United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Campbell DeLong, LLP's motion to intervene.
April 4, 2019, this Court closed this case after being
notified of a settlement between Cheryl Barrett and the
defendants. Doc. #88. On April 16, 2019, Barrett's former
law firm in the case, Campbell DeLong, LLP, filed a motion to
intervene under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24. Doc. #91.
Campbell DeLong seeks to align itself as a plaintiff
“with a claim against co-Plaintiff Barrett as to the
amount of the attorney's fees owed, and a direct claim
against Defendants for imposition of a lien over the
settlement proceeds.” Doc. #99 at 5. Campbell
DeLong's proposed intervenor complaint asserts that
“[t]his Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this
matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1367 as Campbell DeLong, which
aligns itself with the Plaintiff for purposes of
intervention, meets the diversity of citizenship and amount
in controversy requirements of 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a).” Doc. #91-13 at ¶ 5.
than rule immediately on the motion to intervene and related
motions,  the parties and Campbell DeLong were
directed to participate in a settlement conference to resolve
the outstanding issues. Doc. #111. The settlement conference
was held July 31, 2019, with no resolution reached. Doc.
#112. Approximately a month later, Barrett and the defendants
stipulated to the dismissal of this action. Doc. #113.
Impact of Stipulation
Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) allows a plaintiff to
stipulate to dismissal of an action so long as the
stipulation is signed by all parties who have appeared.
Proposed intervenors are not parties within the meaning of
Rule 41. In re Irish Bank Resolution Corp. Ltd., No.
13-12159, 2014 WL 1884916, at *3 & n.10 (Bankr. D. Del.
May 12, 2014) (collecting cases). Ordinarily a stipulation of
dismissal pursuant to Rule 41 moots a pending motion to
intervene. Eli Lilly & Co. v. Synthon Labs.,
Inc., 538 F.Supp.2d 944, 947 (E.D. Va. 2008). However,
“[t]here may … be circumstances where an
intervenor could and should be treated as a de facto
party and the Court might invoke equitable principles to
estop the stipulating parties from invoking a rule which
would prejudice the rights of a party whose motion to
intervene is pending.” Id. at 946 (emphasis in
relief is appropriate where, as here, a proposed-intervenor
agrees to delay disposition of its motion in order to
participate in settlement discussions. Fleet Capital
Corp. v. Merco Joint Venture, LLC, No. 02-cv-0279, 2002
WL 31528633, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Sep. 3, 2002). Under such
circumstances, it is appropriate to estop the normal
immediate effect of a stipulated dismissal, pending
resolution of the motion to intervene. Id.
Accordingly, the Court will address the merits of Campbell
DeLong's motion to intervene.
explained above, Campbell DeLong moves to intervene as of
right under Rule 24, and to assert claims under this
Court's supplemental jurisdiction. Doc. #91 at ¶ 5.
To intervene as of right, a plaintiff “must demonstrate
that (1) it timely applied; (2) it has an interest relating
to the property or transaction that is the subject of the
case; (3) disposition of the case may practically impair or
impede its ability to protect its interest; and (4) it is
inadequately represented by the existing parties.”
Adam Joseph Res. v. CAN Metals Ltd., 919 F.3d 856,
865 (5th Cir. 2019). While Campbell DeLong seeks to assert
claims against both Barrett and the defendants, it only
addresses the intervention requirements with respect to the
claim against Barrett for attorney's fees. See
Doc. #92 at 7-8. Accordingly, the Court considers
intervention only with respect to this claim.
U.S.C. § 1367, the supplemental jurisdiction statute,
provides in relevant part:
(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) or as
expressly provided otherwise by Federal statute, in any civil
action of which the district courts have original
jurisdiction, the district courts shall have supplemental
jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to
claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that
they form part of the same case or controversy under Article
III of the United States Constitution. Such supplemental
jurisdiction shall include claims that involve the joinder or
intervention of additional parties.
(b) In any civil action of which the district courts have
original jurisdiction founded solely on section 1332 of this
title, the district courts shall not have supplemental
jurisdiction under subsection (a) over claims by plaintiffs
against persons made parties under Rule 14, 19, 20, or 24 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or over claims by
persons proposed to be joined as plaintiffs under Rule 19 of
such rules, or seeking to intervene as plaintiffs under Rule
24 of such rules, when exercising supplemental jurisdiction
over such claims would be inconsistent with the
jurisdictional requirements of section 1332.
the statute withdraws from supplemental jurisdiction
“claims by persons … seeking to intervene as
plaintiffs under Rule 24 … when exercising
supplemental jurisdiction over such claims would be
inconsistent with the ...