Case Caption: In the Matter of Q.G., a minorCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0099Date: 02/28/2014Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: Summary:

After the mother of a young child was taken into custody pursuant to a warrant issued by the State of California and the child was placed with the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services on an emergency basis, the Superior Court erred in proceedings relating to custody by summarily denying a motion by the child's grandfather to intervene. Meaningful appellate review is impossible when the court fails to explain the reasons for its actions, and this error was not cured by the Superior Court's subsequent Rule 4(f) submission explaining its reasoning, because it failed to apply the four factors prescribed by case law governing intervention motions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2), focusing upon whether the movant has established that the application for intervention is timely, the applicant has a sufficient interest in the litigation, which may be affected or impaired as a practical matter by disposition of the action, and the interest is not adequately represented by an existing party in the litigation. Despite the Superior Court's errors in acting summarily and failing to apply the proper legal standard, those errors are harmless in this case because the grandfather failed to meet his burden on the motion of showing he was entitled to intervene as of right under all four of the applicable factors. Therefore, the October 28, 2013 Order denying the grandfather's motion to intervene is affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion