Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

CHURCH v. VILLAGE OF LONG GROVE

April 5, 2004.

VISION CHURCH, UNITED METHODIST, Plaintiff,
v.
VILLAGE OF LONG GROVE, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES NORGLE, District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court is the proposed intervenors', the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church and its Presiding Bishop, C, Joseph Sprague*fn1 ("the Conference"), Motion to Intervene as Parties Plaintiff [10-1]. For the following reasons, the motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

  On August 18, 2003, Plaintiff, Vision Church, United Methodist ("Vision"), filed a complaint against Defendant, Village of Long Grove ("Long Grove"), seeking to enforce its rights to build and occupy a church on real property that it had purchased. Vision's Complaint was brought pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq., the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and various state laws.

  On October 7, 2003, the Conference filed the instant Motion to Intervene. The Conference contends that they can intervene as of right in the instant lawsuit pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a). Alternatively, the Conference contends that the court should grant permissive intervention pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(b). Long Grove objects to intervention, whether as of right or permissive. The motion is fully briefed and before the court.*fn2

  II. DISCUSSION

 A. Intervention — Standard of Decision

  "Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24, intervention may be as of right or it may be permissive." Heartwood. Inc. v. U.S. Forest Service. Inc., 316 F.3d 694, 700 (7th Cir. 2003). In order to intervene as of right, the Conference must satisfy four requirements: (1) their motion to intervene must be timely; (2) they must possess an interest related to the property or transaction which is the subject of the pending action; (3) they must be so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede their ability to protect their interest; and (4) the existing parties to the action must not be adequate representatives of their interest. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a); United States v. BDO Seidman. 337 F.3d 802, 808 (7th Cir. 2003); Heartwood, 316 F.3d at 700. Failure to satisfy any one of the four intervention factors is sufficient grounds to deny the intervention. See BDO Seidman, 337 F.3d at 808. However, a motion to intervene as of right "should not be dismissed unless it appears to a certainty that the intervenors is not entitled to relief under any set of facts which could be proved under the complaint." Reich v. ABC/York-Estes Corp., 64 F.3d 316, 321 (7th Cir. 1995).

  In contrast to intervention as of right, "[p]ermissive intervention under Rule 24(b) is wholly discretionary. . . ." Sokaogon Chippewa Community v. Babbitt 214 F.3d 941, 949 (7th Cir. 2000). As the Seventh Circuit has stated, unlike Rule 24(a), the word "`interest' does not appear in Rule 24(b)." Solid Waste Agency of N. Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Eng'rs., 101 F.3d 503, 509 (7th Cir. 1996). "All that is required for permissive intervention . . . is that the applicant have a claim or defense in common with a claim or defense hi the suit." Id. In exercising its discretion to grant or deny permissive intervention, the court "shall consider whether the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties." Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b); see also Heartwood. 316 F.3d at 701. The issue of prejudice "is not, however, a one-sided equation" and the court must balance the relative equities. Sokaogon. 214 F.3d at 950,

  As an additional matter, because intervention cases are highly fact specific they tend to resist comparison to prior cases. Sec Id. Within this standard of decision, the court will proceed to decide whether the Conference may intervene in this case.

 B. Intervention as of Right

  1. Timeliness

  In regard to the first requirement, timeliness, "a prospective intervenor must move promptly to intervene as soon as it knows or has reason to know that its interests might be adversely affected by the outcome of the litigation." Heartwood. 316 F.3d at 701. Four factors are considered in determining whether a motion to intervene is timely: `"(1) the length of time the intervenor knew or should have known of his interest in the case; (2) the prejudice caused to the original parties by the delay; (3) the prejudice to the intervenor if the motion is denied; and (4) any other unusual circumstances.'" Id. (quoting Sokaogon, 214 F.3d at 949).

  On August 18, 2003, Vision filed the Complaint in this case against Long Grove. Approximately two months later, on October 7, 2003, the Conference filed the instant Motion to Intervene. The Conference indicates that it acted with diligence in assessing the need for intervention, and obtaining consensus within its organizational structure to proceed with intervention. See Memo, in Supp. of Mot. to Intervene, at 6. Long Grove raises no argument that the Conference's Motion to Intervene is untimely, and the court finds that the timing of the Conference's motion is reasonable. See People ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.