Grine seeks to remove parties from his lawsuit

Attorneys for Judge Jonathan D. Grine are asking that co-defendants in the lawsuit filed against Centre County government be dropped from the case.

Theodore Tanski, an attorney with the Harrisburg-based McShane Firm, and the firm itself were listed as co-defendants in the suit with the county over Right-to-Know requests Tanski submitted to Centre County government for records of Grine’s phone communications, which the county produced.

In the suit, Grine sought an injunction preventing the county from releasing any further records and that Tanski return the documents provided by the county and destroy any copies. Huntingdon County Senior Judge Stewart L. Kurtz ultimately ruled that the county was wrong to release the records and that action violated the state Right-to-Know law, the Constitution and Grine’s right to privacy, but that Tanski could keep the records and use them because of First Amendment reasons.

Attorneys for Grine wrote in a Friday filing that Tanski and the firm’s involvement was rendered moot by the order because Grine’s request regarding the records they have was denied and the firm would not be affected by the county’s appeal of Kurtz’s order.

The law firm made its opposition to being dismissed known Thursday. They argue in a court filing that if they are removed from the suit, they will be unable to “mitigate damages” caused by their involvement, like reimbursement of attorneys fees and the costs of traveling to Centre County for hearings.

Justin McShane, owner of the firm, said after Kurtz’s order was handed down last month that the firm would also pursue a countersuit against Grine for wrongful use of civil procedure under the state Dragonetti Act “within a matter of days,” but no such filings have yet been made.

Tanski’s specialty is post-conviction appeals. According to Superior Court docket sheets, Tanski is handling appeals for David Adewumi, a Lemont man serving jail time on stalking and harassment charges.