United States District Court, W.D. Virginia
Glen E. Conrad, United States District Judge
Pinnacle Bank ("Pinnacle") brought this
interpleader action against defendant United States of
America and defendants Bluestone Energy Sales Corporation
("Bluestone"); A&G Coal Corporation; Dynamic
Energy, Inc.; Justice Management Services, LLC; Kentucky Fuel
Corporation, Inc.; Nine Mile Mining, Inc.; and Tarns
Management, Inc. (collectively, the "Bluestone
Defendants"). The case is presently before the court on
a motion to intervene filed by Carter Bank and Trust
("Carter Bank"). For the reasons that follow, the
motion will be granted.
August 22, 2017, Pinnacle filed this interpleader action
against the Bluestone Defendants and the United States
seeking permission from this court to deposit certain
disputed funds into the registry of the court, a
determination as to how to disburse those funds, and related
relief. On October 4, 2017, before any defendant filed an
answer or motion to dismiss, Carter Bank filed a motion for
leave to intervene as a defendant in this case. Carter Bank
alleges it has a first and prime perfected security interest
in the disputed funds and it seeks to protect that interest.
Bank takes no position on the motion to intervene, and the
Bluestone Defendants have asserted that they do not oppose
the motion. The United States has not responded to the
Bank argues that it is entitled to intervene as a matter of
right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a), or
alternatively, that the court should permit it to intervene
under Rule 24(b). Because the court will exercise its
discretion to allow Carter Bank to intervene under Rule
24(b), the court need not decide whether Carter Bank is
entitled to intervene as a matter of right. See United
States ex rel. MP A Constr., Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins.
Co., 349 F.Supp.2d 934, 938 (D. Md. 2004).
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
generally recognizes that "liberal intervention is
desirable to dispose of as much of a controversy involving as
many apparently concerned persons as is compatible with
efficiency and due process." Feller v. Brock,
802 F.2d 722, 729 (4th Cir. 1986) (internal quotation marks
omitted). Where a movant seeks permission to intervene under
Rule 24(b), it must establish each of the following elements:
(1) that its motion is timely; (2) that its claims or
defenses have a question of law or fact in common with the
main action; and (3) that intervention will not result in
undue delay or prejudice to the existing parties. Wright
v. Krispv Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., 231 F.R.D. 475, 479
(M.D. N.C. 2005) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b)).
the court believes that Carter Bank satisfies the timeliness
requirement. Carter Bank moved to intervene approximately a
month and a half after Pinnacle filed the interpleader
complaint. Accordingly* the case has not neared its end, and
resolving it will not be "derailed]" if Carter Bank
is permitted to intervene. Scardelletti v. Debarr,
265 F.3d 195, 202 (4th Cir. 2001), reversed on other
grounds sub nom., Devlin v. Scardelletti, 536
U.S. 1, 14 (2002) (internal quotation marks omitted); see
also United States v. Virginia, 282 F.R.D. 403, 405
(E.D. Va. 2012) ("Where a case has not progressed beyond
the initial pleading stage, a motion to intervene is
Carter Bank has a defense that shares a common question of
law or fact with the original action. As with the Bluestone
Defendants, Carter Bank seeks a ruling that the disputed
funds belong to Bluestone.
the court does not believe that Carter Bank's involvement
in this action will unduly prejudice the existing parties.
Because Carter Bank's interest "largely overlap[s]
with the legal and factual issues that are already present in
the main action, " the addition of Carter Bank "is
not likely to significantly complicate the proceedings or
unduly expand the scope of any discovery in this case."
United States v. North Carolina, No. 1:16CV425, 2016
WL 3626386, at *3 (M.D. N.C. June 29, 2016). Similarly, the
court has found no reason to believe that Carter Bank's
participation in the case would cause undue delay. Indeed,
Carter Bank has made clear that it does not intend to alter
the current schedule for resolution of this matter.
these reasons, and in keeping with the Fourth Circuit's
policy in favor of liberal intervention, the court will grant
Carter Bank's motion to intervene.
Clerk is directed to send copies of this memorandum opinion
and the ...