United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
PARKWEST DEVELOPMENT, LLC, a Michigan limited liability company, Plaintiff,
SHIEKH ELLAHI, individually, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO INTERVENE (DOC.
CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Parkwest Development, LLC (“Parkwest”) filed this
action against Shiekh Ellahi to recover for breach of a
lease. Non-party Sheikh Shoes, LLC, filed a motion to
intervene, contending that Ellahi assigned the lease to it
and that it has a damages claim against Parkwest. Having
reviewed the parties' submissions, the court finds that
the disposition of this matter would not be aided by oral
argument. For the reasons explained below, Shiekh Shoes'
motion is granted.
and Ellahi entered into a commercial lease on July 1, 2012,
for property in Detroit, Michigan. Parkwest alleges that
Ellahi “deserted” the leased property in May 2016
and has failed to pay past due rent as well as rent accruing
until the end of the lease term in 2022. Parkwest filed its
initial complaint against Ellahi on February 1, 2018, and an
amended complaint on March 13, 2018. In the amended
complaint, Parkwest asserts claims for breach of lease,
promissory estoppel, and account stated. Parkwest seeks $348,
300 in damages.
answer to the complaint, Ellahi contends that he is not
liable under the lease because he assigned the lease to
Shiekh Shoes on January 1, 2014. See Pl.'s Ex. 4
(Assignment and Assumption Agreement). Shiekh Shoes operated
a retail shoe business at the leased property from January
2014 until May 2016. According to Shiekh Shoes, the store was
damaged in January 2016 when individuals attempting to access
a neighboring store broke in and destroyed a wall. Shiekh
Shoes contends that Parkwest is in breach of the lease
because it refused to repair or pay for the damage. Shiekh
Shoes asserts that, as a result of Parkwest's breach, it
was unable to operate its business and has suffered damages.
Shoes seeks to intervene as of right pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 24(a), which provides:
On timely motion, the court must permit anyone to
(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
that interest, unless existing parties adequately represent
Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a)(2) (emphasis added).
intervene as a matter of right, proposed intervenors must
establish the following elements: “(1) that the motion
to intervene was timely; (2) that they have a substantial
legal interest in the subject matter of the case; (3) that
their ability to protect that interest may be impaired in the
absence of intervention; and (4) that the parties already
before the court may not adequately represent their
interest.” Grutter v. Bollinger, 188 F.3d 394,
397-98 (6th Cir. 1999).
parties do not dispute that Shiekh Shoes' motion to
intervene is timely; the motion was filed May 1, 2018, within
a relatively short time after Ellahi filed his answer on
March 27, 2018, and the parties submitted their Rule 26(f)
discovery plan on April 24, 2018. Under the circumstances,
the court agrees that the motion is timely.
main point of contention is whether Shiekh Shoes has a
“substantial legal interest” in this case.
Although “there is no clear definition of what
constitutes a litigable ‘interest' for purposes of
intervention, ” Purnell v. City of Akron, 925
F.2d 941, 947 (1991), the Sixth Circuit “has opted for
a rather expansive notion of the interest sufficient to
invoke intervention as of right.” Michigan State
AFL-CIO v. Miller, 103 F.3d 1240, 1245 (6th Cir. 1997).
For example, “an intervenor need not have the same
standing necessary to initiate a lawsuit.” Id.
(citation omitted). The “interest” test “is
primarily a practical guide to disposing of lawsuits by
involving as many apparently concerned persons as ...