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Gatling v. United States

United States District Court, D. Arizona

July 5, 2016

Ruby Gatling, Plaintiff,
v.
United States of America, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Honorable Stephen M. McNamee Senior United States District Judge

         Pending before the court is the Navajo Nation’s (the “applicant”) Motion for Leave to Intervene as Defendant as of right pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 24(a)(2). (Doc. 47.) Plaintiff does not oppose the motion. Id. Defendant United States of America, who opposes the motion, has responded. (Doc. 50.) The Court has reviewed the briefing and makes the following ruling.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case was originally filed in April of 2015 based upon the Federal Torts Claim Act 28 U.S.C. § 2674, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 25 U.S.C. § 450, et seq. “(ISDEAA), and the doctrine of Bivens v. Six Unknown Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). (Doc. 1.) On August 24, 2015, Defendant United States subsequently filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim (Doc. 12). On January 13, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant United States motion to dismiss. (Doc. 23.) On April 1, 2016, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint (Doc. 39.) On April 29, 2016, Defendant United States filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint (Doc. 45). On May 24, 2016, the Navajo Nation filed a motion to intervene. (Doc. 47.) On July 1, 2016, the Court granted Defendant United States’ motion to dismiss the amended complaint. (Doc. 52.)

         Remaining in the case are 5 claims against the United States. They are: (1) False Imprisonment for the actions of Yazzie; (2) Negligent Supervision for the alleged False Imprisonment committed by Yazzie; (3) Negligent Supervision for the failure of the Individual Defendants to protect Plaintiff from unreasonable uses of force by other Individual Defendants; (4) Negligent Supervision for the negligence of Individual Defendants in leaving Plaintiff in solitary confinement when she was in need of immediate medical attention; and (5) Negligent Supervision for the failure of Individual Defendants to administer aid to Plaintiff when her injuries had been directly caused by the Individual Defendants. (Id.)

         The Navajo Nation and the United States are parties to a 638 contract under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. (See Docs. 23; 52 (discussing the relationship between United States and Indian tribes under these contracts)).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) states:

On a 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.

Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)(2). Intervention as of right under Rule 24(a) requires satisfaction of a four-part test: (1) the applicant must file a timely motion; (2) the applicant must have “significantly protectable” interest related to the subject matter of the action; (3) the disposition of the action may practically impair or impede the applicant’s ability to protect that interest; and (4) the interest must not be adequately represented by the existing parties in the lawsuit. Wilderness Soc. V. U.S. Forest Serv., 630 F.3d 1173, 1177 (9th Cir. 2011). The party seeking to intervene bears the burden of showing all four requirements for intervention have been met. United States v. City of Los Angeles, Cal., 288 F.3d 391, 397 (9th Cir. 2001).

         Rule 24(a) is construed “liberally in favor of proposed intervenor” with the court taking into account practical considerations. Sw. Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Berg, 268 F.3d 810, 818 (9th Cir. 2001). When ruling on a motion to intervene as a matter of right, the court accepts all of the applicant’s non-conclusory allegations as true. Id. at 819.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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