March 20, 2014 |
Three weeks ago, Philadelphia lawyer Richard Sprague took what legal experts called an unusual and possibly risky move: asking the state Supreme Court to take away an appeal pending before a three-judge Superior Court panel for taking too long to rule. Although cause-and-effect are impossible to prove, on March 11 the Superior Court panel issued its opinion in Sprague's pretrial appeal in a 2005 defamation lawsuit by two former Lackawanna County commissioners against the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper.
March 16, 2014 |
TRENTON Gov. Christie's administration on Friday won more time from the state Supreme Court to write new rules to jump-start the state's affordable housing program. The decision vacated a recent appellate court ruling that ordered the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) - which has been near-dormant under Christie's administration - to resume meeting immediately, setting a deadline this month for the agency to create new rules. In a 5-1 decision, the state's high court said COAH could have until May 1, the date it requested, to produce new rules outlining how many affordable homes must be available in each municipality.
March 13, 2014 |
GLASSBORO An appellate court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a complaint by a Glassboro police officer who contended he should have been given notice and a hearing before a written reprimand by his superior. The court, affirming a trial court's rejection of David B. Burns' claim, cited state law that specifically requires such process for suspension, removal, fines, and reduction in rank. Thomas Cushane, the attorney for the now-retired officer, said the matter provides an opportunity to address a legislative void.
March 12, 2014 |
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.
March 1, 2014 |
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.
January 19, 2014 |
Superior Court Judge Faustino J. Fernandez-Vina was sworn in Friday as the only Hispanic member of New Jersey's highest court - and the first Supreme Court appointee Democrats have approved in two years amid an impasse with Gov. Christie. Fernandez-Vina, 61, who prefers the childhood nickname "Fuzzy," won unanimous Senate approval Nov. 18 for the seven-member court. On Friday, he laid his hand on a Bible held by his father and took the oath as an associate justice during a ceremony at Rutgers-Camden.
January 14, 2014
Historic setting Inquirer coverage of Philadelphia's plans for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service glossed over the irony that many events on Monday will be taking place at Girard College. In 1954, the year the Supreme Court issued its Brown v. Board of Education ruling, Philadelphia's city solicitor started proceedings to break a discriminatory clause in Stephen Girard's will that had excluded black boys from Girard College. It took 14 years of protracted litigation (three lawsuits went all the way to the Supreme Court)
January 12, 2014 |
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a New York technology company can grab over-the-air broadcast-TV signals and stream the network content to subscribers without paying fees. The nation's highest court agreed Friday to hear the case brought by TV broadcast companies against Aereo Inc., which has raised almost $100 million in funding and launched in about a dozen TV markets, though not Philadelphia. ABC, Fox, CBS, and NBC (the last owned by Philadelphia's Comcast Corp.)
January 5, 2014 |
In his latest surprise judicial appointment move, Gov. Christie plans to nominate the embattled chief of the Delaware River Port Authority to serve as a judge. He also appears to be throwing in the towel on getting Robert Hanna, one of his state Supreme Court nominees, confirmed and instead plans to nominate him as a lower court judge. Christie filed a required pre-nomination notice Thursday with the state Senate for Hanna, as well as DRPA chief executive John J. Matheussen and five others.
December 31, 2013 |
DISTRICT ATTORNEY Seth Williams is taking an appeals-court ruling to the state Supreme Court in attempt to keep Monsignor William Lynn behind bars. But Lynn - whose felony child-endangerment conviction was overturned in state Superior Court last week - could walk free any day this week by posting 10 percent of $250,000 bail, which was granted yesterday by Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina. "We can say with great confidence that the way the Superior Court read this law is not how this law is supposed to work," Williams said during a news conference yesterday.