Friday, December 6, 2013

Atlantis Development Corp. v. United States case brief

Atlantis Development Corp. v. United States case brief summary
379 F.2d 818 (1967)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant corporation appealed decision of district court (Florida), denying it leave to intervene and assert claims that appellee developers were engaged in the erection of an artificial island without permit from the Secretary of the Army in violation of 43 U.S.C.S. § 1333(f) and 33 U.S.C.S. § 403 and were trespassing on government property in the action of appellee United States.

CASE FACTS
Developers wanted to develop coral reefs off the coast of Florida. State and federal governments initially denied jurisdiction, so developers began construction on the reefs. The United States sued to stop development, and the corporation attempted to intervene. The lower court held that the corporation could not intervene.

DISCUSSION

  • The court found that, while the prior version of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure did not allow intervention, recent amendments that were to be applied retroactively did. 
  • Viewed together with the amended rule governing joinder, the rule governing intervention indicated a more liberal approach to joinder of parties claiming interest in the subject of an action, given the existence of an interest that might be impaired and a lack of adequate representation. 
  • Given the circuit's practice of following decisions of panels of court, the corporation's ability to advance its theories of law and fact would be impaired.

CONCLUSION
Judgment reversed, because amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were to be applied retroactively, and the corporation had interest in disposition that might be impaired and lacked adequate representation, given circuit's practice of following decisions of panels of court.


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