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United States v. Northern Indiana Public Service Co., et al.

(1983)

United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana - 100 F.R.D. 78

tl;dr:

This case is an example of dismissal of a motion to intervene on the basis of FRCP 24(a)(2).

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Case Summary

In the 1983 case United States v. Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO), the US government sued NIPSCO, a utility company, to obtain a portion of their land in Indiana for the purpose of creating a national park in the Indiana Dunes area. The US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana handled the case. The government filed a notice of condemnation and deposited a compensation amount with the court, while NIPSCO objected to the condemnation.

An environmental group, Save the Dunes Council, attempted to join the case under Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, claiming interest in preserving the area's natural resources. NIPSCO opposed the motion and filed a motion to strike. The court denied the environmental group's request to join and granted NIPSCO's motion to strike, stating that the group did not have a significant interest in the matter and the government already represented their objective of creating a national park. Allowing the group to join would also delay and prejudice NIPSCO's rights.

This case demonstrates how courts apply different jurisdiction and choice of law theories in federal question cases, and how they balance the interests of enforcing federal law while also interpreting and applying civil procedure rules, such as Rule 24 for intervention in civil actions.

ICRAIssue, Conclusion, Rule, Analysis for United States v. Northern Indiana Public Service Co., et al.

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Facts & HoldingUnited States v. Northern Indiana Public Service Co., et al. case brief facts & holding

Facts:The US filed a “Notice of Condemnation” affecting nearly 37...

Holding:The motion to intervene is deniedThe court analyzes the four...

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United States v. Northern Indiana Public Service Co., et al. | Case Brief DeepDive
Majority opinion, author: ALLEN SHARP, Chief Judge.
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The case involves a motion to intervene by Save the Dunes Council under Rule 24 Fed.R.Civ.P. The Council filed a motion to intervene as a plaintiff under Rule 24, and NIPSCO responded with a motion to strike. The court determines timeliness in a Rule 24(a) application from all the circumstances in the exercise of its sound discretion. The Council filed its motion to intervene before the joint motion for dismissal was filed, meeting the first requirement for intervention, timeliness. The Council alleges that it has an environmental interest in preserving and protecting the Indiana Dunes for public use and enjoyment. Cascade Natural Gas Corp. v. El Paso Natural Gas Co. expanded the application of "interest" by holding that a state, a customer, and a competitor all have a sufficient interest to intervene in a government antitrust divestiture proceeding.

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