Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tenth Circuit Joins Plurality of Circuits in Holding that Rule 24(a)(2) Intervenors Need Not Satisfy Article III Standing Requirements

The Tenth Circuit, in San Juan County, UT v. U.S., 420 F.3d 1197 (10th Cir. Aug. 30 2005), has taken a position with respect to the issue of whether parties seeking to intervene as a matter of right in an action under FRCP Rule 24(a)(2) must satisfy the requirements of Article III standing in addition to the requirements of Rule 24. The court joined the Second, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits in holding that an intervenor need only meet Rule 24(a)(2)'s requirements that the intervenor have an interest in the litigation and need not first establish its standing. The court also held that the same applies to parties seeking permissive intervention under Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b). Here's the court's conclusion in the case:

"[W]e hold that a party seeking to intervene under Fed.R.Civ.P. 24, either as a matter of right or permissively, need not establish its own standing, in addition to meeting Rule 24's requirements, before the party can intervene so long as another party with constitutional standing on the same side as the intervenor remains in the case."

The Seventh, Eighth and D.C. Circuits have gone the other way, holding that an intervenor must establish its own standing, in addition to meeting Rule 24(a)(2)'s interest requirement, before intervening. Although the U.S. Supreme Court expressly mentioned this issue in Diamond v. Charles, 476 U.S. 54, 61, 106 S.Ct. 1697, 90 L.Ed.2d 48 (1986), the Court left the matter unresolved, leaving the door open for the current circuit split.


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