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John Branca and John Mcclain, Executors of the Estate of Michael J. v. Howard Mann

August 2, 2011

JOHN BRANCA AND JOHN MCCLAIN, EXECUTORS OF THE ESTATE OF MICHAEL J. JACKSON; MICHAEL JACKSON COMPANY, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; MJJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION; OPTIMUM PRODUCTIONS, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HOWARD MANN, AN INDIVIDUAL; SONIA LOWE, AN INDIVIDUAL; DC NETCAST MEDIA GROUP, INC., AN UNKNOWN CORPORATION; VINTAGE POP MEDIA GROUP, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; VINTAGE POP INC., AN UNKNOWN CORPORATION; VINTAGE POP MEDIA, LLC, AN UNKNOWN LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PETITIONERS' MOTION TO INTERVENE

[Motion filed on 06/29/2011]

Frank C. Coonis and Frank Coonis Investigations, Inc. ("Petitioners") move the court for an order allowing them to intervene in this action and to file a complaint in intervention. John Branca and John McClain, Executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, et al. ("Plaintiffs") oppose the motion. After reviewing and considering the papers filed by the parties, the court DENIES the motion and adopts the following order.

I. Background

In 1998, HVV Corporation, Henry V. Vaccaro, Sr., Henry v. Vaccaro, Jr., and Vintage Pop, Inc. (The "Vaccaro Defendants") retained Petitioners, who are private investigators, to locate assets owned by certain members of the Michael Jackson family. (Petitioner's Motion to Intervene 2:14-23.) Under the terms of the agreement reached between the Vaccaro Defendants and Petitioners, Petitioners were to receive 14% of any and all things of value recovered. (Id. 2:24-28.) The agreement also granted Petitioners a lien on the property in the amount of Petitioner's right to compensation. (Id. 3:4-5.)

Petitioners allege that they fully performed and accrued expenses in excess of $100,000. (Id. 3:6-9.) Among the things of value that Petitioners located was a 200 square foot storage facility in Oxnard, California, and, Petitioners allege, these items were seized by the Vaccaro Defendants to satisfy an outstanding judgment that they held against a Jackson corporation and several members of the Jackson family. (Id. 3:8-14.)

Petitioners contend that they were not paid for their services and they are now entitled to a 14% lien to all property they located. Petitioners further state that the property at issue in the current action is the same property they located in Oxnard.

Plaintiffs and Defendants in the present matter dispute entitlement to monies earned related to several of the items recovered from the Oxnard storage unit. Petitioners claim that their rights and interests are not adequately represented, but they share common questions of law and fact with the Plaintiffs and Defendants, and therefore Petitioners seek to intervene.

II. Legal Standard

To intervene as of right under Rule 24(a)(2), the applicant must demonstrate that: (1) it has a significant protectable interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action; (2) the disposition of the action may, as a practical matter, impair or impede the applicant's ability to protect its interest; (3) the application is timely; and (4) the existing parties may not adequately represent the applicant's interest. See United States v. City of Los Angeles, 288 F.3d 391, 397 (9th Cir. 2002); Donnelly v. Glickman, 159 F.3d 405, 409 (9th Cir. 1998). The applicant-intervenor bears the burden of showing that all the requirements for intervention have been met. City of Los Angeles, 288 F.3d at 397.

In determining whether intervention is appropriate, courts are guided by practical and equitable considerations, and the requirements for intervention are broadly interpreted in favor of intervention. Donnelly, 159 F.3d at 409; Forest Conservation Council v. United States Forest Serv., 66 F.3d 1489, 1493 (9th Cir. 1995).

II. Discussion

A. Intervention Is Not Appropriate Under Rule 24(a)(2)

In order to meet the first requirement under Rule 24(a)(2), Petitioners must demonstrate that: 1) their interest is "protectable under some law" and 2) "there is a relationship between the legally protectable interest and the claims at issue." Southwest Ctr. ...


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