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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Kuar v. Singh

The appellant challenged a protection from abuse (PFA) order that compelled him to avoid a particular temple on Sundays when his ex-wife worshiped there. He claimed that the PFA unlawfully impeded his free exercise of religion. The Superior Court disagreed and affirmed the PFA. The Court noted that the order…

The appellant challenged a protection from abuse (PFA) order that compelled him to avoid a particular temple on Sundays when his ex-wife worshiped there. He claimed that the PFA unlawfully impeded his free exercise of religion. The Superior Court disagreed and affirmed the PFA. The Court noted that the order would only violate the First… Continue reading Kuar v. Singh

S.B. v. SS. involved a contentious custody dispute. After a twenty-three day trial, Father was awarded custody of Child. A few weeks before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied allocatur, Mother’s attorney held a press conference on YOUTube, expressing Mother’s fervent disagreement with the trial court’s findings and orders. While Child was not named during the… Continue reading S.B. v. SS.

In In re Y.W.-B., the Superior Court confronted two challenging family law questions. First, the Court held that a county child protective services agency “may obtain a court order compelling a parent’s cooperation with a home visit upon a showing of a fair probability that a child is in need of services, and that evidence… Continue reading In re Y.W.-B.

Porter v. City of Philadelphia
3rd Circuit

In Porter v. City of Philadelphia, the 3rd Circuit held that the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office’s policy prohibiting comments during a sheriff’s sale is a reasonable, viewpoint neutral speech restriction aimed at protecting the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to sell hundreds of foreclosed properties in a single auction, and thus does not violate the 1st Amendment.

Commonwealth v. Held
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Held, a media company appealed from a trial court’s denial of its request for the names of jurors after they deadlocked and a mistrial was granted, but before the retrial. The Superior Court acknowledged that the 1st Amendment was implicated, but, since the trial judge simply said he would not divulge the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Held

B.L. v. Mahanoy Area Sch. Dist.
3rd Circuit

In a wild mashup between George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words and the cult classic Bring it On, the Third Circuit had to play referee. In B.L. v. Mahanoy Area Sch. Dist., the 3rd Circuit held that a disenchanted cheerleader’s weekend, off-campus Snap of “Fuck school fuck softball fuck cheer fuck everything” was protected 1st Amendment… Continue reading B.L. v. Mahanoy Area Sch. Dist.

Commonwealth v. Starr
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The defendant entered guilty pleas to certain charges in the Allegheny County Sex Offender Court and received a probation tail to his sentence. One condition of his probation was that he was not permitted to possess a device that was capable of accessing the internet. The defendant was subsequently repeatedly caught with cell phones with… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Starr

Carr v. PA Dep’t of Trans.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A civil servant who worked for PennDOT posted to her Facebook account a rant about the poor performance of school bus drivers and her seemingly cavalier attitude toward running over small children. As a result, she was fired. She sued to get her job back. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court noted that the government has a… Continue reading Carr v. PA Dep’t of Trans.

#CSL #SocialMedia # 1stAmendment #MegansLaw #StrictScrutiny #Overbroad In what surely is a preview of a New Jersey (maybe even SCOTUS) case, the Appellate Division determined that a provision prohibiting a parolee from accessing social media online as part of a parole provision under Community Supervision for Life violated the 1st Amendment, as the provision was… Continue reading State v. R.K.