Case 2:13-cv-00922-WKW-SRW Document 33 Filed 03/31/14 Page 1 of 2

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA NORTHERN DIVISION PAUL HARD, Plaintiff, v. ROBERTY BENTLEY, et al., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

CASE NO. 2:13-CV-922-WKW

ORDER Before the court is Pat Fancher’s Motion to Intervene as a Defendant. (Doc. # 26). No party opposes her motion. (Docs. # 28, 29, 30.) David Fancher was married to Plaintiff Paul Hard in Massachusetts, a jurisdiction recognizing same-sex marriages. David was killed in a car accident, and a wrongful death action related to the accident is pending in this district. Alabama law obligates the administrator of a deceased person’s estate to distribute any damages recovered to the decedent’s next of kin in accordance with Alabama’s law of intestate succession. Under Alabama law, Mr. Hard is not recognized as a surviving spouse, hence, this lawsuit for declaratory and injunctive relief. Movant Pat Fancher is David’s mother and next of kin under Alabama law. If Mr. Hard is successful in this action, Ms. Fancher’s rights to recover any damages fr om the wrongful death suit will be impacted.

Case 2:13-cv-00922-WKW-SRW Document 33 Filed 03/31/14 Page 2 of 2

Rule 24(a) provides that [o]n 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). The motion, filed early in the litigation, is timely. Ms. Fancher has an interest in the ultimate result of this action by virtue of its effect upon the potential distribution of any wrongful death damages. Ms. Fancher is situated so that disposing of this action in Mr. Hard’s favor may impair her ability to protect her interest afforded by Alabama’s wrongful death statute and law s of intestate succession. Other Defendants, namely the Governor, Attorney General, and Montgomery County Probate Judge, may have similar interests in defending Alabama law, but Ms. Fancher contends that their interests are less personal and “far from identical” to hers. (Doc. # 26, at 3.) The court agrees. Moreover, the existing parties do not oppose Ms. Fancher’s intervention. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the motion to intervene (Doc. # 26) is GRANTED. The Clerk of the Court is DIRECTED to add Ms. Fancher to the case as an Intervenor-Defendant. DONE this 31st day of March, 2014. /s/ W. Keith Watkins CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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