City and County of San Francisco v. Sessions et al

Filing 39

ORDER DENYING 20 MOTION TO INTERVENE by Hon. William H. Orrick. (jmdS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/11/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, 7 8 Plaintiff, 9 ORDER DENYING MOTION TO INTERVENE v. Re: Dkt. No. 20 10 JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS, et al., 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 17-cv-04642-WHO Defendants. 12 13 INTRODUCTION 14 The City of Los Angeles (“Los Angeles”) has moved to intervene in this case as a 15 permissive intervenor. Motion to Intervene (“Mot.”) (Dkt. No. 20). Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 16 7-1(b), this matter is appropriate for resolution without oral argument, and the October 11, 2017 17 hearing is VACATED. For the reasons discussed below, Los Angeles’ motion to intervene is 18 DENIED.1 LEGAL STANDARD 19 Under Ninth Circuit precedent, a party must satisfy three threshold elements for a court to 20 21 grant permissive intervention under Rule 24(b): (1) the moving party must have an independent 22 ground for jurisdiction; (2) it must bring a timely motion; and (3) it must demonstrate that it “has a 23 claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact.” Blum v. 24 Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc., 712 F.3d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir. 2013) (citing Fed. R. 25 Civ. P. 24(b)(1)). If these elements are met, the court may grant permissive intervention at its 26 discretion. Id. 27 1 28 Los Angeles’ Motion to Shorten Time is dismissed as moot given the denial of permissive intervention. 1 2 DISCUSSION Los Angeles asserts that it meets the three threshold requirements for permissive 3 intervention and asks this court to exercise its discretion to allow it to intervene in this case. Mot. 4 at 8-9. Because I am exercising my discretion to decline to allow Los Angeles to intervene in this 5 case, I do not address whether it meets the threshold requirements for permissive intervention. 6 Los Angeles provides two justifications in support of its intervention in this case: (1) to 7 conserve judicial resources and avoid potential conflicting rulings and overlapping injunctions; 8 and (2) to permit the court to consider this case “in light of differing local policies.” Mot. at 9. 9 I am not convinced that these issues weigh in favor of granting Los Angeles’ motion to intervene. The fundamental problem with the motion is that it upends established venue and 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 forum rules. By their nature, these rules result in different lower courts deciding similar legal 12 issues, sometimes with divergent results. Such differences are appropriately reconciled by higher 13 courts. Given that the conditions at issue in this case affect several other jurisdictions across the 14 United States, I am not persuaded by Los Angeles’ argument that its intervention in this case 15 would “avoid the potential of conflicting rulings and potentially overlapping injunctions.” 16 To state the obvious, the City of Los Angeles lies in the Central District of California. If I 17 grant intervention for Los Angeles, I cannot conceive of a limiting principle to deny intervention 18 to any other potentially affected governmental entity in the State, or even the country. Similar 19 cases are already proceeding in Chicago and Philadelphia. Los Angeles indicated, understandably, 20 that its relevant policies are different than those of San Francisco. I assume that would be true for 21 virtually every jurisdiction. So while I suspect that the legal analyses for similar cases will 22 overlap, they may not be identical because of the difference in the policies and practices of each 23 governmental entity. And while cases within a particular venue may be related to a single judge 24 pursuant to the Local Rules, it seems imprudent at best to allow all comers to bring their cases in 25 one court, regardless of venue, unless the Judicial Panel on Multi District so ordered. 26 27 Because Los Angeles’ participation in this case as a party would conflict with traditional venue and forum rules, its motion to intervene as a permissive intervenor is DENIED. 28 2 CONCLUSION 1 2 3 4 For the reasons outlined above, Los Angeles’ motion to intervene is DENIED. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 11, 2017 5 6 William H. Orrick United States District Judge 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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