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Molinari v. Bloomberg

January 13, 2009

GUY MOLINARI, WILLIAM C. THOMPSON, JR., INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS THE NEW YORK CITY COMPTROLLER, BETSY GOTBAUM, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS PUBLIC ADVOCATE FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK, BILL DE BLASIO, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL, LETITIA JAMES, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL, CHARLES BARRON, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL, ROSALIE CALIENDO, PHILLIP DEPAOLO, PHILIP FOGLIA, KENT LEBSOCK, MIKE LONG, TOM LONG, SARAH LYONS, ANDREA RICH, IDA SANOFF, GLORIA SMITH, ERIC SNYDER, LUVENIA SUBER, KENNETH J. BAER, KENNETH A. DIAMONDSTONE, PETER GLEASON, MARK WINSTON GRIFFITH, ARI HOFFNUNG, STANLEY KALATHARA, ALFONSO QUIROZ, YDANIS RODRIGUEZ, JO ANNE SIMON, NEW YORK PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP, INC., U.S. TERM LIMITS, AND RESPONSIBLE NEW YORK, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, CHRISTINE C. QUINN, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL, THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL, THE CITY OF NEW YORK, JAMES J. SAMPEL, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF ELECTIONS FOR THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IN NEW YORK CITY, AND BOARD OF ELECTIONS OF NEW YORK CITY, DEFENDANTS.



MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SIFTON, Senior Judge.

Plaintiffs Guy Molinari, William C. Thompson, Jr. individually and in his official capacity as the New York City Comptroller, Betsy Gotbaum ("Gotbaum"), individually and in her official capacity as Public Advocate for the City of New York, Bill de Blasio ("de Blasio"), individually and in his official capacity as a member of the New York City Council, Letitia James ("James"), individually and in her official capacity as a member of the New York City Council, Charles Barron ("Barron"), individually and in his official capacity as a member of the New York City Council, Rosalie Caliendo, Phillip Depaolo, Philip Foglia, Kent Lebsock, Mike Long, Tom Long, Sarah Lyons, Andrea Rich, Ida Sanoff, Gloria Smith, Eric Snyder, Luvenia Suber, Kenneth J. Baer, Kenneth A. Diamondstone, Peter Gleason, Mark Winston Griffith, Ari Hoffnung, Stanley Kalathara, Alfonso Quiroz, Ydanis Rodriguez, Jo Anne Simon, New York Public Interest Research Group, Inc. ("NYPIRG"), U.S. Term Limits, and Responsible New York ("plaintiffs") commenced this action against Michael R. Bloomberg ("Mayor Bloomberg"), in his official capacity as mayor of New York City, Christine C. Quinn, in her official capacity as Speaker of the New York City Council ("Speaker Quinn"), The New York City Council, The City of New York, James J. Sampel, in his official capacity as president of the Commissioners of Elections for the Board of Elections in New York City, and Board of Elections of New York City ("defendants"). Plaintiffs or some of them allege against some or all of the defendants (1) deprivation of asserted First Amendment rights to a meaningful vote in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (" § 1983") (Claim I); (2) chilling of asserted First Amendment rights to political expression in violation of § 1983 (Claim II); (3) denial of asserted First Amendment rights to access to the ballot in violation of § 1983 (Claim III); (4) denial of asserted Fourteenth Amendment rights to Due Process in violation of § 1983 (Claim IV); (5) disenfranchisement of voters in violation of Article I, § 1 of the New York State Constitution (Claim V); (6) violation of the requirement of Municipal Home Rule Law § 23(2) that voters approve fundamental changes to the City Council by referendum (Claim VI); (7) violation of the requirement of City Charter § 38 that voters approve fundamental changes to their electoral and governmental structure (Claim VII); (8) actions in excess of the powers of the City Council under Municipal Home Rule Law §§ 10, 23 and City Charter §§ 23, 38, and 40 (Claim VIII); (9) violating the public policy of New York established in City Charter §§ 38, 1137, 1138 (Claim IX); (10) conflicts of interest on the part of Council Members in violation of City Charter § 2604(b)(3) (Claim X); (11) conflicts of interest on the part of Mayor Bloomberg in violation of City Charter § 2604(b)(3) (Claim XI); and (12) knowingly aiding and abetting the Mayor's violations of City Charter § 2604(b)(3) in violation of City Charter § 2604(b)(2) and Conflicts Board Rule 1-13(d) (Claim XII). Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the term-limits amendment is unconstitutional under the United States and New York State Constitutions, a declaratory judgment that the term-limits amendment violates the Municipal Home Rule Law and the City Charter, a declaratory judgment that the term-limits amendment is invalid because it was enacted in violation of City Charter conflicts provisions, an injunction barring the Board of Elections from listing term-limited city officials on the ballot in the 2009 City elections, costs, and attorneys' fees.

Presently before this Court are several motions by Jose Adames ("the Applicant"), including motions to intervene in this action or to consolidate this action with another case, pending in the Southern District of New York, in which he is plaintiff, captioned Jose Adames v. Michael Bloomberg et al., No. 08-CV-3804 (the "Adames Action").*fn1 For the reasons stated below, the motions are denied.

BACKGROUND

Familiarity with the factual background of this matter is presumed. For a detailed description of the underlying facts, see Molinari v. Bloomberg, No. CV-08-4539, 2008 WL 5412433, at *2-5 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 22, 2008). What follows is a brief description of the Adames Action.

The Adames Action concerns allegations of wrongs done to the Applicant personally by Mayor Bloomberg and by others relating to the 2005 mayoral election. The Applicant alleges that he was the victim of a complex plot designed to thwart his 2005 mayoral campaign. Adames Compl. ¶ 11. The Applicant claims that Mayor Bloomberg destroyed his campaign by using political repression and vandalism, id. ¶ 69, and by conspiring with Bank of America, id. ¶¶ 225, 236, Hewlett Packard, id. ¶ 233, and MCI, id. ¶ 262, to frustrate the Applicant's campaign. The alleged injury the Applicant suffered is that Mayor Bloomberg usurped the office of Mayor from him and that he himself is the legal Mayor of New York City. The complaint in the Adames Action makes no reference to the term-limits amendment and does not discuss term limits.

DISCUSSION

Intervention

1. Standard for Intervention

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24 ("Rule 24"), on a timely motion, a federal court must permit any party to intervene if such party:

(1) is given an unconditional right to intervene by a federal statute; or

(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).

Because no federal statute confers an unconditional right to intervene on the Applicant, in order to intervene as of right, the Applicant must qualify under Rule 24(a)(2). To intervene as of right under Rule 24(a)(2), the applicant must establish the following: (1) a timely motion; (2) an interest in the subject matter of the action; (3) an impairment of that interest without intervention; and (4) that his interest is not adequately represented by other parties to the litigation. United States v. Pitney Bowes, Inc., 25 F.3d 66, 70 (2d Cir. 1994). Although the test for intervention is flexible, failure to ...


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