Denial of Intervention – Timeliness

Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc., et al. v. State of Alabama, etc., et al., [Ms. CL-2023-0002, Aug. 25, 2023] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2023). The court (Edwards, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore, Hanson, and Fridy, JJ., concur) reverses the Perry Circuit Court’s order denying Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc.’s (“Riverkeeper”), and Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice’s (“Citizens”) motion to intervene in an action filed by the State of Alabama, and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management against the Waterworks and Sewer Board of the City of Uniontown.

“The standard of review regarding the denial of a motion to intervene as of right as untimely is whether the trial court has exceeded its discretion.” Ms. *11, citing Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Inc. v. East Walker Cnty. Sewer Auth., 979 So. 2d 69, 72 (Ala. Civ. App. 2007). The court holds “the conclusion that the motion to intervene was untimely filed as to this action, which is the action at issue under § 22-22A-5(18)b and § 22-22A-5(19) [Ala. Code 1975], is patently without foundation in reason or law. The record includes no evidence regarding how the State and ADEM were or would be prejudiced by the failure of Riverkeeper or Citizens to file their motion to intervene earlier than the approximately two weeks that had transpired between the commencement of this action and the filing of their motion to intervene.” Ms. *13.

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