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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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State v. Melvin

Two homicide trials for two defendants before the same judge ended with the jury finding each defendant guilty of some charges. One defendant was found guilty of firearms charges but acquitted of first-degree murder. A jury found the other defendant of kidnapping and felony murder but acquitted her of first-degree…

State v. Melvin
New Jersey Supreme Court

Two homicide trials for two defendants before the same judge ended with the jury finding each defendant guilty of some charges. One defendant was found guilty of firearms charges but acquitted of first-degree murder. A jury found the other defendant of kidnapping and felony murder but acquitted her of first-degree murder. At sentencing, relying on… Continue reading State v. Melvin

Pascal v. City of Pittsburgh Zoning Bd. of Adjustment
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Northside Leadership Conference (NLC) is a non-profit community development corporation that owns real property in Pittsburgh. NLC applied for variances and special exceptions. Pascal objected to NLC’s applications. A three-member panel of the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) granted the variance and special exception applications. One of the panelists, however, served on NLC’s Board… Continue reading Pascal v. City of Pittsburgh Zoning Bd. of Adjustment

A newborn baby and its mother tested positive for controlled substances, and the mother soon thereafter violated the terms of a safety plan. The child was adjudicated dependant and remained in foster care. Later, the parties learned that the child’s purported biological father was not her father and instead the appellant was her father. After… Continue reading In re A.D.-G.

B.C. v. Att’y Gen. U.S.
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit vacated a District Court’s denial of the petitioner’s application for asylum. The petitioner was a native of Cameroon and primarily spoke “Pidgin” English. He had only limited abilities in “Standard” English. He fled from Cameroon to the U.S. after allegedly facing persecution at the hands of his government. Soon after his arrival,… Continue reading B.C. v. Att’y Gen. U.S.

State v. Njango
New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Supreme Court addressed the issue of time credit where a defendant served time in custody beyond his release date. Njango served a lengthy NERA sentence with a parole-supervision tail under a plea agreement but was kept in custody for an extra year beyond his maximum release date. Njango filed a PCR petition… Continue reading State v. Njango

Dondero v. Lower Milford Twp.
3rd Circuit

Dondero, the chief of police, sued after the Township closed the police department he worked for. He alleged retaliation in violation of the First Amendment and violations of substantive and procedural due process. The District Court granted summary judgment for the Township. On appeal, Dondero contended he was entitled to a hearing before the Township… Continue reading Dondero v. Lower Milford Twp.

Commonwealth v. Cosby
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ended the prosecution of Bill Cosby by vacating his convictions and barring a retrial. The Court held that the non-prosecution agreement between then-D.A. Bruce Castor and Cosby was enforceable and binding against successive D.A.s. The Court found that there was nothing from a reasonable observer’s perspective to suggest that the non-prosecution was anything… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Cosby

Feliciano v. PA Dep’t of Corr.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

In Feliciano v. PA Dep’t of Corr., the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reset the standard by which the court can act in its original jurisdiction to potentially redress an alleged constitutional violation suffered by a prisoner at the hands of his jailers. Here, an inmate was found guilty of testing positive for a controlled substance after… Continue reading Feliciano v. PA Dep’t of Corr.

Commonwealth v. Middaugh
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In March 2014, Appellee was convicted of DUI. The clerk’s office was required to send PennDOT a record of the conviction within ten days after its occurrence. See75 Pa.C.S. § 6323(1)(i). For some reason, that office waited twenty-eight months after the ten-day deadline had passed to notify PennDOT of the conviction. When PennDOT received the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Middaugh

Commonwealth v. Donoughe
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Donoughe, the defendant was charged with DUI and accepted into the ARD program. Pursuant to a written policy, ninety days after the defendant was accepted into ARD, the Pennsylvania State Police destroyed the mobile recording video of the arrest. But the defendant got kicked out of ARD and proceeded to trial. He… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Donoughe