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Superior Court says Fraternity Cannot Be Barred From Pa. Over Hazing Death

In 2013, student members of Pi Delta Psi, Inc. traveled from their Baruch college campus in Manhattan to the Poconos. A ritual known as “The Crossing,” a gauntlet where members tackle and body-slam its members, killed a freshman.

Prosecutors filed charges against the student members, certain national officers, and Pi Delta Psi, Inc., itself. A jury convicted the corporation of hazing, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, hindering apprehension, and conspiracy to hinder apprehension. A Monroe County judge imposed a fine of $112,500, imposed an aggregate of 10 years of probation, and barred the fraternity from conducting any business in Pennsylvania for a decade.

The Superior Court upheld the fine and probation but ruled that the court did not have the authority to bar the fraternity from Pennsylvania. The Superior Court held that the trial court had the authority to oversee the rehabilitation of the corporation’s culture. However, it found no legal support authorizing a decade-long injunction:

“But, finding no authority in statute or at common law to support the trial court’s decision to enjoin the corporation from conducting any business within this state for ten years, we conclude that portion of its sentence is illegal. We therefore vacate that sentence.” Commonwealth v. Pi Delta Psi, Inc., 2019 PA Super 167 (May 23, 2019).

The opinion is available for free at http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Superior/out/Opinion%20%20VacatedRemanded%20%2010400359358871565.pdf

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