You are here


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 Sylvia H. Rambo

On June 21, 2002, a federal grand jury sitting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania issued a thirty-seven count indictment against Defendants Grass and Brown, former officers and directors for the Rite Aid Corporation.1 The indictment alleges that Defendants engaged in a conspiracy intended to enrich themselves by defrauding Rite Aid and its stockholders, creditors, and vendors. This conspiracy allegedly lasted the duration of Defendant Grass’s tenure as Rite Aid’s Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”). The indictment also alleges that Defendants Grass and Brown engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct justice by impeding investigations by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and the Grand Jury.

Petitioner is a native and citizen of Pakistan who was admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant on September 4, 1983, and was granted lawful permanent resident status (“LPR status”) on January 26, 1986. (In re Ponnapula, May 22, 2001 BIA decision at 1 [hereinafter “BIA decision”].) In 1993, a New York State grand jury, sitting in Manhattan, indicted Petitioner, along with several other defendants, for grand larceny in the first degree, see N.Y. Penal Law § 155.42, and for falsifying business records in the first degree, see id. § 175.10.5 (Decl. of Alexander E. Eisemann in Supp. of Mot. for Temp. Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause at 2, ¶ 3 [hereinafter “Eisemann Declaration”].) Over the next year, Petitioner and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office engaged in plea negotiations.

Before the court are the following motions: (1) Petitioner’s Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal Pending Resolution of Appeal from Order of District Court; (2) Respondents’ Motion to Lift the Stay of Removal; and (3) Respondents’ motion for an Expedited Decision.

Judge James M. Munley

Geisinger Medical Center employed Plaintiff Harold A. Smith (hereinafter “plaintiff”) as an emergency room physician. Geisinger provides disability insurance benefits to its employees through a plan that is an “employee welfare benefit plan” as that term is defined by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. ERISA governs the instant case as it arises from the denial of long term disability benefits afforded under an employee welfare benefits plan.

Plaintiff stopped wo rking in February 1997. H e could not, at that time, work for more than one or two hours at a time because of profound fatigue. He also claims to have suffered from cognitive dysfunctions, and pain in his extremities , bladder, legs and buttocks. Plaintiff asserts that he is disabled as he is unable to work in the specialized field of medicine that he practiced immediately prior to his disability, that is, an Emergency Room Department Physician. He made a claim to Continental for disability benefits. Continental denied the claim in July 1997. The terms of the policy provide for an appeal process which the plaintiff proceeded to utilize. Continental denied his appeal in January 1998. Plaintiff claims that he sought to submit new evidence, and Continental informed him in July 1999 that it would not consider the new evidence. Accordingly, plaintiff instituted the instant action to recover the disability benefits.


Carter, along with its subsidiary, Carter Dominican Republic, Inc., was in the business manufacturing a nd selling sh oes. In Sep tember of 1998, Ca rter had warehouse facilities in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and a manufacturing plant in the Dominican Republic. Carter would purchase raw materials for its shoes and perform initial processing tasks in Wilkes-Barre. It would then ship the raw materials to the Dominican Republic where they would be assembled into shoes. The finished shoes would be shipped back to Wilkes-Barre for either direct transfer to customers or storage in Carter’s warehouse.

At some point in the spring of 1998, Carter hired Sterling & Sterling, Inc ., (“Sterling”), as an insurance broker. Carter instructed Sterling to find replacement marine open cargo insurance coverage with the same terms and conditions as an expiring marine open cargo policy Carter then had. Sterling sought a quote for such coverage from American and sent American a copy of Carter’s then effective policy. On April 9, 1998, American andSterling came to an agreement for Carter’s insurance, and American issued Marine Open Cargo Policy No. 87621, (the “policy”), to Carter. It appears from the record that the American policy contained the same terms and conditions as Carter’s previous marine open cargo policy; but the parties dispute who is responsible for drafting the policy. (Doc. 28, Ex. F at ex. 8 ).

Judge William W. Caldwell

Petitioner, Jorge Yamel Builes, a citizen of Columbia, has filed a counseled petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, contesting a final order of removal issued by the
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) deporting him to Columbia. The petition is also styled as a civil rights complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 for injunctive relief. The INS initiated removal proceedings against Builes after his conviction for conspiracy to distribute heroin.

We are considering Plaintiffs’ request for permanent injunctive relief. Plaintiffs, a group of street preachers and protesters, were either arrested or threatened with arrest at events in the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, mostly on charges of disorderly conduct. They filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that their First Amendment rights had been violated. They named as defendant, Stephen R. Reed, the Mayor of Harrisburg, in his official capacity. The complaint seeks injunctive and declaratory relief and nominal and compensatory damages.

Judge Yvette Kane

The background of this case has been well detailed in this Court’s prior orders and in the December 27, 2001 opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and therefore the recitation of facts here will be brief. Dr. Steven E. Paul was featured in a sidebar to an article in the May 1996 issue of Redbook Magazine entitled “Bad Medicine: The Doctors Who Could Cost You Your Life.” This sidebar profiled six doctors, including Dr. Paul. Because of the article and the associated profile, Dr. Paul and his wife filed a suit for libel per se and false light in the Court of Common Pleas of Bradford County, Pennsylvania in March of 1997. Defendants Removed the action to this Court in April of 1997.

On March 10, 2001, four year old Plaintiff Renee Morrow boarded the “Norwegian Wind,” a cruise ship owned and operated by Defendant Norwegian, for a cruise departing from and returning to Miami, Florida. Sometime prior to boarding the ship, Plaintiff’s parents purchased tickets for the family. These tickets included a passenger ticket contract with a forum selection clause. This clause required all lawsuits for injuries that occurred while on the cruise to be brought in Dade Country, Florida.

On September 10, 2001, Plaintiff Thurston Bell, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint against IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti in his official capacity, and IRS agents Chris Roginsky and Kathleen Lennon in their official and individual capacities. In his suit, Bell seeks (1) a declaratory judgment that his websites and their content are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, (2) an injunction against Defendants preventing them from approaching him and his family, and (3) compensatory damages in the amount of $30,000 and punitive damages of $1,000,000 from each of the Defendants sued in their individual capacities for violations of his First Amendment rights.