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Thompson v. United States

June 25, 2010

MARVEL THOMPSON,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Elaine E. Bucklo United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Currently before me is Midwest Partners' ("Midwest") motion to intervene in this action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 24. For the reasons explained below, the motion is denied.

I.

In May 2004, the government arrested Marvel Thompson ("Thompson") on drug conspiracy charges. At the time of the arrest, the government seized roughly $320,000 in United States currency from Thompson. In 2007, he plead guilty and was sentenced to 540 months in prison and a fine of $100,000. In March 2008, Thompson filed a motion under Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(g), seeking return of the seized funds. In December 2008, Midwest moved to intervene, claiming that it is "the holder of an unsatisfied judgment [against Thompson] entered in its favor on January 21, 2004 and against Plaintiff, in the amount of $28,774.01."*fn1 Motion to Intervene ¶ 3. For its part, the government opposed Thompson's motion on the ground that he had paid little more than $1,000 of his $100,000 fine and because of a tax dispute with the IRS over roughly $200,000 in unpaid taxes.

In a companion order entered on this date, I granted Thompson's motion in part and denied it in part. Specifically, I concluded that a portion of the funds should be applied toward payment in full of Thompson's fine; the rest of the money may be considered Thompson's for purposes of his tax dispute with the IRS, but it would remain in the government's possession until the dispute is settled. In the present order, I explain why Midwest's motion to intervene is denied.

II.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 24 provides for intervention under two circumstances:

(a) Intervention of Right. On timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene who:

(1) is given an unconditional right to intervene by a federal statute; or

(2) claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action, and is so situated that disposing of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the movant's ability to protect its interest, unless existing parties adequately represent that interest.

(b) Permissive Intervention.

(1) In General. On timely motion, the court may permit anyone to intervene who:

(A) is given a conditional right to intervene by a federal statute; or

(B) has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common ...


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