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NEWS
March 12, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON The Christie administration's fight over affordable housing mandates is back before the state Supreme Court, which will consider whether to uphold a lower court's order that a near-dormant state agency resume meeting about the rules this week. The state responded in legal filings Sunday that the appellate court had overstepped its boundaries and that the Supreme Court should put on hold the lower court's order setting a schedule for the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). The appellate court, which issued its decision Friday, ordered COAH to quickly produce new rules determining how many affordable homes municipalities must provide.
NEWS
March 11, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
Erica Sanchez - the woman at the center of a swirling scandal that led to the firing and investigation of a homicide detective - on Tuesday calmly waived her right to a preliminary hearing on charges that she murdered an ex-lover. Sanchez, 33, appeared in court for her abbreviated hearing looking much different than she did in the police mug shot taken when she was arrested last year for the Sept. 8 knife slaying of her ex-boyfriend, Cesar Vera. Sanchez, a mother of six, was photographed when she surrendered to police in October sporting long, unkempt dyed-blond locks and dark circles under her eyes.
NEWS
March 9, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
A New Jersey appellate court on Friday ordered a state agency to quickly produce new rules governing affordable housing, saying there was no plausible explanation for the agency's failure to meet a state Supreme Court-ordered deadline last month to complete the task. The appellate court ordered the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) board to meet Wednesday and direct the preparation of affordable-housing rules to be considered by the board at another meeting March 26. Under Gov. Christie's administration, the board has not met regularly in years.
SPORTS
March 9, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The streaking Flyers play in Toronto Saturday night, but the conversation in the locker room after Friday's practice centered on two of their star players - Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds - getting ready to face the Harlem Globetrotters on the hardwood. Giroux and Simmonds will play for the World All-Stars in the game at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center. Simmonds, who played basketball in high school, said the Globies would probably make him and his hockey teammate look "pretty stupid.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
    Montgomery County lawyer Gregory Noonan, arrested in December on drug charges, has been disbarred and will be seeking treatment for an addiction problem, his attorney said. Acting on a request by Noonan and the board reponsibile for disciplining lawyers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court signed an order last week accepting Noonan's resignation from the bar. Samuel C. Stretton, Noonan's attorney in this proceeding, said his client was trying to address problems in his life, beginning by seeking his own removal from the bar. "That was the right thing to do," Stretton said.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
TRENTON A housing advocacy group is set to ask a state appellate court Wednesday to direct a special authority to produce new rules governing affordable housing, after Gov. Christie's administration failed to meet a Supreme Court-ordered deadline to complete the task. Administration officials last week requested an extension from the Supreme Court, which in September ordered the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) to rewrite rules for determining how many homes municipalities must provide for lower-income residents.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court should take the unusual step of immediately overturning a Philadelphia judge's decision that Delaware is the only place to settle the Inquirer ownership dispute, according to a request filed by one group of owners. Not so - on several levels, the other group said Tuesday. In a filing last week, attorneys for owners Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest argued that not only were their clients harmed by the "unfounded" opinion last month of Common Pleas Court Judge Patricia A. McInerney, but it "improperly deprives Pennsylvania citizens of their right to seek recourse in the local courts," and could have "far-reaching implications even beyond Pennsylvania.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ending a closely watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal of a controversial 2006 Hazleton, Pa., ordinance that barred undocumented immigrants from renting homes in the Luzerne County city. The ordinance was not being enforced pending the outcome of the legal battle, but it had been among the first in a series of restrictions enacted by municipalities nationwide, and challenged by advocates for immigrants and by the federal government. The ordinance was deemed unconstitutional last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, which held that Hazleton's attempt to regulate immigration "unduly interfered" with a fundamental function of the federal government.
NEWS
March 3, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ron Castille had no trouble coming up with a million dollars to pay Jeff Rotwitt's law firm a finder's fee for identifying the site of Philadelphia's new Family Court. And when details emerged about Rotwitt's money-grab with the project's developer, it was no stretch for Castille to locate another million to sever the deal. Nor did he stint when he hired a friend to investigate the mess, paying $1 million for fact-finding that was never made public. Yet somehow Castille can't scrounge together a modest $500,000 to purchase art for the new Family Court at 15th and Arch, the most visible and important government project built in Philadelphia in two decades.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In what experts are calling an extraordinary legal gambit, Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague is asking the state Supreme Court to yank a case from the hands of three lower-court judges for taking too long to rule. Using language usually reserved for an opposing lawyer in a hotly contested trial, Sprague's motion says "inexcusable" delay by the three-judge Superior Court panel in a defamation case "reflects a deliberate indifference to their judicial duties. " His motion also asks the state's highest court to direct its watchdog agency, the Board of Judicial Conduct, to begin an inquiry into the conduct of the panel, composed of President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman and Judges Mary Jane Bowes and Judith F. Olson of Superior Court.
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