Beta Theta Pi isn’t getting its surveillance video back anytime soon.
On Monday, the Centre County Prothonotary’s Office posted a new filing in the lawsuit between the Alpha Upsilon chapter of the fraternity and State College police.
“Opinion and order filed. Motion to compel is denied. Motion to dismiss is granted. Gave copy and notice to district attrny’s (sic) office; mailed copy to Atty Leahy,” it reads.
To translate, that means the Alpha Upsilon request to force the prosecution to turn over the video from the February night police say Timothy Piazza fell down basement stairs at a Beta Theta Pi pledge party 12 hours before help was called has failed, while District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller’s motion to dismiss that motion was upheld.
Judge Thomas King Kistler says the reason is an issue of jurisdiction, because when the case was first filed in March, Alpha Upsilon was not yet a criminal defendant. That changed in May after the video was presented to an investigating grand jury.
“Plaintiff’s status as a criminal defendant adds criminal discovery implications to this action,” Kistler wrote. “As (Alpha Upsilon) is no longer a third-party to the investigation, but rather the subject of the criminal investigation, the court finds a motion in criminal court would be the proper way to resolve this issue.”
Parks Miller said her motion was for the entire civil action to be dismissed.
“It was not an action seeking a dismissal of just the motion. ... The judge finally agreed with law we cited,” she said.
On Wednesday, a Pennsylvania Superior Court order was filed that granted the “appellee’s application to quash.” The appeal in the case was from Parks Miller, filed in June, when she claimed Kistler erred when he ordered both sides to hire video experts and determine a way to make 20 copies of the video, including one for each of the 18 Alpha Upsilon members criminally charged.
Since then, District Judge Allen Sinclair dismissed all of the felony counts against both the fraternity and a few members. Alpha Upsilon and 14 members now face misdemeanor charges.