United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) - HENNIG'S MOTION TO INTERVENE (Filed June
19, 2017, Dkt. 167)
Court finds this motion appropriate for decision without oral
argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78: CD. Cal. L.R.
7-15. Accordingly, the hearing date of July 17, 2017, is
vacated, and the matter is hereby taken under submission.
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
March 17, 2017, plaintiff requested to substitute attorneys.
Dkt. 92. Specifically, plaintiff filed a request to replace
Rob Hennig (and Sam Brown, a member of the same firm) of
Hennig Ruiz P.C. with Jonathan Nielsen of Nielson, Peterson,
& Neilsen LLP. Id. On March 21, 2017, the Court
granted the substitution. Dkt. 93.
March 30, 2017, Rob Hennig and Hennig Ruiz P.C. (collectively
"Hennig") filed a notice of lien against any
judgment in plaintiffs favor. Dkt. 97 (the "Lien").
around May 1, 2017, the parties to the underlying action
between plaintiff Jane Doe and defendants Los Angeles Unified
School District, Paul Revere Charter Middle School and Magnet
Center, Steven Carnine, Thomas Iannucci, and Christopher
Perdigao reached a settlement. On May 1, 2017, the Court
ordered counsel to file a motion for approval of the
settlement. Dkt. 157.
12, 2017, plaintiff filed an ex parte application to file her
"Petition For Court Approval of the Compromise of
Disputed Claim" (the "Petition") and a
declaration by plaintiffs guardian ad litem, John Doe,
regarding the Petition under seal. Dkt. 161. Hennig filed an
opposition to the application to file under seal. Dkt. 163.
In light of Jane Doe's age and the confidentiality of the
parties' settlement agreement, the Court granted
plaintiff s application to file under seal. Dkt. 166.
Although the Court granted plaintiff s application to file
the Petition and supporting declaration under seal, plaintiff
has not done so.
19, 2017, Hennig filed the instant motion to intervene and
stay consideration of the Petition pending resolution of
Hennig's motion to intervene. Dkt. 167. On June 27, 2017,
plaintiff filed an opposition to Hennig's motion to
intervene. Dkt. 168. On July 3, 2017, Hennig filed a reply.
carefully considered the parties arguments, the Court finds
and concludes as follows.
is wholly clear that the right to intervene in a civil action
pending in a United States District Court is governed by Rule
24 and not by state law." 7C Wright, Miller & Kane,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1905, p. 240 (2d
ed.1986). Rule 24 requires that a motion to intervene
"be accompanied by a pleading that sets out the claim or
defense for which intervention is sought." Fed. R. Civ.
motion is not accompanied by any such intervener's
complaint. It is unclear whether Hennig seeks to challenge
the confidentiality of the settlement between the
parties or whether Hennig contends that he is
entitled to a contingency fee, quantum meruit, costs advanced
on plaintiffs behalf, or some other undetermined amount of
settlement proceeds. Accordingly, the Court will not permit
Hennig to intervene in the absence of such pleadings.
Hennig's motion is DENIED without prejudice.
effort to preserve judicial resources, the Court notes that
plaintiffs Petition argues that, among other things, Hennig
is not entitled to collect a contingency fee. Additionally,
although the parties have settled this action, the defendants
oppose the Petition because of Hennig's lien.
See dkt. 164-1. Thus, it may, pending a properly
noticed and supported motion, be appropriate to permit Hennig
to intervene in this matter. See Venegas v. Skaggs.
867 F.2d 527, 530 (9th Cir. 1989), aff d sub nom. Venegas
v. Mitchell. 495 U.S. 82, 110 S.Ct. 1679, 109 L.Ed.2d 74
(1990) (district court abused ...