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Conway v. Purves

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 13, 2015

CHARLES CONWAY, ANTONIO HUDSON, JOSE RODRIGUEZ, and JEFFREY BROWN, Plaintiffs,
v.
BRAD PURVES, DON SPAULDING, GLEN KUSEY, LLOYD RAPELJE, DANIEL H. HEYNS, DENNIS STRAUB, MITCH PERRY, JEFFREY LARSON, TOM BURKETT, CATHERINE S. BAUMAN, RICC RICCIARDI, and UNIDENTIFIED DEFENDANTS NOS. 1-3, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MU'EEM RASHAD'S MOTION TO INTERVENE (ECF NO. 81)

LINDA V. PARKER, District Judge.

This lawsuit challenges the nutritional adequacy of the meals provided to Michigan Department of Corrections' prisoners during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Presently before the Court is a motion for leave to intervene, filed July 25, 2014 by "Mu'eem Rashad" ("Rashad"). (ECF No. 81.) Rashad is a Michigan Department of Corrections ("MDOC") inmate, currently incarcerated at the Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan.[1] For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Rashad's motion.

Background

Charles Conway ("Conway"), another MDOC prisoner, initiated this lawsuit, pro se, on January 22, 2013. Conway named as defendants: MDOC Central Office Food Service Program Manager Brad Purves; MDOC Food Service Director Don Spaulding; MDOC Food Service Worker Glenn Kusey; and Lloyd Rapelje, Warden of the Saginaw Correctional Facility ("SRF") where Conway was then incarcerated. Conway subsequently obtained counsel to represent him in this matter and Lena Masri from the Council on American-Islamic Relations entered her appearance on his behalf on April 23, 2014. On May 3, 2013, attorneys from the law firm Akeel & Valentine, PLC entered the litigation as co-counsel for Conway.

On June 20, 2013, an Amended Complaint was filed which added three additional MDOC inmates as plaintiffs: Antonio Hudson (previously an inmate at MDOC's Newberry Correctional Facility but currently housed at the West Shoreline Correctional Facility), Jose Rodriguez (subsequently paroled on May 28, 2014), and Jeffrey Brown (previously an inmate at MDOC's Alger Correctional Facility, but subsequently transferred to its Chippewa Correctional Facility) (hereafter collectively referred to, with Conway, as "Plaintiffs"). Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint named ten additional defendants: MDOC Director Daniel H. Heyns; MDOC Correctional Facilities Administration Deputy Director Dennis Straub; Tom Burkett, former Warden of MDOC's Central Michigan Correctional Facility ("STF") (where Rodriguez was then housed); Mitch Perry, Warden of MDOC's Newberry Correctional Facility (where Hudson was then housed); Jeffrey Larson, then the current STF Warden; Catherine S. Bauman, Warden of MDOC's Alger Correctional Facility ("LMF") (where Brown was then housed); LMF Food Service Director Ricciardi; and three unidentified defendants.

As indicated, the pending motion for leave to intervene, which Rashad signed and dated July 22, 2014, was filed on July 25, 2014. Rashad seeks leave to intervene pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a).

Applicable Law

Rule 24(a) provides:

(a) Intervention of Right. On timely motion, the court must permit anyone to intervene who:
(1) is given an unconditional right to intervene by a federal statute; or
(2) claims an interest relating to the property or transaction that is the subject of the action, and is so situated that disposing of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the movant's ability to protect its interest, unless existing parties adequately represent that interest.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 24. A motion to intervene "must state the grounds for intervention and be accompanied by a pleading that sets out the claim or defense for which intervention is sought." Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(c).

The Sixth Circuit interprets Rule 24(a) as setting forth four elements which must be satisfied before intervention as of right will be granted:

"(1) timeliness of the application to intervene, (2) the applicant's substantial legal interest in the case, (3) impairment of the applicant's ability to protect that interest in the absence of intervention, and (4) inadequate ...

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