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Richland/Wilkin Joint Powers Authority v. Fargo-Moorhead Flood Diversion Board of Authority

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 13, 2017

RICHLAND/WILKIN JOINT POWERS AUTHORITY, Plaintiff,
v.
FARGO-MOORHEAD FLOOD DIVERSION BOARD OF AUTHORITY and CITY OF OXBOW, Intervenor Defendants. and MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES Movant,

          Gerald W. Von Korff, RINKE NOONAN, for plaintiff.

          Michael R. Drysdale and Robert E. Cattanach, DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP, for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Diversion Board of Authority.

          Katrina A. Turman Lang and Joseph A. Turman, TURMAN & LANG, LTD, for the City of Oxbow.

          Max H. Kieley, Assistant Attorney General, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, for movant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO INTERVENE

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (“MDNR”) has moved to intervene in this case as a plaintiff under Rules 24(a)(2) and 24(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff Richland/Wilkin Joint Powers Authority (“JPA”) supports MDNR's motion, while Intervenor-Defendants Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Board of Authority (“Authority”) and City of Oxbow (“Oxbow”) oppose the motion.

         Rule 24(a) states:

(a) INTERVENTION OF RIGHT. On timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene who:
. . .
(2) claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action, and is so situated that disposing 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). The Court must “construe Rule 24 liberally and resolve any doubts in favor of the proposed intervenors.” United States v. Ritchie Special Credit Invs., Ltd., 620 F.3d 824, 832 (8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Kan. Pub. Emps. Ret. Sys. v. Reimer & Koger Assocs., Inc., 60 F.3d 1304, 1307 (8th Cir. 1995)).

         Here, Authority and Oxbow only argue MDNR filed an untimely motion to intervene. Authority and Oxbow concede MDNR satisfies the other requirements of Rule 24, including the requirement that MDNR possess Article III standing. (See Authority's Resp. to MDNR's Mot. to Intervene & Stay Decision on Pending Mots. at 2, Jan. 5, 2017, Docket No. 393; Oxbow's Joinder in Authority's Resp. to MDNR's Mot. to Intervene & Stay Decision on Pending Mots. at 2, Jan. 5, 2017, Docket No. 394); United States v. Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist., 569 F.3d 829, 833 (8th Cir. 2009) (setting forth standing requirement). The Court finds MDNR's motion to be timely and will grant the Motion to Intervene.

         DISCUSSION

         “Whether a motion to intervene is timely is determined by considering all the circumstances of the case.” Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians v. Minnesota, 989 F.2d 994, 998 (8th Cir. 1993). Courts consider several factors in determining timeliness, including (1) “how far the litigation ha[s] progressed at the time of the motion”; (2) the movant's “prior knowledge of the pending action”; (3) any “reason for the delay in seeking ...


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