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Atlantis Development Corp. v. United States

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Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff sued Defendants for building on land without permits. Atlantis moved to intervene under Rule 24.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

A party may intervene under Rule 24 when it has an interest in the same property or transaction and that interest may be impaired or impeded by the outcome of the lawsuit.

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

Liberality, however, does not equate with rights of indiscriminate intervention.

View Full Point of Law
Facts.

The United States (Plaintiff) sued Acme General Contractors, J.H. Coppedge Company, and Louis M. Ray (Defendants) for building on a set of islands off the coast of Florida without permits. Atlantis Development Corp filed a motion to intervene in the case as a matter of right, arguing that it owned some of the islands.

Issue.

Does Atlantis have the right to intervene, under Rule 24?

Held.

Yes, Atlantis has the right to intervene in an action involving land it claims it owns.

Discussion.

The Court applied the 1966 amendments to Rule 24 to determine that it was proper for Atlantis to intervene as of right. Atlantis claimed an interest relating to the property that was the subject of the action, and the outcome of the lawsuit determining the ownership of the land could impair or impede Atlantis’s ability to protect that interest.


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