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Opinions

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 Malachy E. Mannion

On July 26, 2004, the plaintiff, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, (“SCI-Mahanoy”), Frackville, Pennsylvania, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, in which he alleges that defendant Hopta violated his Eighth Amendment rights by subjecting him to unsafe conditions in the prison’s welding shop and that defendant Cerullo was deliberately indifferent to his resulting medical needs.

On October 26, 2001, the plaintiff initiated the instant action in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas as the result of the tragic suicide of her daughter, Deborah Cruise, in a Scranton Police Department holding cell. The plaintiff alleges that her daughter’s civil rights were violated, during her detention for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, by members of the Scranton Police Department. In addition, the plaintiff raises state law wrongful death and survivor claims.

The petitioner, an inmate incarcerated at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Dallas (“SCI-Dallas”), Pennsylvania, filed this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus on June 14, 2004, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1). The petitioner alleges that the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (“Parole Board”) changed its policies and procedures in 1996 in such a way as to apply unconstitutionally stringent standards for granting parole. He claims that these changes violate the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution

The plaintiff initiated the instant civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on February 9, 2004, in which he named only the State Police Defendants. (Doc. No. 1). By order dated October 6, 2004, the plaintiff was permitted to file an amended complaint adding defendants Tafton Fire Company, Inc. and Carrick1. (Doc. Nos. 16 & 17). On October 21, 2004, the State Police Defendants filed an answer to the plaintiff’s amended complaint.

Judge John E. Jones III

On December 14, 2004, Plaintiffs filed the instant suit challenging the constitutional validity of the October 18, 2004 resolution and November 19, 2004 press release (collectively, “the ID Policy”). It is contended that the ID Policy constitutes an establishment of religion prohibited by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief, nominal damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.
 
This Court’s jurisdiction arises under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition, the power to issue declaratory judgments is expressed in 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ cause of action arising under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Venue is proper in this District under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because one or more Defendants reside in this District, all Defendants reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the events or omissions giving rise to the claims at issue occurred in this District.
 
For the reasons that follow, we hold that the ID Policy is unconstitutional pursuant to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Pending before the Court is a Motion to Intervene (“the Motion”) (doc. 141) filed by the Courtroom Television Network LLC (“Court TV” or “Applicant”) on September 2, 2005. We will deny the Motion for the reasons that follow.

Judge Yvette Kane

The City of Philadelphia is host to approximately 2400 businesses that are licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“LCB”). Among these are licensed restaurants and eating establishments with “R” and “E” licenses that entitle their holders to sell beer and malt beverages for consumption off the licensed premises. In the parlance of liquor licensing, these establishments are known as “stop and go’s.” Among the operators of “stop and go’s” in Philadelphia are the approximately 400 members of the Asian-American Licensed Beverage Association (“AALBA”). The AALBA, along with six individual Asian-American owned businesses in Philadelphia, bring this action to enjoin the implementation of legislative changes to licensing laws that impact their businesses. Defendants are the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“LCB”), and the three current board members of the LCB. The City of Philadelphia has intervened as a Defendant.

Judge Richard P. Conaboy

The Defendant was charged in June of 2004 by way of a Superseding Indictment with two counts of criminal conduct, one of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, and a second count of selling and distributing methamphetamine. (See Doc. 12).
 
The Defendant has been in prison since June of 2004.
 
The Defendant has had Attorney Patrick Rogan and Attorney David E. Butler representing him at different times but he had some disagreements with them and at this point argues they did not properly interview him or question him and he was unsatisfied with their representation.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

Presently before the court is a motion by defendant, Franklin Timothy Brown (“Brown”), to suppress evidence seized by police as a result of a traffic stop on grounds that the officers’ actions were not supported by individualized suspicion of criminal activity. The motion will be denied.

Presently before the court are pre-trial motions in which the defendant, Arthur Garcia, challenges the constitutionality of the criminal statute under which he is charged, prohibiting the use of “any . . . means of interstate . . . commerce . . . [to] persuade[] . . . any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years[] to engage in . . . any sexual activity,” and seeks to suppress evidence obtained by state police during an investigation into the alleged statutory sexual assault underlying the charge. The motions will be denied.

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