United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
the Court in the captioned matter is a motion to intervene
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) filed by
Laurens County, Georgia. Laurens County claims an interest in
certain real property subject to this forfeiture action,
namely Real Property Located at 3037 Hwy 257, Dublin,
Georgia. More specifically, Laurens County seeks to acquire
0.089 acres of right of way in said property for a state
funded highway construction project. Neither the United
States of America nor Claimant Lisa Bird oppose the motion.
Eleventh Circuit has set forth a four-part test to evaluate
an application for intervention. First, the intervention
application must be timely. Second, the intervenor must have
an interest relating to the property or transaction which is
the subject of the action. Third, the intervenor must be
"so situated that disposition of the action, as a
practical matter, may impede or impair the ability to protect
that interest." Fourth, the existing parties to the
lawsuit must not adequately represent the interests of the
intervenor. E.g., Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. Sandy
Lake Properties, Inc., 425 F.3d 1308, 1311
(11th Cir. 2005); Stone v. First Union
Corp., 371 F.3d 1305, 1308-09 (11th Cir.
Laurens County filed its motion during the discovery phase of
the case and does not plan to conduct any discovery; thus,
the motion is timely. Also, Laurens County claims a
"direct, substantial and legally protectable"
interest in the property in dispute, see Georgia v. U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, 302 F.3d 1242, 1249 (11th Cir.
2002) (cited source omitted); specifically, Laurens County
claims an interest in real property the title to which is at
issue. See Foster v. Gueory, 655 F.2d 1319, 1324
(D.C. Cir. 1981) ("An intervenor's interest is
obvious when he asserts a claim to property that is the
subject matter of the suit."). Further, the disposition
of this action, which would necessarily determine the
ownership of the property, would impair Laurens County's
ability to protect its interest in the property. Finally, the
existing parties to the lawsuit cannot adequately protect the
interests of Laurens County.
the foregoing, Laurens County is entitled to intervene as of
right under Rule 24(a)(2) in this case. Accordingly, its
motion to intervene (doc. no. 51) is
GRANTED. The Clerk shall add Laurens County
to the case as an "Intervenor" and docket its
"Intervenor Complaint" in the case, which is
attached to the motion to intervene as Exhibit A.
Intervenor Laurens County indicates in its Intervenor
Complaint that it stands ready to deposit the sum of $7,
850.00 as just and adequate compensation for fee simple title
into the Registry of the Court for the benefit of the persons
entitled to it. (Intervenor Compl. ¶¶ 13-14.) The
payment of estimated compensation is a prerequisite to the
exercise of condemnation of real property in the State of
Georgia. See O.C.G.A. §§ 32-3-6, 32-3-7.
Accordingly, the Court finds it appropriate to accept the
estimated compensation from Laurens County and hereby directs
the Clerk to receive and hold in the Registry of the Court
the amount of $7, 850.00 paid by Intervenor Laurens County
until further Order of the ...