Rule 24. Intervention

Advisory Commission Comments to Rules 24.01-24.05

Advisory Commission Comments

24.01. By statute, persons not made parties to a suit, but who have an interest in the matter at issue, can intervene in the suit as a matter of right in a number of situations (e.g., person interested in property which is subject of a suit to recover property (Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-1-115); person interested in property which is subject of eminent domain proceeding (Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-17-610). Rule 24.01 preserves all statutory rights of intervention, and adds the grounds set out in clauses (2) and (3) of the Rule.

24.02Rule 24.02 preserves all statutory conditional rights of intervention and adds the right to intervene when the applicant’s claim or defense and the main action have a common question of law or fact. Original parties are protected against undue delay or prejudice by empowering the court to deny intervention where necessary to protect these parties.

24.03. Rule 24.03 establishes a uniform procedure for intervention in all cases. If any prior statute specifies a different procedure, the provisions of the Rule will prevail.

24.04. When a declaratory judgment is sought to declare a statute, ordinance, or franchise of statewide effect unconstitutional, it is necessary to serve the Attorney General with a copy of the proceeding and to afford him or her a chance to be heard (Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-14-107(b)). The object of the statute is to protect the public’s interest in the result of the suit [Cummins v. Shipp, 156 Tenn. 595, 38 S.W.2d 1062 (1928)].

Rule 24.04 extends this protection to actions of any type. If the Attorney General feels that the State’s interest so requires, he or she will be in a position to intervene or take other appropriate action.

Advisory Commission Comment [2018]

The 2018 amendment adds subsection 24.05, which, in conjunction with the changes to Rule 54, Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rules 3 and 4, Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, provides for appeal as of right from a trial court’s order granting or denying a motion to intervene. Effectively, July 1, 2018, any order granting or denying a motion to intervene shall be a final judgment, and a timely appeal of that final judgment shall be the only method to appeal the grant or denial of a motion to intervene. The 2018 amendment also makes terminological updates, substituting the term “motion” for the prior term “application” and the term “movant” for applicant throughout the rule (for consistency with Tennessee Civil Procedure Rule 7 terminology).


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