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.

01/30/2004

  • 1:03-CV-0549 SIEGEL v. ABBOTTSTOWN BOROUGH and HAMILTON TOWNSHIP
    File:

    The plaintiff commenced this action by filing a complaint on April 1, 2003. On May 20, 2003, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. On September 4, 2003, the plaintiff filed a second amended complaint. The plaintiff subsequently filed a third amended complaint.

01/20/2004

  • 3:02cv2152 NEUMEYER v. Beard
    File:

    According to a policy of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (“DOC”), prison visitor vehicles parked on facility grounds are subject to random searches after the owner or operator consents in writing. If a prison visitor refuses to provide written consent permitting SCIH corrections officers to search his or her vehicle, then the visitor will not be allowed to enter the prison to visit any prisoner on that day.

    On various dates, the plaintiffs visited Teresa Neumeyer’s father, Preston Pfeifly, at the SCIH. On May 28, 2001, and May 27, 2002, the plaintiffs’ vehicle was searched by SCIH corrections officers after it was parked on institutional property. Prior to the searches, Plaintiff Teresa Neumeyer had signed a “Consent To Search Vehicle” form, which gave her consent to havin g the ve hicle sea rched.
     
    Plaintiffs contend that having their vehicle subjected to search under these circumstances violates the Fourth Amendment. They have brought suit under 42 U.S. §1983 seeking declaratory injunctive relief but not damages. Defendants have moved for summary judgment arguing that as there is no dispute that the plaintiffs consented to both searches, the proper analysis must be made under the First Amendment’s right of association and that conditioning visiting prisoners on the visitor agreeing to permit searching their vehicle when parked on state correctional institution property is constitutional. Plaintiffs have also filed a motion for summary judgment.

01/16/2004

  • 3:03cv1269 MILLER, et al. v. LEHIGH COAL & NAVIGATION CO.
    File:

    Lehigh was in the anthracite coal business located in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. It ceased doing business in January 2001. The company was a contributing employer to the Fund, a multiemployer plan providing retirement benefits to employees of the anthracite coal industry under the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (hereinafter “ERISA”), as amended 28 U.S.C. §§ 1001, et seq. The contributions to the Fund were in the form of royalties for each ton of anthracite coal produced for use or sale.

    In the instant case, subsequent to Lehigh ceasing its business operation in January 2001, the Fund assigned it a withdrawal liability in the amount of $1,875,264, which was due in monthly installments for approximately 38 months. Lehigh has challenged this assignment of withdrawal liability through arbitration. Plaintiffs now seek to have the court order the defendant to make payments on the withdrawal liability until arbitration is completed.

12/29/2003

  • 1:CV-03-0993 MILOSEVIC v. Thomas Ridge, Secretary, US Dept. of Homeland Security, et al.
    File:

    Slobodan Milosevic, a citizen of Serbia subject to a final order of removal that would return him to his native country, has filed a counseled, amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, seeking an order requiring the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) to reopen his appeal of the removal order so that he can adjust his status on the basis of his marriage to an American citizen, the marriage occurring after the Board had denied his appeal.

12/15/2003

  • 3:CV-03-1569 GIOVINCO v. FOSTER, et al.
    File:

    Presently before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 4) for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted filed by Defendant Jeffrey Sodl and Defendant Stroudsburg Area School District (hereinafter School District). Because the Plaintiffs have failed to allege that the School District or Sodl created a danger which caused the injuries to Catherine R. Giovinco, I will grant Defendants’ motion. Since granting the motion to dismiss will dispose of all the federal claims, I will remand the remaining claims to state court. The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 for the claims against Sodl and the School District and 28 U.S.C. § 1367 for the state law claims against Defendants Danielle Foster and Patricia Foster.

12/03/2003

  • 3:CV-01-0317 McANDREW v. MERCY HEALTH PARTNERS
    File:

    Presently before the Court is Defendant Mercy Health’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The motion will be denied because there are material issues of fact as to whether McAndrew was disabled, whether she was a qualified individual, and whether Mercy Health discriminated and/or retaliated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Because the Court will not grant summary judgment for the Americans with Disabilities Act claims, I will also continue to maintain supplemental jurisdiction over the state Workers’ Compensation retaliation claim.

11/26/2003

  • 3:03-CV-0749 LESLIE v. BARNHART, Commissioner of Social Security
    File:

    The plaintiff has brought this civil action under the authority of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) to obtain judicial review of the decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying the claim of the plaintiff for Social Security disability insurance benefits.

    On June 14, 1995, the plaintiff, Virginia A. Leslie, applied for disability insurance benefits. She claimed that she became disabled on April 30, 1992, as the result of chronic degenerative changes, and herniated or bulging discs. Her claim was denied initially and on reconsideration. The plaintiff filed a request for a hearing, and a hearing was held before an administrative law judge (ALJ) on March 11, 1999. Tr. 25-67.

  • 3:03-CV-1090 ROSKOS v. SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP, et al.
    File:

    Before the Court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Complaint and for a More Specific Complaint, (Doc. 6), filed on September 29, 2003. On June 30, 2003, Plaintiffs filed a complaint asserting five counts against Defendants: Count I - Violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985; Count II - Abuse of Process; Count III - Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Count IV - Slander and Defamation; Count V - Negligence. (Doc. 1.) Federal jurisdiction is based on federal question jurisdiction of the §§ 1983 and 1985 claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343 and supplemental jurisdiction of the common law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

    In the pending motion, Defendants request the Court to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or, in the alternative, to dismiss all counts except Count IV for defamation and require Plaintiffs to file a more specific complaint as to that count. (See Doc. 7 at 4.) Defendants filed a brief in support of their motion on October, 2003, (Doc. 7), and Plaintiffs filed an opposing brief on October 24, 2003, (Doc. 11). Defendants did not file a reply brief and the time for such filing has passed. Therefore, the matter is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’ motion is granted in part and denied in part. In addition, we grant Plaintiffs leave to supplement their complaint regarding the § 1983 liability of Defendants Sugarloaf Township, Sugarloaf Township Police Department and Sugarloaf Township Supervisors.

11/25/2003

  • 3:02cv673 SELECTIVE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA v. JASKOLOKA
    File:

    On April 18, 2001 d ecedent L inda Jasko loka, an em ployee of Tobyhanna Township Department of Public works, was working on the highway clearing brush alongside the road and loading it into her truck. See Police Report, Defendant’s Exhib. B. She sustained fatal injuries when a driver, Matthew Ferrell, struck her and crushed her between his automobile and the back o f the dump truck she was using . Id.; Compl. ¶ 5; Answer ¶ 4.

    Defendant Jaskoloka, administratrix, made a claim upon Plaintiff Selective to recover underinsured motorist benef its pursuant to a township insurance policy worth $1,000 ,000.00. Compl. ¶¶ 9, 11. Defendant had previously recovered $15,000 from the tortfeasor. Compl. ¶¶ 7-8. It is undisputed that decedent was in the course and scope of employment when killed. Compl. ¶ 5; Answer ¶ 4. Defendant, however, further contends that decedent was an “occupant” of the township’s dump truck, as the term has been defined by the courts of this Commonwealth, when killed. Answer ¶ 4. As such, defendant contends that decedent was covered under the township’s in surance policy.

11/19/2003

  • 3:02cv2014 ROWINSKI v. SALOMON SMITH BARNEY, INC.
    Judge:
    File:

    Plaintiff alleges that SSB “failed to ensure that the analysis provided to its millions of retail brokerage customers would not be influenced by its investment banking operations.” Compl. ¶ 24. Contrary to SSB’s marketing and contractual obligations to its consumer clients, plaintiff alleges that SSB’s research and analysis was not objective, but rather a tool for the benefit of its investment banking business. Id. As a result, plaintiff contends that SSB charged its consumer clients a premium for providing a valuable product: objective analysis, but it actually provided them with another, valueless product: biased research. Compl. ¶¶ 47-51.

Pages