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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 Yvette Kane

On June 8, 2001, Plaintiff filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit against the York County Police alleging that they deprived him of certain constitutional rights during his arrest, detention, interrogation and prosecution for unspecified state criminal charges. Plaintiff’s complaint, construed liberally, alleges the following: 1) excessive force used by the police during his arrest; 2) unlawful search and seizure of his person and property during the arrest and investigation; 3) failure to advise Plaintiff of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona and coercion and entrapment of him during questioning; 4) denial of Plaintiff’s request to speak to an attorney before and during questioning; 5) unlawful detention; 6) excessive bond set for Plaintiff’s release; and 7) police harassment of Plaintiff’s wife and her sister.

Before the Court is the Defendant’s “Pretrial Motion to Suppress Evidence” filed with the Court on May 7, 2001. Defendant seeks the suppression of evidence seized in connection with his January 7, 2001 arrest as violative of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Defendant’s motion has been briefed and an evidentiary hearing on the motion was held on July 19, 2001.

Plaintiff First Health Group Corp. (“First Health”) initiated this diversity action against David W. Norton (“Norton”) and National Prescription Administrators, Inc. (“NPA”), by filing a complaint, motion for temporary restraining order, motion for preliminary injunction, and motion for expedited discovery on February 22, 2000. Plaintiff’s complaint alleges claims of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contract, and tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage, against Norton and NPA, arising out of NPA’s successful 1999 bid to manage and administer Pennsylvania’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (“PACE”) program. Plaintiff’s claims against Norton arise out of his role as a former employee of First Health (and officer-in-charge of the PACE program) and his later role as a consultant to NPA in connection with the preparation of its successful 1999 bid to manage and administer the PACE program.

Judge James M. Munley

Plaintiff was hired by Defendant Pennsylvania Department of Corrections as a psychologist in November 1993. He originally worked at the State Correctional Institution at Smithfield. Approximately fifteen months after being hired, he was transferred to SCIMahanoy.

During the Spring of 1996, he publicly opposed religious/racial discrimination perpetrated against another psychologist by Defendant Youron. In the same year, he opposed racial discrimination against an inmate. He claims that he was the subject of harassment due to these actions and brought a six count discrimination action.

 

In his complaint, the plaintiff asserts the following causes of action: Count I, violation of First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments; Count II, violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1988; Count III, Conspiracy; Count IV, violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Count V, violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act; Count VI, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Defendants have moved for summary judgment averring that: 1) the Eleventh Amendment bars all claims against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections except for the Title VII claim and the damages claims against the three officials of the Commonwealth in their official capacities; 2) individual employees cannot be held liable under the Title VII claim; 3) plaintiff has failed to allege violations of rights secured under the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment (Count I); 4) the plaintiff did not adequately plead his conspiracy claims; and 5) the officials are immune from liability as to the pendent state law tort claims.

 

As alleged in the plaintiff’s complaint, the facts are as follows: Plaintiff was an employee of Defendant Marsch-Kellogg American Legion Post. On or about March 12, 1997, a representative of the American Legion contacted Defendant Trooper Mark H. Murray and requested that an investigation into financial shortages of the American Legion Post be conducted. The A merican Legion had retained Defendant Harriet L. Earnest, CPA to examine its financial records. She determined that the money was missing from the American Legion’s “ticket” money, that is ticket money earned by the American Legion from the sale of raffle tickets from ticket machines. On or about June 24, 1998, Defendant Mark H. Murray filed a criminal complaint against plaintiff contending that she was responsible for keeping the ledger on the ticket money during the period in question. Plaintiff w as arrested and requ ired to post bond.

The instant non-jury trial requires us to determine whether the plaintiffs are entitled to $75,000.00 o r $500,000.00 in underinsured motorist insurance coverage (hereinafter “UIM coverage”). The plaintiffs are Joseph Clifford and Joseph Clifford, Administrator of the Estate of Christopher Clifford (hereinafter “plaintiff”), and the defendant is Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance Company, a subsidiary of the Prudential Insurance Co. of America, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Co. (hereinafter “defendant” or “Prudential”). This case was removed from the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas on October 12, 1999. The plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action seeking to have the court reform the plaintiff’s insurance policy to provide UIM limits equal to the limits of the liability coverage. The parties agreed that the merits of the plaintiff’s complaint would be addressed at a nonjury trial. A trial was held on October 20, 2000, addressing the plaintiff’s declaratory judgment complaint. At that time, the parties formally presented their recommended stipulated facts and their respective legal theories.

The plaintiff in the instant case was employed by Miners from July 1994 until she was laid off in May 1998. Defendant Miners, a hospital, entered into a collective bargaining agreement (hereinafter “CBA”) with Defendant District Council, a labor union. While employed by Miners, plaintiff was a member of District Council.

On October 31, 1996, Miners posted a vacancy for a registration clerk/switchboard operator position. Plaintiff Seritti bid on that position, but it was awarded to another employee. Plaintiff filed a grievance on November 13, 1996 alleging that Miners breached the CBA by appointing another employee to the open position. On November 20, 1996, Miners denied the grievance at Step 1 of the grievance/arbitration procedure set forth in the CBA. On December 3, 1996, Miners denied the grievance at Step 2 of the grievance procedure. On March 12, 1997, Miners denied the grievance at Step 3 of the grievance procedure. District Council informed Miners, by a letter dated April 23, 1997, that the union would proceed to arbitration on plaintiff’s grievance. District Council failed to process the grievance to an arbitrator.

Judge William W. Caldwell

In July 1992, after he pled guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 846, this court sentenced the defendant, Julius John Pinkston, to 248 months in prison, later reduced to 198 months for substantial assistance in the prosecution of a codefendant.
Pinkston has filed a pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his conviction and sentence, his first attempt at such postconviction relief. It is based on Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S. Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435 (2000).

Defendants, York County, York County Prison, Thomas Hogan and Christopher Reilly (the “York County Defendants”), have filed a motion to dismiss the Plaintiff’s complaint for failure to effect service upon them. They also request dismissal with prejudice because service on them now would be beyond the statute of limitations. We presume the motion is made under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(5). The Plaintiff has filed a cross-motion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m) for enlargement of time to effect service.
Plaintiff, Yudaya Nanyonga, filed this civil rights action setting forth constitutional and state-law tort claims arising from treatment she received during her classification at the York County Prison as a detainee of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”). Nanyonga names the INS and Doris Meissner, the INS Commissioner, (“the Federal Defendants”) as well as the York County Defendants. Hogan is the prison warden and Reilly is a member of the York County Board of Commissioners. Twenty-five John and Jane Does have also been named.

Judge Malachy E. Mannion

This is a breach of contract matter as well as other claims brought in a complaint filed on July 9, 1999. (Doc. No. 1). The defendants answered and filed a counterclaim on August 3, 1999. (Doc. No. 6). This was followed by plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss the counterclaim, on August 20, 1999. (Doc. No. 7). On September 30, 1999, the matter was referred, following consent of the parties, to a United States Magistrate Judge. (Doc. No. 14). Taking up the motion to dismiss the defendants’ counterclaim, United States Magistrate Judge Raymond Durkin dismissed the counterclaim on January 28, 2000. (Doc. No. 16).

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