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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 Malachy E. Mannion

Pending before the court is the Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions for Failing to Preserve Electronic Stored Information and Provide Such Information in Discovery. (Doc. No. 50). Based upon a review of the motion and related materials, the motion will be denied.

By way of relevant procedural background 2, the plaintiff filed the instant action, (Doc. No. 1), on February 17, 2009, which he later amended on April 5, 2009, to include claims of age discrimination and retaliation (Count I), First Amendment violations (Count II), and a hostile work environment (Count III), in relation to his employment as an orthotist3 at the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Veterans Affairs, (“VA”), Medical Center, (Doc. No. 3).

Judge John E. Jones III

Before the Court is the Motion to Compel the Production of Government Interview Notes (“the Motion”)(Doc. 67) filed by Defendants John J. Rigas and Timothy Rigas (collectively “the Defendants”) on April 15, 2008. This matter had previously been stayed pending an interlocutory appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Following the Third Circuit’s decision in that appeal, the Court received a supplemental brief on the Motion from the Defendants. (Doc. 125). Accordingly, the matter is fully ripe for our review.

Before the Court is the Motion to Compel the Production of Government Interview Notes (“the Motion”)(Doc. 67) filed by Defendants John J. Rigas and Timothy Rigas (collectively “the Defendants”) on April 15, 2008. This matter had previously been stayed pending an interlocutory appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Following the Third Circuit’s decision in that appeal, the Court received a supplemental brief on the Motion from the Defendants. (Doc. 125). Accordingly, the matter is fully ripe for our review.

Appellant Charles J. DeHart, III, Chapter 13 Trustee (“the Trustee”) appeals a July 23, 2010 Opinion (the “Opinion”) issued by the Honorable Mary D. France of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.1 In the Opinion, the Bankruptcy Court held that the undistributed funds held by the Trustee following a conversion of the case to chapter 7 are property of the debtor Barry L. Michael (“Debtor”). Accordingly, the Bankruptcy Court granted Debtor’s motion to compel the Trustee to turn over the undistributed funds. The Trustee filed a timely appeal on September 2, 2010 (Doc. 1). The appeal has been fully briefed by the parties and is therefore ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow, we will affirm the Opinion of the Bankruptcy Court.

Presently before the Court are two pending motions to compel arbitration (Docs. 32, 36) and a motion to stay proceedings, including discovery, pending ruling on the motion for summary judgment to compel arbitration. (Doc. 43). For the reasons that follow, the two motions to compel arbitration will be granted and the motion to stay proceedings pending ruling on the motion for summary judgment to compel arbitration will be denied as moot. The Court will order the parties to proceed to appropriate arbitration, and this action will be stayed pending those proceedings.

Pending before the Court are the parties’ cross-Motions for Summary Judgment with Respect to the Chief Defendants’ Counterclaims, filed in November 2010. The Chief Defendants1 move the Court to grant judgment in their favor and equitably extend the terms of the Plaintiffs’ oil-and-gas leases with the Chief Defendants. Essentially, the Chief Defendants argue that Plaintiffs repudiated their leases when they filed the instant declaratory judgment actions to determine whether their leases were valid under Pennsylvania’s Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act (“GMRA”), 58 P.S. § 33. On October 6, 2010 we issued a Memorandum and Order granting the Defendants’ motions to dismiss and upholding the leases as valid under the GMRA. In doing so, we explicitly relied upon the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s rationale in Kilmer v. Elexco Land Services, Inc., 63 MAP, 2009, 2010 Pa. LEXIS 517, *30 (Pa. March 24, 2010). The Chief Defendants now request that we equitably extend the leases to account for the period of time during which the Plaintiffs contested the leases in this Court. For the reasons that follow, the Plaintiffs’ Motions for Summary Judgment shall be granted and the Chief Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment shall be denied.

Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner

Presently before the court is the report (Doc. 37) of the Honorable William T. Prince, United States Magistrate Judge, recommending that the motion for judgment on the pleadings (Doc. 18) filed by defendants, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) and Allen Biehler, Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, be granted in part, and denied in part. Plaintiff David Behar, M.D. (“Dr. Behar”) has filed objections (Docs. 43-44) to the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation (“R&R”). The Pennsylvania Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society filed a brief of amici curiae (Doc. 42) in support of Dr. Behar’s objections. For the reasons set forth below, the court will adopt the R&R in its entirety.

On April 20, 2007, plaintiffs David H. Pease, III and Lisa Pease commenced this diversity action against defendant Lycoming Engines Inc. (“Lycoming Engines”) and fourteen other defendants in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. (Doc. 1, Attachment 1). By Memorandum and Order dated April 19, 2010, the Middle District of Alabama granted plaintiffs’ motion to transfer venue (Doc. 8, Attach. 3, 4) and transferred the action to this court. (Doc. 11, Attach. 2). The instant lawsuit arises out of a June 5, 2005, aviation accident. The pilot, plaintiff David Pease, was seriously injured after his aircraft, a Piper Saratoga, crashed near Tazewall, Tennessee. Plaintiffs claim that the crash occurred after Mr. Pease’s plane “suffered an engine seizure after an apparent oil starvation event at a high altitude . . . .”

Plaintiffs Bonnie Hynoski, Stephen Hynoski, Christine Hynoski, Tom Hynoski, the Borough of Centralia, Harold Mervine (as executor of the estate of Lamar Mervine, Jr. and Lana Mervine), John Koschoff, Helen Hynoski, and Walter Hynoski (collectively, “plaintiffs”) filed the above-captioned case, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against defendants Columbia County Redevelopment Authority, Rosenn Jenkins and Greenwald, LLP, John T. Zelinka, Gary Taroli, Blaschak Coal Corporation, Steven Fishman, the Commonweath of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and C. Alan Walker.1 Presently before the court is plaintiffs’ motion (Doc. 2) for preliminary injunctive relief. Plaintiffs seek to enjoin any and all defendants, or anyone acting on their behalf, from taking any action in furtherance of certain eminent domain proceedings presently pending in state court. For the following reasons, plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunctive relief will be denied.

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