Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Jakubik v Schmirer, 2013 WL 3465857 (S.D.N.Y.) [Hungary] [Federal & State Judicial Remedies] [Intervention By Child Subject of Proceeding]
In Jakubik v Schmirer, 2013 WL 3465857 (S.D.N.Y.) Gyula Janos Jacubik, petitioned for the return to Hungary of his fifteen year old daughter D.T.J.. DTJ, moved to intervene through her next friend, Fr .Christian Gobel. Petitioner opposed the motion. Respondent did not take a position on the motion. D.T.J.'s motion to intervene was granted. The Clerk of Court is directed to add D.T.J., through her next friend Fr. Christian Gobel, as a party to the case, to be represented by an attorney appointed by the court. The Court observed that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) provides that "[o]n timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene who ... 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."T he Second Circuit has set out a four-part test, each part of which is required for intervention as of right: In order to be entitled to intervene as of right under Rule 24(a)(2), "an intervenor must show that: (1) the application is timely; (2) the applicant claims an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject matter of the action; (3) the protection of the interest may as a practical matter be impaired by the disposition of the action; and (4) the interest is not adequately protected by an existing party. St. John's Univ., N.Y. v. Bolton, 450 F. App'x 81, 83 (2d Cir.2011). The Court found that D.T.J. had met each of these requirements. Her application to intervene was timely. It came just three business days after counsel was appointed to represent her and one day after counsel's initial conversation with D.T.J. She had an obvious interest in this litigation: It would determine whether D.T.J., age 15, would be repatriated to Hungary for custody proceedings. Her interest might be impaired by the outcome of this action: She claimed an interest in remaining in the United States, and a ruling (in either direction) would profoundly affect her. Finally, D.T.J.'s interests were not identical to those of her mother, Respondent Eva Schmirer and the Court did not believe they were necessarily adequately represented by Respondent. D.T.J.'s counsel pointed out, "[t]he child has a potential right to immigration remedies which are foreclosed to Respondent, and which have not been explored by Respondent. D.T.J.'s counsel represented that she was "actively seeking" retention of an immigration expert. As to this issue, it was possible that D.T.J.'s and Respondent's interests diverged. The Court concluded that D.T.J. had met all four prongs required in a motion to intervene as of right. The Court held that D.T.J. had even more clearly met the standard required for a permissive intervention. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b) (court may permit intervention by anyone who "has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact," although "court must consider whether the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the original parties' rights."). A district court has broad discretion under Rule 24(b). "The requirement of the Rule is satisfied if the applicant shows that representation of his interest 'may be' inadequate; and the burden of making that showing should be treated as minimal." Trbovich v. United Mine Workers of America, 404 U.S. 528, 538 n. 10, 92 S.Ct. 630, 30 L.Ed.2d 686 (1972) . The Court held that the interests of D.T.J. in the litigation sufficiently outweighed any potential "costs to allowing the Child to become a party," Moreover, the Court saw no undue delay caused by the child's intervention.