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District Court Decisions

Fair Pol. Pracs. Comm'n v. USPS, No. 12-93, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58759 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 26, 2012) (Burrell, J.).  Holding:  Denying petitioner's application to intervene in the instant action because he failed to establish that he is entitled to intervene as a matter of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) or that permissive intervention would be appropriate under Rule 24(b)(2).  The court denies petitioner's application to intervene in the instant FOIA action.  With respect to petitioner's request to intervene as a matter of right, the court at the outset notes that it will not consider his argument that "he has 'an unconditional right to intervene by a federal statute under Rule 24(a)(1)'" where he "raise[d] it for the first time in his reply brief and the issue has not been fully briefed by the parties."  Second, the court determines that petitioner has not established that he is entitled to intervene as a matter of right under Rule 24(a)(2), which allows an unconditional right to intervene where the applicant has a "'significant protectable interest.'"  Here, the court determines that petitioner's allegation that the information sought would invade his constitutional right to privacy is not sufficient to show a substantial protectable interest where he "has not shown how a record of the number of pieces of mail that were sent using the . . . bulk mailing permit [which he asserts belongs to a committee rather than himself] is his 'personal data.'"  Lastly, the court concludes that petitioner also has not established that permissive intervention under Rule 24(b)(2) would be appropriate.  The court finds that petitioner "alleges only . . . that disclosure would violate his rights to privacy, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, and that [plaintiff] has unclean hands,"  but "has not demonstrated how these defenses share a common issue of law or fact with [plaintiff's] FOIA claim."  Accordingly, the court concludes that "[t]he language of [Rule 24(b)(2)] makes clear that [permissive intervention under Rule 24(b) must be denied since [petitioner's] defenses and claims] contain[ ] no question of law or fact that is raised [in] the main action."

Fla. Med. Assoc., Inc. v. Dep't of Health, Educ. & Welfare, No. 78-CV-178, 2011 WL 4459387 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 26, 2011) (Howard, J.).  Holding:  Adopting, in part, magistrate's report and recommendation, granting Dow Jones' motion to reopen case, and granting Dow Jones' and RTMD's motions to intervene for the limited purpose of vacating or modifying the Final Declaratory Judgment and Permanent Injunction entered in this case on October 22, 1979; but disallowing all other cross-claims raised by the intervenors.  The court notes that the Eleventh Circuit in Alley "'has advised that this case is properly before the Court for 'a proceeding to alter or vacate the injunction.'"  Because "[f]inal judgment was entered in this case 32 years ago," the court finds that "[a]t this stage in the litigation, the appropriate procedural vehicle for seeking vacatur or modification of the 1979 FMA Injunction is to pursue a motion pursuant to Rule 60(b)."  Moreover, "[i]n this posture, the rights of all the parties are limited; none are permitted to bring new claims."  Accordingly, the court limits the scope of intervention "to a request on the part of intervenors to vacate or modify the 1979 FMA Injunction, and [construes] those proposed counter-claims and cross-claims seeking dissolution of the 1979 FMA Injunction . . . as a proposed motion to modify or vacate the Injunction brought pursuant to Rule 60(b)."  The court then "require[s] Dow Jones and RTMD to each file a formal Rule 60(b) motion" consistent with this ruling, and disallows all other proposed cross-claims for declaratory and equitable relief. 

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