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.

06/21/2000

  • 1:CV-99-2018 STRIKE v. ATLAS VAN LINES, INC.
    File:

    The defendant, Atlas Van Lines, transported personal household goods for the plaintiffs, Mr. And Mrs. Strike. An item transported in an Atlas van along with other items was a pickup truck belonging to the Strikes. During transport, the complaint alleges, the truck’s gasoline tank ruptured and approximately 25 gallons of gasoline spilled out into the van. Boxes containing the Strikes’ belongings were saturated with gasoline. Gasoline fumes permeated the Strikes’ possessions. Upon arrival at the Strikes’ new home in Wrightsville, in the absence of Mr. Strike from the home, the defendant’s employees moved boxes and belongings of the Strikes into the home. Mrs. Strike was overcome by the fumes. Both Mr. Strike and Mrs. Strike had to seek medical attention. The exposure of the Strikes to gasoline fumes in their possessions persisted, causing health problems for Mrs. Strike. The plaintiffs’ possessions were moved to a storage facility.

06/20/2000

  • 3:CV-99-0918 WILBUR v. H & R BLOCK, INC.
    File:

    This matter is before me on plaintiff’s Amended Motion for Remand (doc. 11). The motion is accompanied by a document entitled “Affidavit” in which the plaintiff declares that “the amount in controversy does not exceed Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00).” (Aff. of Doris M. Wilbur, doc. 11). The document does not contain an indication of oath administered by a notary public or otherwise, nor does it state that it is made under the recognition that if false, it would be considered perjury or false swearing. 18 U.S.C. §1621, 18 Pa. C.S.A. §4904.

    There is no dispute that there is diversity of citizenship between the plaintiff and defendant. The only issue for resolution is whether the amount in controversy component of federal diversity jurisdiction has been satisfied. See 28 U.S.C. §1332(a).

05/26/2000

  • 3:99-CV-1249 LEYMEISTER v. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO.
    File:

    This is an insurance coverage dispute. Jurisdiction is founded upon diversity of citizenship. Presently before the Court are plaintiff’s and defendant’s cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, defendant’s motion will be granted and plaintiff’s motion will be denied.

05/17/2000

  • 1:CV-99-1881 MARTINEZ v. INS
    File:

    Hilario Gerardo Cuesta Martinez, a deportable alien, has filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. The petitioner contends that his prolonged detention in INS custody awaiting deportation while the INS finds a country that will accept him violates his right to procedural and substantive due process under the fifth amendment.

05/06/2000

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

    Plaintiff filed the present civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of her First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The defendants are: the County of Lackawanna (“Lackawanna”); Lackawanna County district attorney Michael J. Barrasse, Esq. (“Barrasse”); assistant district attorney Eugene M. Talerico, Jr., Esq. (“Talerico”); assistant district attorney Amy Shwed, Esq. (“Shwed”); detective John Fox (“Fox”); detective Joseph Jordan (“Jordan”); and detective James M. Reilly (“Reilly”). Plaintiff’s complaint alleges the following: I) Unlawful seizure of photographs during search on May 9, 1996 by defendants Fox, Jordan, and Reilly in violation of plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights; II) Unlawful seizure of plaintiff’s computer and computer software during search on May 10, 1996 by defendants Fox, Jordan, and Reilly in violation of plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights; III) Failure to grant a pre- or post-seizure hearing by defendants Barrasse, Talerico, and Shwed in violation of plaintiff’s First Amendment rights; IV) Failure to provide plaintiff with timely notice of the procedures necessary to reacquire the photographs seized during the search of plaintiff’s residence by defendants Barrasse, Talerico, and Shwed in violation plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment rights; V) Engagement in continued “investigation, oppression, and harassment” of plaintiff by defendants County of Lackawanna and defendants Barrasse and Talerico in violation of plaintiff’s First Amendment rights, and; VI) Negligent failure to train and supervise detectives and employees of the District Attorney’s Office by defendants County of Lackawanna and Barrasse. (Complaint, Doc. 1 at 13-18.)

04/18/2000

  • 1:CV-99-0251 KAY v. JANET RENO, Attorney General of the United States, et al.
    File:

    Petitioner was born in Cambodia on March 3, 1974 and “escaped from Cambodia” with his mother and three siblings in 1979. Petitioner and his family then spent a number of years in the refugee camps on the border of Thailand. On March 14, 1985 Petitioner and his family were legally admitted to the United States as refugees and resettled in Manchester, New Hampshire. On November 13, 1989 Petitioner adjusted his status to that of lawful permanent resident, and this status was instated retroactively to his date of admission, March 14, 1985.

    On March 14, 1995 Petitioner was served with an order to show cause by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”), and an INS detainer was lodged against him. On September 9, 1996 an immigration judge ordered Petitioner deported to Cambodia, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) § 241(a)(2)(A)(iii), 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii),2 for commission of an aggravated felony. On September 13, 1996 Petitioner filed a notice of appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”); and on December 3, 1997 Petitioner was taken into INS custody upon his release from state incarceration.
  • 3:99-CV-1339 CORTES v. WARSKY, et al.
    File:

    Plaintiff, Lynn Cortes, commenced this action with the filing of a complaint alleging sexual harassment, on July 28, 1999. The complaint asserts claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (the “PHRA”), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 951, et seq.

04/07/2000

  • 4:CV-95-1624 GRAVES, et al. v. COUNTY OF DAUPHIN
    File:

    This sexual discrimination suit is unique both in its facts and in its progress through the courts. Over seven years ago, in January 1993, ten women employed in the chambers of District Justice Horace A. Lowery, seven of whom are Plaintiffs in this action, complained to the Dauphin County Court Administrator that they were being sexually harassed by the district justice himself. With a caveat from the Honorable Warren G. Morgan, President Judge of the Dauphin County Court, that the County was powerless to discipline Lowery, a committee was assembled to investigate the allegations. Their findings were provided to the President Judge and to the Judicial Inquiry and Review Board.

    Thereafter, on March 30, 1993, Lowery notified two of the complaining clerks, Marca Graves and Sherry Reiff, that they were fired. The County Commissioners, however, refused to remove these women from the county payroll and instead transferred them to the County Personal Property Tax Department where they worked until after District Justice Lowery left office in December 1993. Thereafter, Graves and Reiff were transferred back to the office of the District Justice where the other five plaintiffs had continued in their assignments.

03/31/2000

  • 4:97-CV-1940 Maloney. et al. v. WILLIAM G. SCHWAB
    File:

    Before the Court is a consolidated appeal docketed in this Court on December 18, 1997. Appellants are Patricia A. Staiano, United States Trustee (“U. S. Trustee”), and Sears, Roebuck & Co. (“Sears”). Pursuant to a briefing schedule set by the Court, Appellant U. S. Trustee filed a supporting brief on August 14, 1998, and an amended supporting brief on August 20, 1998. Appellant Sears filed its supporting brief on August 14, 1998. Appellee William G. Schwab, Trustee in Bankruptcy For John C. Maloney and Christine Maloney, filed no brief in opposition. On October 28, 1998, Judge McClure transferred the above-captioned matter to the undersigned.

    This appeal seeks reversal of the Bankruptcy Court’s May 12, 1997 Opinion and Order denying the motion of Sears to compel the Chapter 7 Trustee to reconvene the Section 341(a) meeting of creditors to permit the examination of the debtors by Sears’ non-attorney representative. Because this Court finds that the court below erred in its legal conclusion that the examination of a debtor at a Section 341(a) meeting of creditors by a non-attorney representative of a creditor constitutes the unauthorized practice of law in Pennsylvania, the decision below will be reversed.

03/29/2000

  • 1:CV-98-0707 ROWLES v. AUTOMATED PRODUCTION SYSTEMS, INC., et al.
    File:

    The instant case is an employment discrimination action. Plaintiff John A. Rowles instituted this action by filing a three-count complaint alleging that Defendants Automated Production Systems, Inc. (“APS”) and William Donohue terminated his employment in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. (Count I) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (“PHRA”), 43 Pa. C.S.A. §§ 951-963 (Count II), and tortiously invaded his privacy (Count III). Plaintiff’s PHRA claim was dismissed by the court on August 13, 1998, pursuant to Defendants’ Rule 12(b) motion.

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