Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summary 2008 WY 64

Summary of Decision issued June 10, 2008

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Case Name: Concerned Citizens of Spring Creek Ranch v. Tips up, LLC

Citation: 2008 WY 64

Docket Number: S-07-0159

Appeal from the District Court of Teton County, the Nancy J. Guthrie, Judge.

Representing Appellants (Applicants for Intervention): Abigail Susan Moore and Joseph F. Moore, Jr., Moore, Myers & Garland, LLC, Jackson, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee Tips Up (Plaintiff): David B. Hooper, Hoper Law Offices, PC, Riverton, Wyoming; Raymond E. Loughrey, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis, LLP, San Francisco, California.

Representing Appellees Spring Creek Homeowners’ Association, and Spring Creek Architectural Committee: Edward Frank Hess, Hess Carlman & D’Amours, LLC, Jackson, Wyoming; William H. Short, HindmanSanchez, PC, Arvada, Colorado.

Facts/Discussion: Appellants appeal the district court’s denial of their motion to intervene in a dispute between their homeowners’ association and another property owner.
In order for an applicant for intervention of right to be allowed to participate, they must meet four conditions. The conditions of the test are: the applicant must claim an interest related to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action; the applicant must be so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter, impair or impede the applicant’s ability to protect that interest; there must be a showing that the applicant’s interest will not be adequately represented by the existing parties; and the application for intervention must be timely.
Timeliness is a threshold issue. After considering the history and nature of the case the district court held that the motion was not timely. The Court noted the Proposed Intervenors filed their application after the case had been going on for a number of months and that they filed only after they heard that the parties were discussing settlement.
Proposed Intervenors argued they had a significant protectable interest as land owners whose lands were benefited and burdened by the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) and Architectural Controls and Design Guidelines. The underlying case involved Tips Ups’ claim against the Board of Directors and Architectural Committee regarding their denial of Tips Up’s Preliminary Architectural Plan. It did not strictly involve enforcement of the CC&Rs. The Proposed Intervenors had a significantly protectable interest in the enforcement of the CC&Rs but any impact on the property interest was contingent.
The applicant has the burden of showing that his or her interests are not adequately represented by the existing parties. The Proposed Intervenors vested the Homeowners Association and the Architectural Committee with the authority to represent them in the underlying litigation. They failed to demonstrate how the Association and the Committee did not adequately represent them.
Permissive intervention may be allowed in the district court’s discretion. Since the application for intervention was held to be untimely, the application for permissive intervention would also have been untimely.

Holding: Because Proposed Intervenors failed to meet any of the four conditions for intervention of right, the district court did not err in denying Proposed Intervenors’ Motion for Intervention of Right.


D.J. Arnold delivered the decision.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/6zqfg3 .

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. Please note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you pinpoint cite to a quote, you should cite to this paragraph number rather than to any page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library.]

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