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McKinney v. Southern Bakeries, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

June 23, 2014

M. KATHLEEN McKINNEY, Regional Director of Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board and on behalf of the NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Plaintiff,
v.
SOUTHERN BAKERIES, LLC, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SUSAN O. HICKEY, District Judge.

Before the Court is a Motion to Intervene (ECF No. 26) filed on behalf of John Hankins. Plaintiff M. Kathleen McKinney has responded. (ECF No. 32). Proposed Respondent Intervenor John Hankins has replied. The Court finds the matter ripe for consideration.

BACKGROUND

On February 28, 2014, M. Kathleen McKinney ("McKinney"), Regional Director of Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board ("the Board"), petitioned this Court for relief under Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. ยง 160(j). McKinney seeks temporary injunctive relief pending the final disposition of a matter before the Board concerning unfair labor practice charges against Southern Bakeries, LLC ("Southern Bakeries"). In her petition, McKinney asserts that Southern Bakeries committed various unfair labor practices that caused employees to withdraw support from the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, Local 111 ("BCTGM"). McKinney asks the Court to order Southern Bakeries to stop committing the alleged unfair labor practices and to recognize and bargain in good faith with BCTGM.

After the filing of the Section 10(j) petition, on April 24, 2014, John Hankins filed the instant motion to intervene. Hankins was the leader of an employee effort to remove BCTGM as the representative of Southern Bakeries employees. Hankins moves to intervene as a matter of right and for permissive intervention.

DISCUSSION

1. Intervention as a Matter of Right

Rule 24 provides:

On timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene who... claims an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action and is so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the movant's ability to protect that interest, unless existing parties adequately represent that interest.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a). The Eighth Circuit has stated that this rule requires one seeking intervention to file a timely motion to intervene and the motion must satisfy a "tripartite test." Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians v. State of Minn., 989 F.2d 994, 997 (8th Cir. 1993). The Court will first address whether Hankins's petition is timely. Then, the Court will discuss whether Hankins's application for intervention satisfies the tripartite test.

A. Timeliness

McKinney asserts that Hankins intervention is untimely because he waited almost two months after the 10(j) petition was filed to intervene. Hankins asserts that his motion to intervene is timely because no ruling on the merits has been issued, no hearing has been scheduled, and no delay will be caused because he does not contemplate the need to file any additional responses to the petition.[1]

Whether a motion to intervene is timely is determined by considering all the circumstances of the case. Mille, 989 F.2d at 998. In determining timeliness, factors that bear particular consideration are the reason for the proposed intervenor's delay in seeking intervention, how far the litigation has progressed before the motion to intervene is filed, and how much prejudice the delay in seeking intervention may cause to other parties if intervention is allowed. Id. However, "[n]o ironclad rules" govern this determination. Id.

In this case, the Court finds that Hankins's motion to intervene was timely. Hankins filed his motion before the Court issued any ruling on the merits and before the Court scheduled a hearing. Further, Hankins's intervention will not delay the proceedings because he has already filed a response ...


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