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AVELLINO v. HERRON

February 17, 1998

HONORABLE BERNARD J. AVELLINO, Plaintiff,
v.
HONORABLE JOHN W. HERRON, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBRENO

 EDUARDO C. ROBRENO, J.

 FEBRUARY 17, 1998

 Defendant the Honorable John W. Herron moves the Court for certification to the Third Circuit of certain questions of law, and in the alternative, for reconsideration of the Court's Order-Memorandum of December 16, 1997 ("Order-Memorandum") in which the Court denied Judge Herron's motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, for failure to state a claim, and on the basis of waiver, collateral estoppel and qualified immunity. *fn1" Ms. Nancy Sobolevitch is the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania and, in that capacity, seeks to participate in these proceedings as amicus curiae. For the reasons that follow, the Court will allow Ms. Sobolevitch to participate as amicus curiae in the case, but will deny Judge Herron's motion for certification and reconsideration.

 I. INTRODUCTION

 II. DISCUSSION

 A. Motion for Leave to Participate as Amicus Curiae

 Ms. Sobolevitch is the Court Administrator of Pennsylvania. In that capacity, she has filed a motion for leave to file as amicus curiae. Ms. Sobolevitch represents that she is the highest official of the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's administrative arm. As such, her function is to carry out those administrative and supervisory responsibilities over Pennsylvania's unified judicial system which are expressly delegated to it by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In sum, according to Ms. Sobolevitch, she acts on behalf of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in dealing with all non-adjudicatory matters.

 A district court has inherent authority to allow amicus curiae to participate in proceedings. Martinez v. Capital Cities/ABC-WPVI, 909 F. Supp. 283 (E.D.Pa. 1995); Waste Management of Pa. v. City of York, 162 F.R.D. 34 (M.D.Pa. 1995). The Third Circuit has said that "permitting persons to appear in court . . . as friends of the court . . . may be advisable where third parties can contribute to a court's understanding." Harris v. Pernsley, 820 F.2d 592, 603 (3d Cir. 1987). Therefore, a court may grant leave to appear as an amicus if the information offered is "timely and useful." Waste Management, 162 F.R.D. at 36 (citing Yip v. Pagano, 606 F. Supp. 1566, 1568 (D.N.J. 1985), aff'd, 782 F.2d 1033 (3d Cir. 1986)).

 Because Ms. Sobolevitch is uniquely situated at the administrative apex of the Pennsylvania unified judicial system, and as a result, is intimately familiar with the interaction between the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the Court of Common Pleas of the First Judicial District, she can provide "timely and useful" information that will aid the Court in its understanding of the issues before it. Therefore, the Court will exercise its discretion and grant her leave to participate as amicus curiae. *fn2"

 B. Motion for Reconsideration3


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