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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. Hipps

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the Court of Common Pleas order that granted the defendant's second PCRA petition. The defendant tried to sidestep the PCRA's time bar with a newly-discovered evidence argument. He claimed that his initial PCRA counsel failed to assert non-frivolous claims or, in the alternative, argued only…

Commonwealth v. Hipps
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the Court of Common Pleas order that granted the defendant’s second PCRA petition. The defendant tried to sidestep the PCRA’s time bar with a newly-discovered evidence argument. He claimed that his initial PCRA counsel failed to assert non-frivolous claims or, in the alternative, argued only frivolous claims. The Court disagreed,… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Hipps

Dressler Family, LP v. PennEnergy Res., LLC
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court found that the provisions in a lease were ambiguous in this oil and gas lease/breach of contract case. The Dresslers entered into an Oil and Gas Lease with the defendant. The Lease permitted the defendant to engage in oil and gas exploration and production operations on the Dresslers’ property in return… Continue reading Dressler Family, LP v. PennEnergy Res., LLC

Commonwealth v. Fantauzzi
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the defendant’s sentence and ruled that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to resentence him. The case’s procedural history is tortured but can be summarized as follows: 1.) The lower court granted collateral relief in the form of a new sentencing proceeding resulting in the defendant’s 2015 judgment of sentence; 2.)… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Fantauzzi

Commonwealth v. Redmond
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the defendant’s consecutive sentences. The defendant pleaded guilty to two DUI-related offenses on two dockets. The lower court imposed consecutive sentences, and the defendant appealed. The Superior Court ruled that the trial court sentenced the defendant within the standard range for each conviction. “Considering the defendant’s history of jeopardizing the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Redmond

Commonwealth v. Davis
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the defendant’s jury conviction for DUI-high rate of alcohol 4th offense or subsequent. On appeal, the defendant alleged several issues with the jury. The Court ruled that the trial court did not err in permitting potential jurors to wear facemasks during the voir dire, seating the jury in the courtroom’s… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Davis

Commonwealth v. Ishankulov
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the defendant’s $10,000+ fine for violating the Restrictions of Use of Highways and Bridges statute. A police officer pulled over the defendant and directed him to a weigh station. After determining that the defendant’s tractor-trailer was twice the legal limit for a bridge he crossed, the officer issued a ticket.… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Ishankulov

Snyder v. Snyder
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated in part an equitable distribution order because the lower court double counted assets. Wife filed a complaint in divorce seeking equitable distribution of the marital property, and she filed a praecipe for lis pendens concerning various real estate properties. Husband filed an exception to the master’s report and recommendation. The… Continue reading Snyder v. Snyder

True Railroad Realty, Inc. v. McNees Wallace and Nurick, LLC
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court determined that the trial court correctly applied Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1035.2 in granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff sued the defendant, claiming legal malpractice. Two days after the expired deadline for producing the plaintiff’s expert reports, the defendant moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted… Continue reading True Railroad Realty, Inc. v. McNees Wallace and Nurick, LLC

Oberholzer v. Galapo
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the trial court’s grant of a permanent injunction in this case of a neighborly squabble. Appellants erected 23 signs on their property that included mostly anti-hate and anti-racist statements. The signs faced towards and in the line of sight of the backyard of Appellees’ property. Appellees filed a complaint, and… Continue reading Oberholzer v. Galapo

Khalil v. Travelers Indem. Co. of Amer.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the doctrine of res judicata barred the plaintiff’s claims. Appellant sought monetary damages against Appellees, including Travelers, Pier 3, Wentworth, and the attorneys who represented these parties in two prior actions. The trial court granted Appellees’ motion for summary judgment. The Superior Court affirmed. “Res judicata protected Travelers because… Continue reading Khalil v. Travelers Indem. Co. of Amer.