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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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In re Appeal for Formation of Indep. Sch. Dist. Consisting of Highspire

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court clarified the scope the Secretary of Education must employ when assessing whether a municipality may move its territory from one school district to another. Here, the citizens of Highspire Borough petitioned to leave the Steelton-Highspire School District and be absorbed into the Middletown Area School District.…

In re Appeal for Formation of Indep. Sch. Dist. Consisting of Highspire
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court clarified the scope the Secretary of Education must employ when assessing whether a municipality may move its territory from one school district to another. Here, the citizens of Highspire Borough petitioned to leave the Steelton-Highspire School District and be absorbed into the Middletown Area School District. The Secretary of Education bore… Continue reading In re Appeal for Formation of Indep. Sch. Dist. Consisting of Highspire

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined “to adopt a test for standing whereby a retroactive or future enlargement in trustee compensation can only be challenged by a beneficiary who is able to demonstrate, preliminary, that her benefit will be affected by the increase.” Augustus Ashton created a trust in his will when he died in 1951.… Continue reading In re Ashton

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the lower court’s order that adjudicated children dependent and found that one child suffered abuse. The Court held that under the facts of this case, the trial court correctly applied the evidentiary presumption found at 23 Pa.C.S. § 6381(d), whichestablishes a prima facie case of… Continue reading In re C.B.

Commonwealth v. Reid
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

To avoid the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s “frustration” with Appellant’s brief, counsel should have hired the ghostwriting pros at Sullivan | Simon. This was a direct appeal from an order dismissing a PCRA petition. Appellant, who is sentenced to death for the murders of his girlfriend and her child, presented the Court with a host of… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Reid

United Blower, Inc. v. Lycoming Cnty. Water & Sewer Auth.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Commonwealth Court’s determination of the cost of steel products under the Steel Products Procurement Act. The Steel Act embodies “the policy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that all public officers and agencies should, at all times, aid and promote the development of the steel industry of the United States… Continue reading United Blower, Inc. v. Lycoming Cnty. Water & Sewer Auth.

Mohn v. Bucks Co. Republican Comm.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided courts should stay out of this fray amongst local Republican party members. Appellant was a Republican committeeperson of Appellee, the Bucks County Republican Committee. After his election, the acting chairman of Appellee’s Ethics Committee sent a letter to Appellant advising him that two people had lodged complaints against him. The… Continue reading Mohn v. Bucks Co. Republican Comm.

Commonwealth v. Purnell
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Testifying in Pennsylvania courts is now a whole lot cuddlier. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court was asked to determine whether a witness in a criminal case may utilize a “comfort dog” for support during their trial testimony. A 13-year-old autistic girl witnessed a murder. The killer pointed his gun at her before he ran. Then, the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Purnell

Brooks v. Ewing Cole, Inc.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that an adverse decision on the government’s assertion of sovereign immunity constitutes a collateral order, immediately appealable as of right under Rule 313. This case arose out of personal injuries the plaintiff allegedly sustained when she walked into an unmarked glass wall while leaving the Family Court building in Philadelphia.… Continue reading Brooks v. Ewing Cole, Inc.

Commonwealth v. Flor
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A fractured Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the PCRA court’s denial of post-conviction relief in a death penalty case where the defendant pleaded guilty to killing a Bucks County police officer. Though the defendant raised myriad claims in his petition seeking post-conviction relief, his primary claim was that his intellectual disability rendered him ineligible for the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Flor

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that a petition seeking a protective order under the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act (“PVSVIA”) is subject to a six-year statute of limitations. K.N.B. petitioned the trial court for a Sexual Violence Protective Order (“SVPO”) under the PVSVIA. The legislature enacted the PVSVIA to give victims… Continue reading K.N.B. v. M.B.