United States District Court, S.D. California
IN RE MIDLAND CREDIT MANAGEMENT, INC., TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT LITIGATION
ORDER DENYING SEAN HARTRANFT'S MOTION TO
INTERVENE [DOC. NO. 698]
Michael M. Anello United States District Judge.
Hartranft (“Applicant”) filed a motion to
intervene in this multidistrict litigation pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 24. Doc.
No 698. Defendants responded with a notice of nonopposition
to the motion. Doc. No. 699. The Court found the matter
suitable for determination on the papers and without oral
argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1.d.1. Doc. No. 704.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court
DENIES Applicant's motion to intervene.
in the present multidistrict litigation (“MDL”),
which originated in 2011, allege defendants violated the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by
illegally making debt collection calls to them, through use
of an automatic dialer or pre-recorded voice, on their
cellular telephones without first obtaining their prior
consent. See generally Doc. No. 23. On February 8,
2018, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
(“JPML”) suspended JPML Rule of Procedure 7.1(a),
which ceased conditional transfer orders to prevent further
tag-along actions. JPML Doc. No. 1074.In effect, the
February 2018 JPML order bars new member cases from entering
filed a putative class action in this district on June 6,
2018, alleging violations by Defendants of the TCPA and
Federal Debt Collection Practices Act. See Hartranft v.
Encore Capital Group, Inc., (No. 3:18-cv-1187-BEN-RBB).
Applicant asserts that his action and the operative
consolidated complaint in the MDL overlap substantially with
respect to the TCPA claims and putative class
members. Doc. No. 698-1 at 2. On August 12, 2019,
Applicant filed this motion to intervene. See id.
Emphasizing the related issues of fact and law, Applicant
argues intervention is proper as a matter of right pursuant
to FRCP 24(a). Id. at 3. In the alternative,
Applicant requests permission to intervene pursuant to FRCP
Rule of Civil Procedure 24 governs motions to intervene. Rule
24 states that a court must, upon a timely motion, allow
intervention of right where the movant
(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
Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a). The Ninth Circuit has interpreted Rule
24(a) to require an applicant meet all of the following four
(1) the applicant must timely move to intervene; (2) the
applicant must have a significantly protectable interest
relating to the property or transaction that is the subject
of the action; (3) the applicant must be situated such that
the disposition of the action may impair or impede the
party's ability to protect that interest; and (4) the
applicant's interest must not be adequately represented
by existing parties
Arakaki v. Cayetano, 324 F.3d 1078, 1083 (9th Cir.
2003), as amended (May 13, 2003) (citing
Donnelly v. Glickman, 159 F.3d 405, 409 (9th Cir.
1998)); Sw. Ctr. for Biological Diversity, 268 F.3d
at 817-18; C.S. ex rel. Struble v. California Dep't
of Educ., 2008 WL 962159, at *2 (S.D. Cal. Apr. 8,
2008). An applicant has a significant protectable interest
where (1) his or her interest is protected under some law,
and (2) “there is a ‘relationship' between
its legally protected interest and the plaintiff's
claims.” Donnelly, 159 F.3d at 409. The
resolution of the plaintiff's claims must actually affect
the applicant. Id. If there would be a substantial
effect, the applicant “should, as a general rule, be
entitled to intervene.” Sw. Ctr. for Biological
Diversity, 268 F.3d at 822.
alternative, courts may permit a party to intervene under
Rule 24(b). 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 question of law or fact. [. . .] (3)
Delay or Prejudice. In exercising its discretion, the court
must consider whether the intervention will unduly delay or
prejudice the adjudication of the original parties'
Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b). A party seeking the court's
permission to intervene must establish several prerequisites:
“(1) independent grounds for jurisdiction; (2) the
motion is timely; and (3) the applicant's claim or
defense, and the main action, have a question of law or a
question of fact in common.” League of United Latin
Am. Citizens v. Wilson, 131 F.3d 1297, 1308 (9th Cir.
1997). However, “[e]ven if an applicant satisfies those
threshold requirements, the district court has discretion to
deny permissive intervention.” S. California Edison
Co. v. Lynch, 307 F.3d 794, 803 (9th Cir.),
modified, 307 F.3d ...