Intervention Generally Not Permitted After Final Judgment

In this trust litigation case, the Attorney General of Delaware sought to intervene in a case involving a charitable trust providing for children with physical disabilities in the State of Delaware.   In 2004, additional litigation resulted in a judgment that expanded the category of persons eligible to receive funds under the trust.  While the Attorney General of Delaware was made aware of the litigation, he was not joined as a party in it.  In 2013, the Attorney General of Delaware moved to intervene to set aside the 2004 judgment along with its more expansive definition of eligible beneficiaries.  The trial court denied intervention, and Delaware appealed.

The appellate court affirmed, holding:

“After final judgment, intervention is not generally permitted.   However, a very narrow exception to the general rule permits post-judgment intervention when to do so would in no way injuriously affect the original litigants and when allowing intervention will further the interests of justice.

The court reasoned further,

“Accordingly, in order for the Delaware Attorney General to be permitted to intervene in the 2004 action, the trial court was required to find (1) that intervention would not injuriously affect the original litigants and (2) that intervention would serve the interests of justice. The record does not support such findings, and the trial court did not err by denying the motion to intervene.

The Delaware Attorney General failed to demonstrate that post-judgment intervention would in no way injure the original litigants to the 2004 action.”

Joseph R. Biden, III, the Attorney General of the State of Delaware v. John S. Lord et al., 39 Fla. L. Weekly D1488a (Fla. 1st DCA July 16, 2014)

 

 

Rules Updates – New E-discovery and E-mail Service Rules Effective September 1st

Per the Florida Supreme Court’s Order amending the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure to implement service by email, the following rules have been updated:

Per the Florida Supreme Court’s Order amending the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure to facilitate electronic discovery, the following rules have been updated:

All of these amendments are effective as of September 1, 2012.

Addison v. City of Tampa, 35 Fla. L. Wkly D762 (Fla. 2d DCA April 7, 2010)

In this class action, the Plaintiff sued the City of Tampa over the constitutionality of the City’s Occupational License Tax. The Plaintiff then attempted to certify a plaintiffs class of all persons subject to the tax and a defendants class of all municipalities in Florida imposing the tax.  The Trial Court certified each class and the municipalities appealed arguing that Florida’s home venue privilege required any action to be brought in each municipalities local court.  The Second DCA agreed and dismissed all members of the class outside of Hillsborough County.

On remand, the remaining four defendants moved to decertify the class for lack of numerosity.  The trial court granted the motion to decertify and the Second DCA upheld the decision finding that four members did not satisfy the numerosity requirements of Rule 1.220(a)(1), Fla. R. Civ. Pro.

Addison v. City of Tampa, 35 Fla. L. Wkly D762 (Fla. 2d DCA April 7, 2010)

See also the companion case Addison v. City of Tampa, 35 Fla. L. Wkly D761 (Fla. 2d DCA April 7, 2010) for information on the home rule venue privilege.

Hess Corp. v. Denise Grillasca & Kelly Mayzik, 34 Fla. L. Wkly D2629b (Fla. 2d DCA Dec. 23, 2009)

In this consumer class action case, the trial court certified a class against gas stations for failing to provide notice of a temporary hold on customers’ bank accounts after a debit transaction.The appellate court reversed because, under Rule 1.220(b), there were individualized differences among the members of the putative class.The differences included the fact that some customers 1) received notice of the hold and/or 2) incurred damages in the form of overdraft charges, while others did not.

Hess Corp. v. Denise Grillasca & Kelly Mayzik, 34 Fla. L. Wkly D2629b (Fla. 2d DCA Dec. 23, 2009)

More Coverage on the New Complex Litigation Rule 1.201 (Florida Bar News)

In this article on Rule 1.201, the Florida Bar News highlights a few of the changes included in the new complex litigation rule.

And also highlights the opinions of those who opposed the rule change:

The three dissenting justices sided with the Bar’s Rules of Civil Procedure Committee, which unanimously opposed the complex litigation rule, saying it would “micromanage cases” and the goals the rule seeks to accomplish can be found, for the most part, in existing rules. A minority of the task force — led by First District Court of Appeal Judge Peter Webster — also opposed the rule saying the creation of complex litigation divisions has the potential of “skimming the cream from the top of our available judicial labor pool” and could create the “impression that some litigants are getting more justice from the system than are others.”