Saturday, January 23, 2016

You Need Not Intervene Till You Expect You Were Sold Out

Ziani Homeowners Assoc. v. Brookfield Ziani LLC, No. G050284 (D4d3 Dec. 22, 2015)

Some condo owners sought to intervene in a construction defect litigation between their HOA and the condo developer. The trial court denied their motion as untimely because two years had passed since the complaint was filed. But even if its not clearly spelled out in the California case law (till now) that’s not the standard. California’s intervention statute, Code of Civil Procedure § 387 was somewhat modeled on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24. So the court relies on a body of analogous—and more of less uniform—federal authority to say that the intervention clock shouldn’t start running until interveners know or at least should have known that their interests weren’t being adequately represented by the current parties. Because the trial court incorrectly decided that the clock started ticking on the date of filing, the court reversed and remanded for timeliness findings based on the correct standard.

Reversed and remanded.

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