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Consolidated Grain & Barge, Inc. v. Anny

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

April 23, 2018

CONSOLIDATED GRAIN & BARGE, INC.
v.
RANDY ANNY, ET AL.

         SECTION "B"(1)

          ORDER AND REASONS

         Ainey's, LLC and Anny's, Inc. (“Applicants”) filed a motion to intervene. Rec. Doc. 507. Plaintiff American River Transportation Company (ARTCO) timely filed an opposition. Rec. Doc. 510.

         For the reasons discussed below, IT IS ORDERED that motion to intervene (Rec. Doc. 507) is GRANTED. The proposed pleading (Rec. Doc. 507-4) attached to the motion shall be filed into the record.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a hearing to resolve the competing claims to the garnished funds be held on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that ARTCO, Randy Anny, and Applicants shall file memoranda of law on the questions of sanctions for failures by Applicants and Judgment Debtors to comply with production orders, and whether Applicants are the alter egos of Judgment Debtor Randy Anny by May 9, 2018.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The instant motion to intervene arises as part of a garnishment proceeding. Plaintiff and Judgment Creditor American River Transportation Company (ARTCO) initiated a garnishment proceeding in November 2017 as part of its efforts to enforce the Judgment (Rec. Doc. 397) against, inter alia, Judgment Debtor Randy Anny. See Rec. Doc. 468. Garnishee Consolidated Grain & Barge (CGB) first indicated that it possessed funds owed to Randy Anny in December 2017. See Rec. Doc. 478. But in January 2018, CGB indicated that Ainey's, LLC and Anny's, Inc. (“Applicants”) also claimed ownership to the garnished funds. See Rec. Doc. 499. The funds at issue derive from a contract between CGB, Randy Anny, Ainey's, LLC, and Anny's, Inc. that provides for the lease by CGB of certain land along the Mississippi River. See Rec. Doc. 502-1. The parties were unable to resolve the competing claims to the garnished funds, which were ultimately ordered deposited into the registry of the court. See Rec. Doc. 506. The funds currently at issue amount to $102, 482.00. See id.

         In March 2018, the Court provided Applicants fourteen days to file a motion to intervene to assert their claims to the garnished funds within the context of the instant garnishment proceeding. See Rec. Doc. 506. The Applicants then filed the instant motion to intervene to assert their contractual claim to a portion of the garnished funds. See Rec. Doc. 507. ARTCO filed an opposition. See Rec. Doc. 510.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24 provides two avenues for intervention. The first is mandatory and applies when a movant “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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a). The second is permissive and applies when a movant has “a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b). Regardless of which avenue a movant pursues, a motion to intervene must be timely. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 24. The instant motion appears to rely on mandatory intervention under Rule 24(a) because it focuses on the Applicants' claim to the garnished funds, which is the “property . . . that is the subject of the action . . . .” See Rec. Doc. 507.

         To satisfy the requirements for mandatory intervention, an applicant must establish the following: (1) timeliness; (2) “an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action;” (3) that the applicant is “so situated that the disposition of the action may, as a practical matter, impair or impede his ability to protect that interest;” and (4) that the applicant's interest is “inadequately represented by the existing parties to the suit.” Haspel & Davis Milling & Planting Co. v. Bd. Of Levee Comm'rs, 493 F.3d 570, 578 (5th Cir. 2007).

         A court determines the timeliness of a motion to intervene by weighing four factors:

(1) [t]he length of time during which the would-be intervenor actually knew or reasonably should have known of its interest in the case before it petitioned for leave to intervene; (2) the extent of the prejudice that the existing parties to the litigation may suffer as a result of the would-be intervenor's failure to apply for intervention as soon as it knew or reasonably should have known of its interest in the case; (3) the extent of the prejudice that the would-be intervenor may suffer if intervention is denied; and (4) the existence of unusual circumstances militating either for or against a determination that the application is timely.

Sommers v. Bank of America, 835 F.3d 509, 512-13 (5th Cir. 2016). The factors here indicate that the instant ...


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