Tennille v. Western Union Company, The
ORDER denying 430 Objector Paul Dorsey's Motion to Intervene, by Judge John L. Kane on 02/02/2016.(cthom, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 09-cv-938-JLK (consolidated with 10-cv-765-JLK)
JAMES P. TENNILLE, ROBERT SMET, ADELAIDA DELEON, and YAMILET
RODRIGUEZ, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
THE WESTERN UNION COMPANY and WESTERN UNION FINANCIAL
ORDER DENYING OBJECTOR PAUL DORSEY’S
MOTION (Doc. 430) TO INTERVENE
Paul Dorsey is one of two putative class members who filed formal objections to
the substantive, nationwide settlement negotiated by class counsel in 2013 to remedy and
change Western Union’s business practice of failing to notify customers when wire
transfers went unclaimed. The settlement required Western Union to deposit all
unclaimed funds in its possession into a settlement trust account, after which a claims
process would be implemented to distribute them to individual class members. Nearly
three years later, Mr. Dorsey moves for permissive intervention under Fed. R. Civ. P.
24(b)(1)(B) so that he may oversee and enforce various aspects of the claims process on
behalf of the settling class. Because the plaintiff class is adequately represented in every
regard about which Mr. Dorsey expresses concern, the equities weigh heavily against
permitting Mr. Dorsey to intervene at this very late date. The Motion for Permissive
Intervention is DENIED.
Rule 24(b)(1)(B) governing permissive intervention provides that, on timely
motion, the court may permit anyone to intervene who “has a claim or defense that shares
with the main action a common question of law or fact.” In exercising its discretion to
permit a party to intervene, the court must consider whether the intervention sought
would unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the original parties' rights. See
Tri-State Generation & Transmission Ass'n, Inc. v. New Mexico Pub. Regulation
Comm'n, 787 F.3d 1068, 1074 (10th Cir. 2015). And while not a required part of the test
for permissive intervention, a court's finding that existing parties adequately protect
prospective intervenors' interests will support a denial of permissive intervention. Am.
Ass'n of People with Disabilities v. Herrera, 257 F.R.D. 236, 249 (D.N.M.2008). Mr.
Dorsey’s request fails on both counts.
Mr. Dorsey contends his intervention is necessary to achieve five enumerated
objectives which he would pursue by filing a series of motions he attaches as Exhibits AE to his Motion to Intervene:
1. Ex. A: [Proposed] Motion to Enforce the Amended Final Judgment and Order
of Dismissal Requirement Regarding the Filing of Claim Administrator’s Invoices;
2. Ex. B: [Proposed] Motion to Require Defendants to Cross-Check In-House
Databases Before Disclosing the “Last Known Address” of Class Members to the Claims
3. Ex. C: [Proposed] Motion to Reconcile Conflicting Declarations Made by
Defendants and Claims Administrator Regarding Class Size;
4. Ex. D: [Proposed] Motion to Require Defendants to Disclose and Declare Level
of Compliance with Previous Court Order Regarding “Last Known Address” of Class
5. Ex. E: [Proposed] Motion to Require Claims Administrator to Disclose
Additional Information Regarding Previous Declaration.
As Plaintiffs point out in their objection, none of the issues Mr. Dorsey wishes to
raise in these motions are unique to him, and a process for their resolution is already part
of the Final Order and claims administration process. Mr. Dorsey doesn’t claim to be
adjudicating any rights of his own – he seeks simply to manage the implementation of a
Final Order/Settlement (which he disapproved of) on behalf of the Settling Class (which
he opted out of). He asks to participate in and conduct “investigations” into
administration of the Class Settlement without providing any reasons why he is qualified
to do so or why the existing parties and their counsel are not. The actions of class counsel
and the claims administrator have been focused and diligent, and any of the concerns
raised by Mr. Dorsey in his proposed motions may be adequately raised and addressed by
the existing parties without his imprimatur. Permissive intervention under Rule 24 is not
an invitation to meddle in matters that have long been resolved or to point out concerns
that may be fully and adequately raised by parties who have participated in this litigation
and have been present for its resolution for more than five years. Mr. Dorsey’s persistence
in inserting himself into the case over time is notable, but it does not, by itself, warrant his
formal intervention now.
The Motion to Intervene (Doc. 430) is DENIED.
Dated this 2d day of February, 2016, at Denver, Colorado.
s/John L. Kane
SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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