This putative class action is brought by three plaintiffs, Frank Robert Chester, Zachary Wilson, and Donald Hardcastle (“Plaintiffs”), each of whom has been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs allege that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s practice of executing condemned prisoners by means of lethal injection subjects them to an unnecessary risk of excruciating pain and suffering and therefore violates Plaintiffs’ rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and to due process of law under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs seek preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to enjoin Defendants from executing Plaintiffs by lethal injection as currently authorized and implemented by the Commonwealth.
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1:09-0143 MEROS v. DOWSFile:
On January 23, 2009, plaintiff Thomas Meros, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against defendant Mark Dows. (Doc. No. 1-1). Plaintiff alleges Defendant Dows, the director of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners (“PBLE”), violated his due process and equal protection rights by denying him admission to the Pennsylvania bar. Id. Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief, monetary damages and all other relief the court deems appropriate. Id.
3:08-2132 TELEPO v. MARTIN, et al.File:
During state court criminal proceedings in Monroe County involving sentencing issues, plaintiff allegedly declined to speak to his attorney and declined to make certain information known to him because a private consultation area was not available for their use. Plaintiff was unwilling to speak in ear shot of other persons (including sheriffs and other inmates) and supposedly risk loss of his attorney-client privilege and other confidences. Plaintiff further alleges that in consequence of the state denying him access to private consultation facilities (at the county courthouse), in conjunction with his own concomitant refusal to be fully forthcoming with his attorney in those circumstances, he was sentenced to "a longer period of incarceration because of the facts I was unable to relay to [my attorney] concerning my prior record score." Doc. No. 44 at 2-3. Plaintiff argues that the defendants' failure or refusal to provide (what he terms) an adequate private consultation area is a denial of his due process rights and First Amendment right to petition. See Amended Compl. at 3. (Doc. No. 28.) The operative complaint, i.e., the Amended Complaint, is brought under 42 U.S.C. §1983. In his proposed (second) Amended Complaint, plaintiff seeks to add a claim for punitive damages, and additionally seeks to add Wieslaw T. Niemoczynski, Chief Public Defender of the Monroe County Public Defenders Office, as a defendant.
5:08-MJ-00109 IN THE MATTER OF THE EXTRADITION OF MARY BETH HARSHBARGER (2)File:
Pending before the Court is the United States' (the Government's) request for the extradition of Mary Beth Harshbarger, (Doc. No. 2), pursuant to the Treaty on Extradition, Dec. 3, 1971, U.S.-Canada, T.I.A.S. No. 8237 (as amended by protocols of 1988 and 2001)1 and Title 18, United States Code, Section 3184. Having considered the parties' submissions, oral argument, the Treaty, statutory law, and case law, the Court finds that there is sufficient evidence to support Harshbarger's extradition to Canada to face the (single) charge of causing death by criminal negligence which has been brought against her there.
5:08-MJ-00109 IN THE MATTER OF THE EXTRADITION OF MARY BETH HARSHBARGERFile:
Pending before the Court is a complaint, Doc. No. 1, brought by the United States on behalf of the government of Canada. The Complaint seeks the extradition of Mary Beth Harshbarger from the United States to Canada. However, at this juncture, the complaint specifically seeks interim relief, viz., "a warrant ... pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 3184, for the arrest of Mary Beth Harshbarger; that she [may] be brought before this Court and that evidence of [alleged] criminality [be] heard" in order to determine her extraditability. Doc. No. 1 at 2 (quoting prayer for relief). Having examined the government's ex parte complaint and submission, the United States-Canada extradition treaty and subsequent protocols, and statutory authority, the Court has determined that a warrant for arrest is not necessary, and, in lieu thereof, the Court will order a summons to be issued and served by the United States Marshall.
1:05-CV-2247 AMERICAN BANKERS ASSOCIATION, et al. v. NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION, et al. 09/14/2007 (2)File:
On April 24, 2003, the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”) approved Members First Credit Union’s request to amend its credit-union charter to cover six counties in south-central Pennsylvania. In doing so, the NCUA determined that the six-county area, which covers over 3,000 square miles and has a population of more than 1.2 million people, constitutes a “well-defined local community.” Plaintiffs, led by the American Bankers Association (“Association”),1 maintain that the area does not constitute a well-defined local community. Accordingly, the Association brought suit against the NCUA to challenge the NCUA’s approval pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. Members First Credit Union and two other affected credit unions intervened as defendants.
3:05-0198 RAHEMTULLA v. HASSAM, et al.File:
This matter arises out of the formation and operation of the Kilimanjaro Steak House Bar & Grill, a Pennsylvania General Partnership between the plaintiff, Alnoor Rahemtulla – a resident of New Jersey, and the defendant, Nazim Hassam – a resident of Pennsylvania. More specifically, the case involves allegations that Mr. Hassam fraudulently induced Mr. Rahemtulla into entering a partnership, which through a calculated plan of making empty promises and withholding crucial information, caused Mr. Rahemtulla to invest $340,000 towards what he believed to be his contribution to the partnership, when such funds were instead misappropriated and commingled with the other defendants for other purposes. On March 31, 2004, the plaintiffs commenced this action in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, claiming, inter alia, fraud, misappropriation, conversion, breach of fiduciary duties, and unjust enrichment, and seeking an invalidation of the partnership documents, a disgorgement and return of the monies which they invested in the partnership, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney’s fees and costs. (Doc. No. 1). Id. The defendants having filed a motion to dismiss and/or change venue, by order dated January 10, 2005, the District of New Jersey directed that the matter be transferred to the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Upon transfer, the parties consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned on March 29, 2005.
05-CR-443 USA v. WILLIAMS and HAYESFile:
On December 8, 2005, Defendants Terrance Williams and Eric Hayes and fourteen other individuals were named in a thirty-two count indictment alleging a multi-year, nationwide conspiracy to engage in the interstate sex trafficking of women, including juveniles. The indictment also separately charged Defendants with other related crimes.1 As part of its case-in-chief, the Government proposes to call Dr. Sharon W. Cooper as an expert witness to offer opinion testimony in three general areas: (1) the societal and criminal justice implications of prostitution and the sexual exploitation of women; (2) the medical and mental-health aspects of prostitution, including general testimony on victim risk and vulnerability factors and on common methods of grooming and deterrents to escape; (3) and the medical and mental-health impact that life as a prostitute had on certain women involved in this case. (Doc. No. 983; see also Doc. Nos. 949, 949-3.)
4:CR-07-302 USA v. CORDOVA-LOPEZFile:
Felipe Cordova-Lopez is a foreign national subject to deportation to Mexico. On August 8, 2007, this court ordered Felipe Cordova-Lopez to be detained for twenty days as a material witness for the United States. The United States sought Mr. Cordova-Lopez’s testimony in the prosecution against a defendant who was charged with immigration offenses. However, on August 28, 2007, this court dismissed the material witness warrant against Mr. Cordova-Lopez because the defendant entered a guilty plea. As a result, there was no trial and Mr. Cordova-Lopez was never called to testify as a material witness.On August 20, 2007, Mr. Cordova-Lopez filed the instant motion for material witness fees, arguing that pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1821(b) he should be compensated $40 for each day he was detained. (Doc. No. 39). The United States filed its opposition brief on August 30, 2007. (Doc. No. 52). Mr. Cordova-Lopez then filed a brief in support of his motion on August 31, 2007. (Doc. No. 53).
1:06-CV-1877 WAMPLER v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIAFile:
Beginning in 1996, Plaintiff Sherry Wampler worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. (Compl. ¶ 3.) Wampler suffers from sleep-related medical issues, IgA deficiency,1 asthma, and susceptibility to upper respiratory infections. (Compl. ¶ 7.) On March 27, 1998, Wampler submitted a written request for a modified work schedule to accommodate sleep-related medical issues. (Compl. ¶ 4.) In addition, Wampler took sick leave due to her illnesses. In her complaint, Wampler alleges that Defendant criticized her, discriminated against her, and retaliated against her for taking sick leave. (Compl. ¶¶ 8-10.) Additionally, Wampler alleges that her employment was terminated on February 9, 2006, “for allegedly leaving work early and taking extended lunches.”