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Brief Fact Summary. American Mining Congress and Kerr-McGee Nuclear Corporation (Appellants), seek to review the order of the United States District Court of the District of New Mexico denying their motions to intervene as a matter of right or on a permissive basis.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A party seeking intervention must prove that they have an interest in the litigation, that their interest would be impaired if they were unable to intervene, and that the Defendants do not adequately represent their interests.
A court may consider any significant legal effect in the applicant's interest and is not restricted to a rigid res judicata test.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the interests of the parties seeking to intervene were adequately represented by a fellow member of the industry?
Held. No. Judgment reversed and the cause is remanded with instructions to the trial court to grant Appellants’ Motion to Intervene. The interests of the movant in the subject matter are sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the threat of loss of their interest and inability to participate is great enough to impair the ability to advance their interests. There are three requirements of Rule 24 that must be satisfied in order for the Appellants to obtain an intervention. The appellants must prove that the have sufficient interest in the litigation; that their inability to participate is great enough to impair their interests; and that the Defendant does not adequately represent their interests. Appellants have the requisite interest in the issuance and delivery of the license, which constitutes a genuine threat to the appellants. Another interest of Appellants is that one of the consequences of the litigation could be the requirement that an environmental impact standard should be prepared before granting a uranium license or the agreement between the Appellee and the Appellant could be terminated. Rule 24 does not require that that a movant in intervention have a direct interest in the outcome of the case. However, the interest must be a significant protectable interest. Appellants have also satisfied the impairment criteria of Rule 24 in that the considerations for requiring an impact statement are relatively the same in respect to the issuance of a uranium mining license. Rule 24 refers to impairment as a practical matter. The Defendants may not adequately represent the interests of the Appellants. While their interests appear to be small, there is no way to say that the Appellant’s interests will not in some way differ from the Defendant and there is no requirement that the divergence of interest need to be great to satisfy the burden of the intervening party. Another reason for intervention is that there is some value in having the parties be bound by the result. After looking at the three requirements for intervention, it is clear that the Appellants have satisfied the three requirements and therefore should be allowed to intervene.
Discussion. Intervention is a device for an outsider who has an interest in the litigation to join as a party voluntarily.