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The Middle District of Pennsylvania offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to present, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Judge John E. Jones III

Pending before the Court is Defendants’ Pocono Health System and Pocono Medical Center (collectively “Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’ State Law Class Claim (doc. 10) filed on August 24, 2006.
 
For the reasons that follow, the Motion will be granted.

Two Motions are pending before this Court. First, Defendant, Bell Justice Facilities Corp. (“Defendant” or “Bell”), filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (doc. 47) on March 31, 2006. Second, Plaintiff, Scandale Associated Builders & Engineers, Ltd. (“Plaintiff” or “Scandale”), filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. 49) on March 31, 2006. On May 19, 2006, both Motions were dismissed without prejudice. On August 23, 2006, this Court entered an Order enabling these Motions to be reasserted. For the reasons that follow, the Motions shall be denied.

We have a plethora of motions before us which will be addressed in this Memorandum and Order. First, we have three Motions to Compel Arbitration and Stay All Proceedings, or Alternatively, for Additional Time to Respond to Complaint (docs. 7, 8, 10) filed by Defendants KPMG LLP (“KPMG”), Presidio Advisors LLC and Presidio Growth LLC (collectively, “Presidio”), and Deutsche Bank AG (“Deutsche Bank”) and Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. (“DBSI”) (collectively “Deutsche Bank Defendants”) on January 13, 2006. Second, pending before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (doc. 9) filed by Defendant Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP1 (“Sidley Austin”) on January 13, 2006. Finally, we have before us a Motion to Remand for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction (doc. 23) filed by Plaintiffs on February 6, 2006.
 
For the reasons that follow, we will deny Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand, grant in part and deny in part Sidley Austin’s Motion to Dismiss, order Plaintiff Mr. Chebalo to submit to arbitration his claims against the Deutsche Bank Defendants, and stay all further proceedings in this case against all Defendants pending the completion of the arbitration process between Plaintiff Mr. Chebalo and the Deutsche Bank Defendants in accordance with the arbitration clause contained in the Customer Agreement. In addition, the Court will set a telephonic status conference for December 4, 2006, which will be initiated by Plaintiffs’ counsel, advising the Court on the progress of the arbitration procedure.

Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs', Marakay Rogers, Esq., The Green Party of Pennsylvania, The Constitution Party of Pennsylvania, Ken V. Krawchuk, and Hagan Smith, Amended Motion for Preliminary Injunction ("the Motion"). (Rec. Doc. 19). A hearing was held on the merits of the Motion on February 2, 2006, and thereafter the parties submitted briefs and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. (Rec. Docs. 29, 34 and 35).
 
For the following reasons, the Motion ( doc. 19) will be denied.

Judge Malachy E. Mannion

The plaintiff, formerly an inmate at the Allenwood Low Security Correctional Institution (“LSCI Allenwood”) in White Deer, Pennsylvania, commenced this action on December 8, 2004, by filing a complaint against Susan Gerlinski, warden of LSCI Allenwood, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), and the United States of America. The action was brought pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. (Doc. No. 1.) Since the filing of the action, the plaintiff has been deported to his native Columbia.

Presently before the court is a “MOTION FOR THE UNSEALING OF AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE IN SUPPORT OF SEARCH WARRANT AND THE UNSEALING OF THE APPLICATION AND RELATED DOCUMENTS FOR SEALING OF AFFIDAVIT, RETURN OF PROPERTY AND REQUEST FOR HEARING,” (Doc. No. 6), filed on behalf of the Scranton Housing Authority.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

This controversy lies at the intersection of local land use law and the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601–3631. The instant action was commenced by Community Services, Inc. (“CSG”),1 on behalf of eight mentally disabled individuals who currently reside at a closed state hospital. CSG contends that defendants Heidelberg Township (“Township”), Heidelberg Township Board of Supervisors (“Township Supervisors”), and Heidelberg Township Zoning Hearing Board (“Zoning Board”), intentionally interpreted a zoning ordinance to prevent, and refused to grant a reasonable accommodation to permit, these individuals from moving into a home within the Township, in violation of the FHA. CSG requests that the court preliminarily enjoin the defendants from further impeding a move onto the property. After a carful review of the record, and following argument by counsel for the parties, the court will grant CSG’s request.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through the Office of Attorney General, initiated this action as parens patriae, to enjoin the defendant, Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority (“SARAA”), from acquiring, by eminent domain, a tract of land adjacent to the Harrisburg International Airport (“HIA”). This land is the site of a private parking enterprise servicing HIA. In its complaint, the Commonwealth invokes federal antitrust laws, seeking to enjoin SARAA’s “conduct in unlawfully obtaining and maintaining a monopoly for airport parking services.” (Doc. 1 ¶ 52.)
 
Presently before the court is a motion to dismiss (Doc. 6) filed by SARAA. Based upon clear application of Parker immunity, the court is constrained to grant defendant’s motion.

The David Wills House (“Wills House”) is a majestic, three story, federal-style brick building that stands on the eastern corner of the town square in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Built circa 1816, the structure was originally a one-story building housing various merchant shops. In 1839 it was converted into the “American Hotel,” and twenty years later became the property of David Wills, a prominent attorney—and later county judge—who added two stories to the building and used it as his residence and law office.1 Although the almost 200 year-old building is historically significant in its own right, it is renowned as the quarters of President Abraham Lincoln on November 18, 1963. Lincoln was a guest of the Wills House the night before he delivered the “Gettysburg Address,” his now famous dedication of a national cemetery on the grounds of the Battle of Gettysburg. Indeed, scholars still debate the extent to which Lincoln penned the extraordinary speech in the White House.
 
In October 2000 the Wills House became part of the Gettysburg National Military Park, and in March 2004 the Borough of Gettysburg sold the property to the National Park Service for $550,000. (See Doc. 1, Ex. 1 ¶ 3; Doc. 14 at 3.) The historic site’s popularity prompted Congress to appropriate approximately $5.5 million for its renovation. The Wills House attracted over 10,000 visitors in 2005 and, according to a commissioned study, the proposed renovations will attract an additional 140,000 visitors annually.
 
Adjacent to the David Wills House sits a two-story building owned by the defendants in this case, John and Antoinette Koscinski (“Koscinskis”). The first floor of this property is occupied by a commercial entity, and the second floor is comprised of apartments. The Koscinski property and the David Wills House share a common, or “party,” wall.4 In October 2005 the United States commenced the instant lawsuit, seeking an injunction to gain access to the Koscinski property for the purposes of repairing the common wall and renovating the Wills House. (See Doc. 1.) Following a telephone conference with counsel the court directed briefing on the appropriateness of an injunction, and a hearing was held on the matter on January 24, 2006. At the hearing the Koscinskis did not present any evidence and conceded the propriety of injunctive relief.

Judge Yvette Kane

Plaintiffs Common Cause of Pennsylvania, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, Representative Greg Vitali, and four individual citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, seek to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts to address alleged legislative misconduct by state officials that they claim resulted in constitutional violations. The Complaint, as amended on October 31, 2005, and again on February 8, 2006, alleges that the leadership of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, together with the Governor and the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, conspired to violate Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights by adopting and approving – in a manner that foreclosed public comment, full participation of all elected representatives, and honest judicial review – legislation providing substantial pay increases for the members of the General Assembly, the judiciary, and senior members of the executive branch of state government.

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