United States District Court, S.D. New York
NEW HAMBURG TERMINAL CORPORATION and MORGAN FUEL AND HEATING CO., INC., Plaintiffs,
TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE, and TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Vincent L. Briccetti United States District Judge
the Court are (i) plaintiffs' motion for leave to file a
second amended complaint (Doc. #88); (ii) a motion to
intervene in the action by members of the New Hamburg
Neighborhood Association (“NHNA”) (Doc. #124);
and (iii) a proposed stipulation of settlement and
discontinuance, which the parties seek to have so-ordered by
the Court (“proposed settlement agreement”).
following reasons, the motion for leave to file a second
amended complaint is DENIED AS MOOT; the motion to intervene
is DENIED; and the proposed settlement agreement has been
the Court's decision on the motion to intervene affects
the outcome of the remaining issues, the Court will address
that motion first.
Motion to Intervene
February 17, 2017,  the NHNA moved to intervene in this action
as of right, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)(2), which
(a) Intervention of Right. On timely motion,
the court must permit anyone to intervene who: . . . (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.
intervenors under this Rule “must (1) timely file an
application, (2) show an interest in the action, (3)
demonstrate that the interest may be impaired by the
disposition of the action, and (4) show that the interest is
not protected adequately by the parties to the action.”
United States v. City of N.Y., 198 F.3d 360, 364 (2d
Cir. 1999) (internal quotation marks omitted). “Failure
to satisfy any one of these requirements is a sufficient
ground to deny the application.” Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted).
the motion to intervene is not timely.
defies precise definition, although it certainly is not
confined strictly to chronology. Among the circumstances
generally considered are: (1) how long the applicant had
notice of the interest before it made the motion to
intervene; (2) prejudice to existing parties resulting from
any delay; (3) prejudice to the applicant if the motion is
denied; and (4) any unusual circumstances militating for or
against a finding of timeliness.” United States v.
Pitney Bowes, Inc., 25 F.3d 66, 70 (2d Cir. 1994)
(citing United States v. New York, 820 F.2d 554, 557
(2d Cir. 1987)). “Whether a motion to intervene is
timely is determined within the sound discretion of the trial
court from all the circumstances.” Id. (citing
NAACP v. New York, 413 U.S. 345, 366 (1973)).
the proposed intervenors state they “learned for the
first time via letter to this Court dated January
11, 2017, ” that the parties were near a settlement of
this action, and that “[i]t was not until Intervenors
learned of this letter that they realized that the Town might
not continue to defend the Local Laws, and would instead
settle this action.” (Intervenors' Br. at 10)
(emphasis added). However, two months earlier, on November
14, 2016, the parties notified the Second Circuit-in
connection with an appeal of this Court's denial of
plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, of which
the proposed intervenors were well aware-that
“[a]ppellant ha[d] agreed to temporarily withdraw the
appeal, ” because “the parties ha[d] agreed to
return to mediation which [might] result in a resolution of
the issues between the parties without the need for
additional litigation.” (Case No. 16-1561, Doc. #54-1).
Therefore, the proposed intervenors knew or should have known
of the real possibility of a settlement two months earlier
than they claim. The motion to intervene was not filed
until February 17, 2017.
a three month delay may not be significant in many
situations, under the circumstances here, it is critical. As
plaintiffs stated in their March 27, 2017, letter to this
Over the past few months, the parties have engaged in
extensive settlement efforts, including lengthy mediation
sessions before retired Court of Appeals Judge Albert
Rosenblatt, who provided keen insight and many years of
judicial experience to help the parties see the weaknesses
and strengths in their positions and the benefit of
negotiating and reaching an agreement.
(Doc. #146). Moreover, the the parties have “been
involved in . . . extensive investigations and expert
analysis of the issues . . . over the course of the past
several months, ” and the settlement was reached
“only after collecting a significant amount of
information concerning [plaintiffs'] ...