alia, when an interest of the publisher of the defamatory matter is involved or when an interest of the recipient of the matter is involved. Elia v. Erie Ins. Exch., 430 Pa. Super. 384, 634 A.2d 657, 660 (Pa. Super. 1993). Both are satisfied here, as Lantz had an interest in informing the recipient of her report that it was invalid, and Mercyhurst had an interest in knowing that a report it was using to evaluate a potential employee was invalid. Accordingly, Lantz had a privilege to inform Gregorich that her report was invalid and judgment will be entered in her favor on Count X of the amended complaint.
The last count asserted in the amended complaint against Lantz is conspiracy to defame. Lantz correctly notes that if a defamation count does not lie, conspiracy to defame cannot. Nix, 596 A.2d at 1137. We note that while the defamation count against Sheriff Kopko could theoretically support a conspiracy to defame count against Lantz, the plaintiff has not asserted the factual predicate to support this theory. Given this lack of factual predicate, and given that we have dismissed the defamation claim against Lantz, we shall enter judgment in favor of Lantz on Count XII.
We now turn to Sheriff Larry Kopko's Motion for Summary Judgment. Sheriff Kopko is named as the defendant in Counts VI, XI, and XII.
We start with Count VI, Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights. Because a conspiracy takes more than one person, and because this Count has been dismissed as to all other defendants, a conspiracy count cannot lie against Sheriff Kopko. Moreover, plaintiff has not identified which of his civil rights have been violated. Lastly, as we have already held that the plaintiff is not disabled or handicapped as those terms are defined by the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, the law of the case, as described above in section II (a) (i), would justify the entry of judgment in Sheriff Kopko's favor on two-thirds of this count. For all these reasons, we shall enter judgment in favor of Sheriff Kopko's on Count VI.
We next turn to Count XI, a defamation count. Plaintiff generally asserts that Sheriff Kopko made false statements and defamatory statements about the Plaintiff to Gregorich. The plaintiff does not point to any specific statements.
Sheriff Kopko notes that the plaintiff signed a release authorizing the release of "any and all criminal record information" to Mercyhurst. Evidentiary Aff. (Doc. 53) Ex. A. Accordingly, Kopko argues that he had a privilege to release the information to Gregorich that he did.
Plaintiff concedes that he signed the release; however, he argues that it is invalid because it does not contain a starting and ending date for the release. As authority for his argument, he cites to 55 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5100.34, and calls this statute a Public Welfare statute. The Court notes that title 55 is entitled "Navigation Commission for the Delaware River," and that its highest section is numbered 824.
The Court is unaware of any authority that supports plaintiff's argument that a starting and ending date must appear on a consensual release of criminal records, and accordingly, we hold that Sheriff Kopko's release of such information to Gregorich was privileged. According, judgment will be entered in Sheriff Kopko's favor on Count XI.
Lastly, we turn to Count XII, conspiracy to defame. Because we have dismissed Count XI, and because the plaintiff has not asserted the factual predicate to support a conspiracy to defame claim under the lone defamation claim remaining in Count IX, we will enter judgment in Sheriff Kopko's favor on Count XII.
Finally, plaintiff's motion to compel discovery dated September 13, 1995, is still pending. To the best of the Court's recollection, at the case management conference held on November 2, 1995, the Mercyhurst group informed the Court that it would turn over the requested documents and the plaintiff informed the Court that he would thus withdraw his motion. Accordingly, the Court will deny the motion as moot. To the extent the issue raised in this motion is still pending, plaintiff shall have leave of Court to refile the motion.
The sole remaining claim, Count VII, is Assault and Battery, asserted against Gregorich. Because there is no advantage to judicial economy by the action remaining in this Court, we shall dismiss this claim without prejudice with leave to file in the Court of Common Pleas located in Erie County, Pennsylvania.
An appropriate Order follows.
Maurice B. Cohill, Jr.
Senior District Judge
AND NOW, to-wit, this 18th day of October, 1996, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED, that:
(1) the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the defendant Sheri Lantz (Doc. 60) is granted. Judgment is entered for defendant Sheri Lantz, and against the plaintiff, on all claims asserted against defendant Lantz in this action;
(2) the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the defendant Larry Kopko (Doc. 47) is granted. Judgment is entered for defendant Sheriff Larry Kopko, and against the plaintiff, on all claims asserted against defendant Kopko in this action;
(3) the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed by Mercyhurst College, Rodger J. Gregorich, and Helen F. Mullen (Doc. 56) is granted, and judgment is entered in favor of the defendants, and against the plaintiff, on Counts I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, IX and XII; and
It is further ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (Doc. 46) is denied as moot. Accordingly, the sole remaining claim, Count VII, is dismissed without prejudice with leave to file in the Court of Common Pleas in Erie County, Pennsylvania.
We note that the defendants did not move for summary judgment on Count VII.
Maurice B. Cohill, Jr.
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