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Piekkola v. Klimek

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

October 17, 2016

MAX PIEKKOLA, Plaintiff,
v.
JSH KLIMEK, Unit Manager, Mike urfee State Prison, individual and official capacities; TAMMY DEJONG, Unit Coordinator, Mike Durfee State Prison, individual and official capacities; TRAVIS TJEERDSMA, Manager, Mike Durfee State Prison, individual and official capacities; KELLY TJEERDSMA, Corporal, Mike Durfee State Prison, individual and official capacities; DUSTIN TJEERDSMA, Correctional Officer, Mike Durfee State Prison, individual and official capacities;LEE KAUFENBERG, Special Security Captain, Mike Durfee State Prison, individual and official capacities; LYLE STOCK, Sergeant, Mike Durfee State Prison, individual and official capacities; TAMMY DOYLE, Unit Manager at Mike Durfee State Prison, in her individual and official capacities; and STEVE REYNOLDS, previous supervisor of the automotive program, Mike Durfee State Prison, individual and official capacities, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO INTERVENE

          KAREN E. SCHREIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Applicant for intervention, Karri Reynolds, moves to intervene as an interested party. Docket 66. Defendants oppose the motion. Docket 67. For the reasons set forth below, the Karri Reynolds' motion to intervene is granted.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On September 21, 2015, Max Piekkola, an inmate at Mike Durfee State Prison, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Docket 1. In his original and amended complaint, Piekkola raised various claims that defendants were violating his constitutional rights, including that defendants were denying him contact with Karri.[1] Docket 1; Docket 19. The court screened Piekkola's amended complaint and directed service. Docket 14. On June 24, 2016, defendants answered Piekkola's complaint, and on September 15, 2016, they moved for summary judgment. Docket 44.

         According to defendants, on August 8, 2016, Karri mailed a motion to intervene to defendants' attorney, but she did not file the motion with the court. Docket 67 at 3. On August 12, 2016, the court denied Piekkola's motion for preliminary injunction because it was “too early in the case to determine that Piekkola is likely to prevail on the merits.” Docket 40 at 3. On September 15, 2016, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. Docket 44.

         On October 3, 2016, Karri filed a motion to intervene as an interested party that was essentially identical to the motion she sent to defendants' attorney. Docket 66. In her motion, Karri adopts the factual background of Piekkola's original and amended complaints, Docket 66 at 1, which includes the fact that Piekkola and Karri are in a romantic relationship and that defendants are denying them the ability to communicate with one another. Docket 19 ¶ 26, 37, 123. Karri also objects to defendants' characterizations of her purported statements in their answer to Piekkola's amended complaint. Docket 66 at 1.

         Defendants oppose the motion, arguing that Karri's motion was untimely. Docket 67. They argue that Karri should have moved to intervene in August when she sent the motion to defendants' attorney and before the court dismissed Piekkola's motion for preliminary injunction and before defendants had filed their motion for summary judgment. Id. at 2-3. Defendants also argue that Karri Reynolds's interests will be adequately protected by Piekkola and that intervention is not allowed here because Karri's and Piekkola's interests are identical. Id. at 4-5.

         DISCUSSION

         Karrie moves to intervene under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2). Docket 66 at 1. The rule for intervention of right states:

(a) Intervention of Right. On timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene who: . . .
(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 that interest.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a). The Eighth Circuit construes Rule 24 liberally and resolves any doubts in favor of the proposed intervenors. See United States v. Union Elec. Co., 64 F.3d 1152, 1159 (8th Cir.1995) (listing cases); see also Sierra Club v. Robertson, 960 F.2d 83, 86 (8th Cir.1992) (“Doubts regarding the propriety of permitting intervention should be resolved in favor of allowing it, because this serves the judicial system's interest in resolving all related controversies in a single action”).

         I. ...


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