This case concerns issues of first impression in Pennsylvania in a dispute over whether an oil and gas land lease was extended or expired by its own terms. Before the Court is the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiff’s Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 6). Danko
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Judge Matthew W. Brann
Before the Court is the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Attorney Fees (ECF No. 47) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d), and United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Local Rule 54.4. The underlying action concerned Plaintiffs’ claims of unlawful sex discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the Equal Rights Amendment of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The Plaintiffs ultimately prevailed on the merits and seek compensation for their attorneys.
This case concerns a dispute over an oil and gas lease executed by the Parties.
This case was removed to this Court on December 15, 2010. The Court’s basis for jurisdiction is the parties’s diverse citizenship. Pennsylvania law applies.
On August 17, 2012, plaintiff Allegheny Enterprises, Inc. (hereinafter, “Allegheny”) filed an amended complaint seeking declaratory judgment (counts I & II), and asserting claims of conversion (count III), intentional interference with contractual relations (count IV), and interference with coal interests (count V) against defendant J-W Operating Company (hereinafter, “J-W Operating”).1 (Am. Compl., Aug. 17, 2012, ECF No. 53 (hereinafter, “Am. Compl.”)). Allegheny’s claims all substantially rest on its assertion that it owns “the coal, shallow gas and oil and the related rights” under lands that Allegheny refers to as the “Pardee Tract” and the “Jones/McConaghay Properties,” while J-W Operating owns the “deep gas and related rights” under the same lands, having acquired such rights by assignment from Allegheny. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 11, 17). Allegheny contends that, by the terms of a series of agreements with J-W Operating, its coal and shallow gas and oil rights are superior to the deep gas rights it assigned to J-W Operating (Id. ¶¶ 36, 42), and that J-W Operating has infringed (and threatens to further infringe) upon Allegheny’s rights by drilling ahead of Allegheny.
Plaintiff AVCO Corp. (hereinafter, “AVCO”) commenced this action by filing a complaint on July 6, 2012, asserting various claims against defendant Precision Airmotive LLC (hereinafter, “Precision”) – defamation (count I), product disparagement (count II), tortious interference with contractual relations (count III) – and seeking declaratory relief and the cancellation of several trademarks.
On April 25, 2012, plaintiff Violet Gallagher (hereinafter, “Gallagher”) filed a complaint against defendant East Buffalo Township (hereinafter, the “Township”) seeking relief for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251, et seq., Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law, 35 P.S. § 691.1, et seq., and Pennsylvania’s Stormwater Management Act, 32 P.S. § 680.1, et seq., as well as for common law nuisance and trespass.
In 2005, the plaintiffs, property owners in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, became lessors pursuant to oil-and-gas leases with counterparty-lessee Chief. (Def.’s Facts, May 4, 2012 ¶¶ 1-4). The Roe plaintiffs’s lease with Chief commenced October 28, 2005; both of the Beinlich plaintiffs’s leases commenced days earlier on October 25, 2005. (Id. ¶¶ 2-4). The leases provide Chief exclusive rights to “all the oil, gas, and coalbed methane and their constituents . . . underlying the [land leased by the plaintiffs], together with such exclusive rights as may be necessary or convenient for [Chief] . . . to explore for, develop, produce, measure, and market production from [the land leased by plaintiffs]."
Plaintiffs, who are proceeding pro se in this collective action for unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq., and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (“PMWA”), 43 P.S. §§ 333.101, et seq, commenced this litigation on April 17, 2012. Compl., ECF No. 1. The parties seek court approval of a proposed settlement agreement.
On March 1, 2012, plaintiff, Rox-Ann Reifer (hereinafter “Reifer”), as assignee of Donald Russo, Esquire, filed a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. On March 23, 2012, defendant, Westport Insurance Corporation (hereinafter “Westport”) removed the case to the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner
This action is one of seventeen initiated by the Attorneys General of several states and the District of Columbia against defendants McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“McGraw Hill”), and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC (“S&P”) (collectively, “Defendants”) for alleged violations of state consumer protection and unfair trade practices laws.