United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER GRANTING THE HARTFORD INSURANCE COMPANY'S
AMENDED MOTION TO INTERVENE AS PLAINTIFF AND DENYING THE
HARTFORD INSURANCE COMPANY'S MOTION TO INTERVENE AS
PLAINTIFF AS MOOT
THOMAS ANDERSON, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the Amended Motion to Intervene as Plaintiff
(ECF No. 52) of Movant The Hartford Insurance Company.
Respondent, Plaintiff Robert Gulley, has filed a Response
(ECF Nos. 53 & 54) in opposition. After seeking and
receiving leave from the Court, Movant filed a Reply (ECF No.
59). For reasons to follow, Movant's Amended Motion is
GRANTED. As it also appears to the Court
that Movant's initial Motion to Intervene (ECF No. 51) is
still pending, that Motion is DENIED as
13, 2014, Respondent initiated (ECF No.1) this action in
admiralty against a number of defendants. Respondent quickly
amended (ECF No. 4) his Complaint four days later. All
Defendants filed an Answer (ECF Nos. 15, 16, & 17) by
Sept. 22, 2014. The Court entered a Scheduling Order (ECF No.
19) on March 26, 2015 that set February 12, 2016, as the
deadline for all discovery to be completed. The Court
consolidated the matter with two related Complaints for
Exoneration From or Limitation of Liability (ECF No. 22) on
May 18, 2015. The Court permitted the parties to amend (ECF
No. 29) the Scheduling Order on Dec. 10, 2015. Defendant
Operation Bass, Inc., filed an Amended Answer (ECF No. 33) on
Dec. 22, 2015. On June 9, 2016, the Court amended the
Scheduling Order (ECF No. 41), which extended the deadline
for completing all discovery to December 23, 2016. The
parties again moved (ECF No. 43) to amend the Scheduling
Order and continue the trial date on September 22, 2016.
There is some confusion in the record at this point because
the case was then reassigned (ECF No. 49), but the Court
reset the trial date to September 25, 2017 (ECF No. 45), and
the discovery deadline was further extended to May 31, 2017.
On April 5, 2017, Movant filed a Motion to Intervene (ECF
Nos. 50 & 51). On April 11, 2017, it filed the instant
Motion (ECF No. 52), amending its original Motion. Respondent
filed his Response (ECF Nos. 53 & 54) on April 25, 2017.
Movant then filed its Reply (ECF 59) on May 12, 2017. In
granting (ECF No. 100) Defendant Shinichi Fukae's Motion
to Continue Trial (ECF No. 89) on August 28, 2017, the Court
continued the trial to January 22, 2018, and reset a number
of deadlines accordingly (ECF Nos. 101 & 102).
Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a non-party
may move to intervene in a civil action. The rule provides
for two types of intervention: (1) intervention of right,
which requires that the Court allow a non-party to intervene,
and (2) permissive intervention, which is granted at the
Court's discretion. Fed.R.Civ.P. 24. Rule 24 is to be
construed broadly in favor of intervention. Stupak-Thrall
v. Glickman, 226 F.3d 467, 472 (6th Cir. 2000) (quoting
Purnell v. Akron, 925 F.2d 941, 950 (6th Cir.
1991)). The Court will analyze the instant Motion under Rule
24(a)(2). In so doing, the “[C]ourt must
permit anyone to intervene who . . . claims an interest
relating to the property or transaction that is the subject
of the action, and is so situated that dispos[ition] of the
action may as a practical matter impair or impede the
movant's ability to protect its interest, unless existing
parties adequately represent that interest.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)(2). The Rule requires Movant to
demonstrate that: (1) the Motion was timely filed; (2) Movant
possesses a substantial legal interest in the case; (3)
Movant's ability to protect its interest will be impaired
without intervention; and (4) neither Respondent nor
Defendants will adequately represent Movant's interest.
Blount-Hill v. Zelman, 636 F.3d 278, 283 (6th Cir.
2011) (citing Grutter v. Bollinger, 188 F.3d 394,
397-98 (6th Cir. 1999)). Because each element is mandatory,
failure to satisfy any one of them will require the Court to
deny Movant's attempt to intervene. See United States
v. Michigan, 424 F.3d 438, 443 (6th Cir. 2005) (quoting
Grubbs v. Norris, 870 F.2d 343, 345 (6th Cir.
1989)). The Court, however, cannot refuse an intervenor that
does meet all four requirements. Homayed v. Maytag
Co., 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15549, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Dec.
Supreme Court has made it clear that timeliness is a
threshold issue for a motion to intervene, regardless of
whether the intervenor seeks to proceed by intervention as of
right or permissive intervention. NAACP v. New York,
413 U.S. 345, 365 (1973) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 24). The Sixth
Circuit has articulated five factors for courts to consider
in determining the timeliness of a motion to intervene:
(1) the point to which the suit has progressed;
(2) the purpose for which intervention is sought;
(3) the length of time preceding the application during which
the proposed intervenors knew or should have known of their
interest in the case;
(4) the prejudice to the original parties due to the proposed
intervenors' failure to promptly intervene after they
knew or reasonably should have known of their interest in the
(5) the existence of unusual circumstances militating against
or in favor of intervention.
Blount-Hill, 636 F.3d at 283 (quoting Jansen v.
Cincinnati, 904 F.2d 336, 340 (6th Cir. 1990)).
“No one factor alone is dispositive.” United
States v. City of Detroit, 712 F.3d 925, 937 (6th Cir.
2013) (Clay, J., dissenting) (quoting Blount-Hill,
636 F.3d at 284). And “[t]here is no bright-line rule
to determine the timeliness of a motion to intervene.”
S. H. v. Stickrath, 251 F.R.D. 293, 297 (S.D. Ohio
evaluating all of the relevant factors, the considerations
weigh in favor of Movant. Accordingly, the Court must find