Second Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Intervention in TCA Case, Citing Adequate Representation and Avoidance of Delay

This post was authored by Amy Lavine, Esq.

in Extenet Systems, LLC v. Village of Kings Pointthe Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of eight residents’ motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by ExteNet against the village for violations of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

The court rejected the residents’ claims that intervention was necessary to protect their properties from the alleged aesthetic and economic impacts that would be caused by the installation of wireless cellular equipment on nearby properties. As the court explained, it was reasonable for the district court to conclude that the residents’ interests could be adequately represented by the village because the residents and the village shared “an identity of interests” in the outcome of the litigation. To overcome this identity of interest, the residents would have needed to seize the presumption of adequate representation, which might be shown by evidence of “collusion, adversity of interest, nonfeasance, or incompetence.” On the record before the court, it was found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the residents had not provided any such evidence to seize their identity of interest with the village, nor was it an error for the district court to determine that granting intervention “would not significantly contribute to the development of the underlying factual issues in the suit or the just adjudication of the relevant legal questions.”

In addition, the court found that the district court reasonably concluded that permitting intervention would prejudice ExteNet by unduly delaying the resolution of its claims, which were to be decided “on an expedited basis” under the Telecommunications Act.

Extenet Sys., LLC v. vill. of Kings Point2023 WL 4044076 (2d Cir 6/16/23).