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.

10/19/2004

  • 3:03-CV-1478 IZZO v. USA
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 19) pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court converted Defendant’s motion to a Rule 56 motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 24.) Due to the limitations on Congress’ waiver of the United States’ sovereign immunity set forth in the Federal Tort Claims Act, 5 U.S.C. § 8101, et seq., and the compensation system established for federal employees by the Federal Employee Compensation Act, 5 U.S.C. § 5101, et seq., the Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action. Accordingly, the Court will grant Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 19) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Because Defendant’s motion will be decided on jurisdictional grounds alone, the Court will not address the converted Rule 12(b)(6) motion.

10/07/2004

  • 3:CV-03-1366 KENNEDY v. MENDEZ, et al.
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment (Doc. 16), Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser’s Report and Recommendation (Doc. 30), and Plaintiff’s Objection to Magistrate Report and Recommendation Dated January 15, 2004. (Doc. 31.) On August 13, 2003, Plaintiff, an inmate at United States Penitentiary at Allenwood (hereinafter USP-Allenwood) filed the present action. The Complaint raised claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (hereinafter FTCA), 20 U.S.C. § 26714, et seq., and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiff claims that while incarcerated at USP-Allenwood he has not received proper medical treatment for abdominal pain, anal pain, knee pain, and a positive purified protein derivative (PPD) test.

  • 3:03-0829 SHAFFER v. ROBERT MEYERS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA
    File:

    In 1990 the petitioner was convicted on two charges of rape, and sentenced to 10 to 20 years incarceration. His minimum sentence was served as of September 13, 2000, and his maximum sentence is due to expire on September 13, 2010. (Doc. No. 31, Declaration of Benjamin A. Martinez, Chairman, Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (“Martinez Decl.”), ¶ 23). The Parole Board interviewed the petitioner for parole consideration on three occasions: June 2000, June 2003 and June 2004. Before each interview the petitioner was advised by Department of Corrections staff who evaluated him that they were recommending that he not be granted parole due to, among other things, his refusal to participate in a sex offender program.

09/07/2004

  • 3:02-1369 KEMPER v. VARNER, et al.
    File:

    On May 2, 1995, the petitioner pled guilty to 3 counts of criminal homicide, 1 count of burglary, and 2 counts of theft by unlawful taking. Subsequent to the plea colloquy, he was sentenced on the same date to 3 consecutive life imprisonment terms on the homicide counts; 10 to 20 years imprisonment on the burglary charge, to run consecutively to the 3 life terms, and 2 terms of 3 ½ to 7 years imprisonment on the theft by unlawful taking charges, also to run consecutively to the other terms.

    On May 9, 1995, the petitioner wrote to his court appointed attorney, and advised him that he wished to file a Post Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”) petition, and a direct appeal, and that he wished to withdraw his guilty plea. Counsel replied that he would not take any further action on the matter because the petitioner had waived his right to withdraw his guilty plea as part of the plea bargain.

08/24/2004

  • 3:CV-03-1803 FLOOD, et al. v. MAKOWSKI, et al. (5)

    The present action focuses on the events leading up to and surrounding the investment contracts made by the Luzerne County Retirement Board and Board members during the period of 1988 and 2002. Plaintiffs allege that various Board members engaged in a pay-to-play scheme in which contracts to invest or manage pension plan assets were awarded in exchange for campaign contributions to various Board members’ reelection campaigns.

08/17/2004

  • 1:CR-02-146-02 USA v. BROWN

    On October 17, 2003, following a jury trial, Defendant Franklin Brown was found guilty on ten counts of a thirty-seven count indictment. After the conviction, the probation office completed its Presentence Investigation Report, which set Defendant’s base offense level at six.1 The probation office calculated that Defendant’s base offense level should be adjusted upward by the following enhancements: (1) plus sixteen based on the amount of the loss calculated to be $38,113,383; (2) plus two because the offense involved more than minimal planning; (3) plus four because Defendant was an organizer and leader of the conspiracy to obstruct justice; (4) plus two for an abuse of a position of trust; and (5) plus two for an obstruction of justice enhancement. With enhancements, Defendant’s total offense level is thirty-two with a corresponding sentencing range of 121-151 months. Defendant submitted various objections, which, if resolved in his favor, would reduce his total offense level by ten levels.

07/27/2004

  • 1:03-1913 ODENWALT v. FRANK D. GILLIS, PA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
    File:

    The plaintiff, Adam Odenwalt, filed the instant action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on behalf of himself and his two (2) minor children. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants have violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights in denying him contact visits with his minor children. The defendants have moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).

06/23/2004

  • 3:01-2217 SOPP v. CNA INSURANCE CO., et al.
    File:

    The documents submitted by the parties establish that Mr. Sopp was involved in a motor vehicle accident on May 5, 1999, which occurred while he was in the scope of his employment with co-defendant Kraft Foods. He sustained a number of injuries as a result of the motor vehicle accident, mostly to his left upper extremity, which are discussed in more detail below. He applied for and received short term disability benefits through August 31, 1999.

06/09/2004

  • 1:CV-03-198 GROVE, et al. v. CITY OF YORK, PA, et al.
    File:

    The instant case is a civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C § 1983 wherein Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, and free exercise of religion. The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.1 Plaintiffs are individuals who practice Christianity and whose sincerely held religious beliefs require them to preach publicly “in order to make the public aware of sin, including the sin of Halloween and of abortion.” (Pls.’ Sep. Stat. of Mat. Facts ¶ 3.) Plaintiffs exercise their religious beliefs by traveling to events across the country that draw large numbers of people in order to preach to crowds gathered at these events, to hand out tracts containing religious exhortations and to display signs containing, among other things, pictures of aborted fetuses. Defendants Russell Tschopp III, Kim Hibner, Eddie Lowe, and Roger Nestor are officers of the Police Department of the City of York (collectively “the Individual Defendants”). All of the Individual Defendants have had, at the time of their training at the police academy, training in the area of free speech rights. Defendant City of York (“the City”) is a municipal corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

05/17/2004

  • 3:CV-02-1526 BEARLEY v. FRIENDLY ICE CREAM CORPORATION
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Defendant Friendly Ice Cream Corporation’s (hereinafter Friendly’s) Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 12.) Plaintiff Dorothy Bearley is alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Friendly’s motion will be granted with respect to the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28 U.S.C. 1367.

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