Judicial Review of a Broken Funding Scheme On September 28, 2017, in William Penn School District v. Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided it had the authority and duty to decide whether Pennsylvania’s school funding scheme is so broken it violates the Pennsylvania constitution. The case was first dismissed by the Commonwealth Court as posing…

Federal Court in Wilkes-Barre Stops School from Disciplining Cheerleader for Off-campus Speech Yesterday, federal District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo issued a preliminary injunction forbidding the Mahanoy School District from punishing one of its cheerleaders for an off-campus Snapchat post. The minor plaintiff, identified as “B.L.” is a sophomore at the Mahanoy Area High School…

14th Amendment Requires Schools to Protect High School football players from concussion injuries On September 21, 2017, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals filed a precedential opinion ruling that high school football players have a constitutional right to be protected from further harm after suffering a concussion injury on the field. Ironically, the School District…

Hurricane Irma Extends Filing Deadlines The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently announced that, due to weather conditions in the Virgin Islands, any non-emergency filing (e.g. briefs, case opening documents,) in a Virgin Islands case that is due during the period September 5 through September 12 will be due on September 13. Further extensions may…

MCCF Suicide Mumun Barbaros committed suicide at the Monroe County Correctional Facility on March 22, 2009 while awaiting trial for criminal trespass. Barbaros choked to death from the remnants of a t-shirt lodged in his throat. Federal Lawsuit Barbaros’ estate sued in federal District Court in Scranton. The claim was that Barbaros committed suicide because he was…

Monroe County Pennsylvania Legal News The Pocono Record recently reported that the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia, rejected a lawsuit filed against Monroe County Sheriff Todd Martin and Ross Township solicitor John Dunn. The case arose out of a shooting incident at the Ross Township Municipal building resulting in multiple deaths. Read…

A 15-year-old Connecticut student at a private boarding school in Connecticut (The Hotchkiss School) sued her school in federal court after she contracted tick-borne encephalitis on an educational trip to China the school organized. A jury awarded her $41.75 million. My first reaction to the headline, and maybe you share this view, was that the…

On August 3, 2017, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a federal civil rights lawsuit victims filed against Ross Township, Pennsylvania officials. The victims sought recovery for their injuries and the deaths of their family members when Township resident Rockne Newell opened fire on innocent bystanders attending a  2013 Supervisors meeting. Three people were…

I just wrote a post on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent decision to re-visit when schools and municipalities may be held liable for dangerous conditions on their properties. Brewington The case I wrote about was Brewington v. City of Philadelphia, 149 A.3d 901 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2016). The PA Supreme Court will decide in Brewington whether…

Suing School Districts and other Pennsylvania municipal bodies has traditionally been very difficult because of an immunity statute called the “Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.” It’s a long name for a Pennsylvania law that says that government agencies are immune from being sued unless the claim falls within eight very narrow exceptions to immunity. One…