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Civil Procedure: Rule 19 - Intervention

RULE 19
Intervention

Section 1. Who may intervene. — A person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof may, with leave of court, be allowed to intervene in the action. The court shall consider whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties, and whether or not the intervenor's rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding. 

Section 2. Time to intervene. — The motion to intervene may be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the trial court. A copy of the pleading-in-intervention shall be attached to the motion and served on the original parties. 

Section 3. Pleadings-in-intervention. — The intervenor shall file a complaint-in-intervention if he asserts a claim against either or all of the original parties, or an answer-in-intervention if he unites with the defending party in resisting a claim against the latter.

Section 4. Answer to complaint-in-intervention. — The answer to the complaint-in-intervention shall be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice of the order admitting the same, unless a different period is fixed by the court. (Rules of Court)


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What is intervention?

Intervention is a proceeding in a suit or action by which a third person is permitted by the court to make himself a party, either joining plaintiff in claiming what is sought by the complaint, or uniting with defendant in resisting the claims of plaintiff, or demanding something adversely to both of them; the act or proceeding by which a third person becomes a party in a suit pending between others; the admission, by leave of court, of a person not an original party to pending legal proceedings, by which such person becomes a party thereto for the protection of some right of interest alleged by him to be affected by such proceedings. (Metropolitan Bank vs. Presiding Judge, G.R. No. 89909 September 21, 1990)

Intervention is a remedy by which a third party, not originally impleaded in the proceedings, becomes a litigant therein to enable him, her or it to protect or preserve a right or interest which may be affected by such proceedings. (Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation vs. DOTC, G.R. No. 169914, March 24, 2008)


When is intervention allowed? 

The motion to intervene may be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the trial court. (Rule 19, Sec. 2) 


Who may intervene?

1.  One who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation;

2.  One who has a legal interest in the success of either of the parties;

3.  One who has a legal interest against both parties; or

4.  One who is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof


● As regards the legal interest as qualifying factor, this Court has ruled that such interest must be of a direct and immediate character so that the intervenor will either gain or lose by the direct legal operation of the judgment. The interest must be actual and material, a concern which is more than mere curiosity, or academic or sentimental desire; it must not be indirect and contingent, indirect and remote, conjectural, consequential or collateral. (Ongco vs. Dalisay, G.R. No. 190810, July 18, 2012)

● The interest contemplated by law must be actual, substantial, material, direct and immediate, and not simply contingent or expectant. It must be of such direct and immediate character that the intervenor will either gain or lose by the direct legal operation and effect of the judgment. Otherwise, if persons not parties to the action were allowed to intervene, proceedings would become unnecessarily complicated, expensive and interminable. (Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority vs. Heirs of Mioza, G.R. No. 186045, February 2, 2011)


Is intervention a matter of right?

● No. It is settled that the right to intervene is not an absolute right; it may only be permitted by the courts when the movant establishes facts which satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing it. (Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation vs. DOTC)

● Intervention is not a matter of right but may be permitted by the courts only when the statutory conditions for the right to intervene are shown. Thus, the allowance or disallowance of a motion to intervene is addressed to the sound discretion of the court. (Ongco vs. Dalisay)


What are the requisites for intervention? What are the factors considered in allowing intervention?

In outline form, the following are the requisites for intervention of a non-party:

1. Legal interest

(a) in the matter in controversy; or
(b) in the success of either of the parties; or
(c) against both parties; or
(d) person is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer thereof;

2. Intervention will not unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of rights of original parties;

3. Intervenor's rights may not be fully protected in a separate proceeding.  (Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation vs. DOTC)


● It can be readily seen that intervention is not a matter of right, but is left to the trial court's sound discretion. The trial court must not only determine if the requisite legal interest is present, but also take into consideration the delay and the consequent prejudice to the original parties that the intervention will cause. Both requirements must concur, as the first requirement on legal interest is not more important than the second requirement that no delay and prejudice should result. (Ongco vs. Dalisay)

● Notwithstanding the presence of a legal interest, permission to intervene is subject to the sound discretion of the court, the exercise of which is limited by considering "whether or not the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties and whether or not the intervenor's rights may be fully protected in a separate proceeding. (Ongco vs. Dalisay)


What is the procedure for intervention?

1. The intervenor shall file a motion for intervention with leave of court attaching thereto his pleading-in-intervention. The pleading to be filed depends upon the purpose of the intervention. If the purpose is to assert a claim against either or all of the original parties, the pleading shall be called a complaint-in-intervention; if the pleadings seek to unite with the defending party in resisting a claim against the latter, he shall file an answer-in-intervention;

2. The motion and the pleading shall be served upon the original parties;

3. The answer to the complaint-in-intervention shall be filed within fifteen (15) days from notice of the order admitting the same, unless a different period is fixed by the courts.

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