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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Hughes v. UGI Storage Co.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court interpreted the Eminent Domain Code in these consolidated appeals. The Court held “that a public or quasi-public entity need not possess a property-specific power of eminent domain in order to implicate inverse condemnation principles”. The facts and procedural history spanned 19 of the opinion’s 26 pages.…

Hughes v. UGI Storage Co.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court interpreted the Eminent Domain Code in these consolidated appeals. The Court held “that a public or quasi-public entity need not possess a property-specific power of eminent domain in order to implicate inverse condemnation principles”. The facts and procedural history spanned 19 of the opinion’s 26 pages. After interpreting the Eminent Domain… Continue reading Hughes v. UGI Storage Co.

Commonwealth v. Dunkins
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed an order denying the suppression of wireless internet network (WiFi) connection records obtained by the police without a warrant. After two students were robbed in their dorm room at Moravian College, campus police requested the college’s Director of Systems Engineering to analyze its WiFi connection records and compile a list… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Dunkins

Greenwood Gaming & Entm’t v. Comonwealth
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Place your bets! The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that concert tickets, which a casino distributed to its patrons for playing table games and slot machines at its facility, are not “services” for purposes of calculating the casino’s taxable revenues generated by those games and machines under Section 1103 of the Gaming Act. Thus, they were… Continue reading Greenwood Gaming & Entm’t v. Comonwealth

Commonwealth v. Wharton
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In this capital case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of the defendant’s fourth PCRA petition. The defendant raised three issues on appeal. First, the Court held that, because the PCRA court determined that the claims in the defendant’s petition did not necessitate an evidentiary hearing, he was not entitled to the appointment of… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Wharton

“When a person is defamed via a medium with worldwide accessibility, a cause of action may arise in multiple venues”. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that “a plaintiff may select a single venue in a defamation action in any location in which publication and concomitant injury has occurred, albeit that publication and harm may have… Continue reading Fox v. Smith

Peters v. Workers Comp. Appeal Bd. (Cintas Corp.)
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In a rare unanimous opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed the “traveling employee doctrine” (a/k/a the continuous coverage rule or the commercial traveler rule). The traveling employee doctrine creates a rebuttable presumption that a traveling employee — for example, a truck driver — is injured during the “course of employment” when he is injured after… Continue reading Peters v. Workers Comp. Appeal Bd. (Cintas Corp.)

J.S. v. Manheim Twp. Sch. Dist.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a student did not engage in unprotected speech and did not cause a substantial disruption to the school environment when he posted a Snapchat story joking about a potential school shooting. The student made the post on his cell phone while he was at home. The school district suspended… Continue reading J.S. v. Manheim Twp. Sch. Dist.

Commonwealth v. Pacheco
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court revisited cell site location information (CSLI) and the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Carpenter in holding that orders issued by a trial court that authorized the disclosure of the defendant’s CSLI were the functional equivalent of search warrants and must comport with the Fourth Amendment. Since the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Pacheco

Quigley v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review erred when it concluded sua sponte that the claimant was ineligible for unemployment benefits. Before the referee, the issue was whether the claimant’s income from her side hustle was deductible from unemployment compensation after being laid off from her primary job. The Board reversed… Continue reading Quigley v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.

Apartment Ass’n of Metro. Pittsburgh v. City of Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the decision of an en banc panel of the Commonwealth Court that struck down a Pittsburgh ordinance, which “proscribed source-of-income discrimination in various housing-related contexts”. The Apartment Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh filed a complaint against the City of Pittsburgh, alleging that the ordinance violated the City’s authority under the home-rule… Continue reading Apartment Ass’n of Metro. Pittsburgh v. City of Pittsburgh