Our readers may remember that in the Fall of 2019, we published two blog articles recommending a “No” vote on the Marsy’s Law ballot question which, in very broad terms, would have had the effect of substantially expanding victim’s rights in the criminal justice system. For a more detailed recap of the ballot question, the … Continue reading Commonwealth Court Declares 2019 “Marsy’s Law” Proposed Amendment Unconstitutional, Invalidates Votes Cast
The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches and seizures, and no warrant to search any place or to seize any person or things shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation subscribed to by the affiant. … Continue reading Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds that Probable Cause and Exigent Circumstances are Required for the Warrantless Search of a Vehicle
The Governor has once again chosen to hit restaurants and liquor license holders. This time he’s hit them at their most critical time of the year. From talking with dozens of restaurant and bar owners, if you close now, you will likely end up bankrupt and/or permanently closed. My analysis has not changed. I continue to … Continue reading The Governor’s New Shutdown Order – Considerations for Restaurants
In a decision just issued in County of Butler, et al. v. Governor Wolf, et al., Judge William Stickman, IV of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has ruled that "(1) the congregate gathering limits imposed by Defendants' mitigation orders violate the right of assembly enshrined in the First Amendment; (2) … Continue reading Federal Judge Rules PA COVID Restrictions UNCONSTITUTIONAL
May 11, 2020 will go down in history as the day the Governor Wolf lost control of the state. In a series of statements today, Governor Wolf called the counties seeking to reopen against his wishes “cowardly.” He stated that businesses who reopen against his wishes could face loss of licenses, certificates of occupancy and … Continue reading May 11, 2020 – The Day Governor Wolf Lost Control of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
In a stunning move, the Berks County Commissioners are discussing their own plan to reopen Berks County; a plan that will apparently not include Governor Wolf. The legal question is, assuming, arguendo, that the Governor's order is lawful, can County Commissioners enter an order that would be contrary to the Governor’s order and reopen the … Continue reading Berks County Commissioners Seek to Reopen Berks County in Defiance of Governor Wolf’s Quarantine Order – But Is It Lawful?
We recently became aware that several Pennsylvania Municipalities have imposed curfews due to coronavirus/COVID concerns. Upon initial review, the curfews are likely illegal. So far, we're aware of the following curfews: West Hazleton Borough: http://www.westhazletonboro.org/Pages/Home.aspx Hazleton: http://www.hazletoncity.org/Latest-news/emergency-proclamation-from-hazleton-mayor-jeff-cusat.html West York: https://westyorkpa.gov/ Freeland: https://www.freelandborough.org/ Hazle Township: http://www.hazletownship.com/ While we assume there are more municipalities that have enacted … Continue reading Pennsylvania Municipalities Enacting Unlawful Curfews
It is with a heavy heart that I write this article. Unbeknownst to me, on Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court abruptly issued an Order promulgating a change to Section 701 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Judicial Administration. This change adds section (c)(7) to the Rule providing for "Temporary Judicial Assignments to the Supreme Court. Requests … Continue reading Abrupt Rule Change – Temporary Judicial Assignments to the PA Supreme Court – Has The Court Been Afflicted By COVID?
Police agencies are now taking steps to enforce the Governor and Department of Health’s “Stay Home” order. A woman in York county has now been cited for driving her car in violate of the “Stay Home” orders. It is therefore a good time to review what that order says: The Governor has ordered: All individuals … Continue reading Pennsylvania State Police Are Now Enforcing Governor Wolf’s Stay-At-Home Order
In an email obtained by Chief Counsel Joshua Prince of the Civil Right Defense Firm, P.C., Chief Executive Officer and President of Wolf Organization, Craig Danielson declares that the "rumor circulating regarding Wolf [Organization] having to close its doors ... are unfounded and we will continue to remain open." Although as a result of the … Continue reading Wolf Organization Open for Business As Usual, Despite Waiver Allegedly Being Rescinded