rule 12(b)(6) motions, the motion to dismiss will be denied.



    On June 5, 1997, the plaintiff allegedly sustained injuries when he slipped and fell at the Continental Plaza in Cancun, Mexico. The plaintiff alleges that he was a business invitee of the defendant and that he slipped and fell while crossing a foot bridge. The plaintiff asserts that the defendant was negligent, and argues that the accident occurred because of irregularities in the foot bridge and due to a lack of handrails on the bridge. Compl. ¶ 5. The defendant alleges that the defendant does no business in Pennsylvania, is not licensed to do business in Pennsylvania, has never issued a certificate of authority to do business as a foreign corporation in Pennsylvania, and does no advertising in Pennsylvania. The discovery did reveal that a Pennsylvania travel agency paid for and placed an advertisement in a Pennsylvania newspaper that mentioned the defendant.


  • 3:CV-00-1932 KOEHLER v. MARTIN HORN, et al.

    Petitioner Koehler was convicted and sentenced to death in a Pennsylvania court on two counts of first degree murder and related charges. (Motion for a Stay of Execution, Doc. 1 at 6.) On October 18, 2000, Governor Ridge signed a death warrant setting a December 7, 2000 execution date. (Doc.1 at 2.) Presently before this court are Petitioner’s motions to admit his counsel pro hac vice, (Docs. 2, 3), motion for in forma pauperis status (Doc 1), and motion for a stay of execution so that his counsel can prepare his first federal habeas corpus petition, (Doc. 1). The state has not filed a responsive brief objecting to Petitioner’s motions.


  • 1:CV-00-1541 MORENO v. VAUGHN, et al.

    On April 19, 2000, Angel Moreno filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On July 21, 2000, the petition was transferred here.

  • 3:CV-98-0764 LESOINE v. COUNTY OF LACKAWANNA, et al.

    Plaintiff Lesoine brought this civil rights case alleging, inter alia, that Lackawanna County officials unlawfully searched her house and seized photographs, a computer and computer-related items. (Complaint, Doc. 1.) On May 3, 2000, this court determined, by summary adjudication, that the search warrants on which the officers relied were not founded on probable cause and failed to state with reasonable particularity the items to be seized. (Memorandum and Order, Doc. 61.) Presently before this court are Defendants’ motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) for reconsideration of the summary adjudication. (Motion for Reconsideration, Doc. 67; Motion for Reconsideration, Doc. 70.)



    Plaintiff, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas (SCI-Dallas), filed the present 42 U.S.C. §1983 action on December 7, 1999. (Complaint, Doc. 1). Defendant Stanish is a physician at SCI-Dallas, where Defendant Davenport serves as a prison guard supervisor. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants used excessive force in removing him from his cell, that the conditions of his subsequent confinement in the Psychiatric Observation Room (POR) amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that Defendants’ conduct was a retaliatory response, in violation of the First Amendment, to his having filed other civil actions against the Defendants. (Doc. 1.) Further details of Plaintiff’s allegations have been set forth in this court’s memoranda of August 17 and August 18, 2000. (Docs. 109, 110.)


  • 3:CV-99-1402 BULLOCK v. HORN, et al.

    Plaintiff Lamont Bullock is currently an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Greene (SCI-Greene). He filed the present §1983 action on his own behalf, claiming that various prison officials acted unlawfully to deprive him of personal property, to deny him the use of funds deposited in his prison account, and to convert funds from that account to their own use. (Amended Complaint, Doc. 15.) Plaintiff asserts various constitutional violations including violation of his right of access to the courts, since depriving him of legal materials allegedly led to the dismissal of various lawsuits he was prosecuting pro se; violation of his First Amendment right to free exercise of his religion, since religious materials were allegedly among those taken by Defendants; violation of his Fourteenth Amendment right not to be deprived of property without due process of law; and violation of his right to assert his constitutional rights without suffering retaliation.



    Plaintiff William Rosenstein & Sons Co. (Rosenstein) brought this libel action against Defendant BBI Produce (BBI) on April 6, 2000, alleging that BBI injured its reputation in the business community by publishing defamatory statements to various members of the Florida strawberry industry. (Complaint, Doc. 1.) On June 14, 2000, BBI filed a motion to dismiss for lack of in-personam jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or alternatively for a transfer to the Middle District of Florida under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). (Doc. 4.) This court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. However, because Rosenstein has failed to establish that this court has either specific or general jurisdiction over the person of BBI, the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction will be granted.



    Defendant Shamokin Area Community Hospital hired the plaintiff in May 1995 as a physical therapist. Plaintiff continued with this employment until March 1997 at which time she took a maternity leave. The leave lasted until September 1997, except for two days when she was reactivated for physical therapy work. Pl. Dep. at 196. When plaintiff began her leave, she was not notified of her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (hereinafter “FMLA”) in derogation of regu lations promulgated by the Department of Labor.

    Prior to her leave, defendant paid the plaintiff $44.00 an hour and she worked approximately twenty-four hours per w eek on av erage. When plaintiff sought to re turn to work in September 1997, she was told that the defendant did not need her services at that time, but might need them in the future.
    On September 4, 1 997, shortly after her failed attempt to return to her employment, the plaintiff began a second leave of absence. The purpose o f this second leave was to care for her seriously ill father. Plaintiff attempted to return to work on November 28, 1997, but the defendant informed her that no work was av ailable that day. In January 1998, the defendant offered plaintiff a position working forty-five hours per pay period at $24.00 per hour. Plaintiff declined the offer as she saw it as a $20.00 pay decrease and different work from what she was performing previously.


  • 3:CV-98-2105 MATASAVAGE v. CORBY, et al.

    On December 29, 1997, an individual forcibly pushed Karen Burnside, a church employee, from a chair at the Holy Rosary (the “Church”) Rectory in Scranton, Pennsylvania and stole a cash box containing more than $14,000 in “Smart Money” or cash value certificates (“Certificates”) which are redeemable at local stores for merchandise. (Pl.’s Comp., Doc. 1 ¶ 5.) Defendant Dan Corby, a police officer with the Scranton Police Department for 29 years, was assigned to investigate the Church robbery.