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Platinum Financial Trust LLC v. Carter

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

June 14, 2017

PLATINUM FINANCIAL TRUST LLC and PLATINUM AUTO FUNDING LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
DOUGLAS CARTER, in his official capacity as the Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, TERRY CURRY, in his official capacity as the Prosecutor of Marion County, Indiana, and JOHN R. LAYTON, in his official capacity as the Marion County Sheriff, Defendants,
v.
ALLY FINANCIAL Intervenor Defendant.

          ORDER

          HON. JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Presently pending before this Court are two motions-a Motion to Intervene, filed by Intervenor Defendant Ally Financial, Inc. (“Ally”), [Filing No. 20], and a Joint Motion to Stay Proceedings filed by Platinum Financial Trust LLC (“Platinum Financial”), Platinum Auto Funding LLC (”Platinum Funding”), and Ally, [Filing No. 30].

         I.

         Background

         On January 10, 2017, Platinum Financial and Platinum Funding filed a complaint for injunctive relief and damages against Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, and Marion County Sheriff John R. Layton, each in his official capacity. [Filing No. 1.] Platinum Financial and Platinum Funding allege that they were deprived of their rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments when the Indiana State Police and the Johnson County Sheriff's Department seized several motor vehicles (the “Vehicles”) from their property. [Filing No. 1 at 4-6.] Platinum Financial and Platinum Funding also state that “[o]n February 26, 2016, a complaint was filed in Johnson County Superior Court . . . seeking to quiet title for the [V]ehicles and for declaratory judgment.” [Filing No. 1 at 4.]

         On February 8, 2017, Ally Filed a Motion to Intervene pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 24. [Filing No. 20.] Ally-“an auto finance company that is in the business of indirectly financing the purchase or lease of automobiles”-alleges that it maintains a first priority security interest in twelve of the Vehicles. [Filing No. 21 at 2-3.]

         On March 24, 2017, Platinum Financial, Platinum Funding, and Ally filed a Joint Motion to Stay Proceedings. [Filing No. 30.] This Motion is opposed by Superintendent Carter and Prosecutor Curry, [Filing No. 35], as well as Sheriff Layton, [Filing No. 37].

         Both Motions are now ripe for review and the Court will consider and rule upon each in turn.

         II.

         Discussion

         A. Ally's Motion to Intervene [Filing No. 20]

         In support of its Motion to Intervene, Ally contends that it is party to two suits in state court involving the Vehicles. First, Ally is one of the defendants in Platinum Financial and Platinum Funding's Johnson County suit “to determine each Party's rights to the [V]ehicles.” [Filing No. 21 at 2.] Second, prior to Platinum Financial and Platinum Funding allegedly purchasing an interest in the Vehicles, Ally filed suit in Marion County seeking to establish, among other things, its superior title to the Vehicles and its right to possess the same. [Filing No. 21 at 2-3.] Ally argues that it is entitled to Intervene as of Right pursuant to FRCP 24(a)(2) because: (1) its Motion is timely; (2) it has an interest related to the subject matter of the case by claiming superior interests and rights in the Vehicles; (3) it risks impairment of its interests and rights in the Vehicles if Platinum Financial and Platinum Funding are granted possession and control of the Vehicles; and (4) it is not represented by any of the current parties in the case. [Filing No. 21 at 7.] In the alternative, Ally argues that it should be granted permissive intervention pursuant to FRCP 24(b)(1) because its interest in the Vehicles represents a common question of law or fact and intervention will neither delay nor otherwise prejudice the adjudication. [Filing No. 21 at 7-8.]

         Neither the Plaintiffs nor the Defendants responded to Ally's Motion to Intervene.

         FRCP 24(a)(2) provides that on a timely motion, the Court mu st permit anyone to intervene who “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)(2). “The proposed intervenor has the burden of proving each element, and lack of even one ...


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