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Marino v. Ortiz

U.S.
Jan 13, 1988
484 U.S. 301 (1988)

Summary

holding that “when nonparty has an interest that is affected by the trial court's judgment ... the better practice is for such a nonparty to seek intervention for purposes of appeal” because “only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment”

Summary of this case from United States ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of N.Y., N.Y.

Opinion

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

No. 86-1415.

Argued November 30, 1987 Decided January 13, 1988

Together with Costello et al. v. New York City Police Department et al., also on certiorari to the same court (see this Court's Rule 19.4).

The New York City Police Department and groups representing various of its minority officers reached a settlement of the groups' employment discrimination suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which settlement was first approved by the District Court on an interim basis and, finally, after a hearing, by consent decree. Although petitioners — a group of white officers claiming to be adversely affected by the settlement — presented their objections at the hearing, they chose not to move to intervene either initially as codefendants or later for purposes of appeal, but instead filed suit during the period between the interim approval of the settlement and the final consent decree, claiming a violation of their Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights. In the Marino case, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's dismissal of petitioners' suit, deeming it an impermissible collateral attack on a consent decree by persons who could have intervened in the underlying litigation. In the Costello case, the Court of Appeals dismissed petitioners' attempt to appeal from the consent decree because they were not parties to the litigation giving rise to the decree.

Held:

1. Insofar as the Court of Appeals' Marino judgment affirmed the District Court's dismissal of petitioners' suit as an impermissible collateral attack by nonparties, that judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.

2. As to the issue raised in Costello, the well-settled general rule that only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment prohibits petitioners from appealing from the consent decree approving the settlement of the underlying Title VII action. Despite the Court of Appeals' suggestion that an exception to the general rule may exist when a nonparty has an interest that is affected by the trial court's judgment, the better practice is for the nonparty to seek intervention for purposes of appeal.

806 F.2d 1144 and 806 F.2d 1147, affirmed.

Ronald Podolsky argued the cause and filed briefs for petitioners.

Glen D. Nager argued the cause pro hac vice for the United States as amicus curiae. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Fried, Assistant Attorney General Reynolds, Deputy Solicitor General Ayer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Clegg, David K. Flynn, and Dennis J. Dimsey.

Leonard J. Koerner argued the cause for respondents and filed a brief for respondent New York City. With him on the brief were Peter L. Zimroth and Elizabeth Dvorkin. Robert David Goodstein and Eileen West filed a brief for respondent Guardians Association of the Police Department of the City of New York, Inc. Kenneth Kimerling filed a brief for respondents Hispanic Society et al. Richard K. Walker filed a brief for respondent Sergeants Benevolent Association of the City of New York.

Benjamin Vinar filed a brief for Dov Hikind et al. as amici curiae urging reversal.
Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the city of Birmingham, Alabama, by James P. Alexander, Robert K. Spotswood, and James K. Baker; for the National League of Cities et al. by Benna Ruth Solomon, Joyce Holmes Benjamin, Beate Bloch, Barbara E. Etkind, Rebecca L. Ross, and Todd D. Peterson; for the Equal Employment Advisory Council by Robert E. Williams and Douglas S. McDowell; and for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law by Paul C. Saunders, Thomas D. Barr, Robert D. Joffe, Robert F. Mullen, Conrad K. Harper, Stuart J. Land, Norman Redlich, William L. Robinson, Judith A. Winston, Richard T. Seymour, and Stephen L. Spitz.



Petitioners seek to challenge a consent decree approving an agreement settling a Title VII lawsuit against the City of New York. After the results of a police sergeant's examination revealed that blacks and Hispanics had passed the examination at disproportionately low rates, groups representing these minority members of the New York City Police Department sued the Department under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 253, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Three other groups were permitted to intervene as codefendants: "the Sergeants Benevolent Association (`SBA'), representing over 500 officers on the eligible list who had obtained provisional appointments as sergeants; the Sergeants Eligibles Association (`SEA'), representing officers who were on the eligible list but had not received provisional appointments; and various white ethnic societies and other individual officers (the `Schneider Intervenors')." Hispanic Society of New York City Police Dept. v. New York City Police Dept., 806 F.2d 1147, 1151 (CA2 1986) ( Costello case below). The parties reached settlement, which was first approved by the District Court on an interim basis, and finally, after a hearing, by consent decree. The settlement provided that black and Hispanic candidates who had failed to make the eligible list would be promoted until the racial/ethnic composition of the new sergeants was approximately the same as the racial/ethnic composition of the group of candidates taking the test. The SBA and the SEA signed the agreement; the Schneider Intervenors, although opposing the settlement, chose not to appeal.

Petitioners are a group of white police officers who claim that they were not placed on the eligible list even though they had scored at least as high on the examination as the lowest scoring minority officer promoted under the interim order. Although they presented their objections to the District Court at the hearing, they chose not to move to intervene pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24, either initially as codefendants or later to replace the Schneider Intervenors for purposes of appeal. See United Airlines, Inc. v. McDonald, 432 U.S. 385, 395 (1977). Instead, they filed suit during the period between the interim approval of the settlement and the final consent decree, claiming a violation of their Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights. In 806 F.2d 1144 (CA2 1986) ( Marino case below), the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's dismissal of petitioners' suit, deeming it an impermissible collateral attack on a consent decree by persons who could have intervened in the underlying litigation. Petitioners also attempted to appeal from the consent decree. In Costello, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal because petitioners were not parties to the litigation giving rise to the consent decree. 806 F.2d 1147 (CA2 1986). We granted certiorari to consider these judgments, 481 U.S. 1047 (1987).

As to the issue raised in Marino, namely, whether a district court may dismiss as an impermissible collateral attack a lawsuit challenging a consent decree by nonparties to the underlying litigation, we are equally divided, and therefore affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals. As to the issue raised in Costello, we hold that because petitioners were not parties to the underlying lawsuit, and because they failed to intervene for purposes of appeal, they may not appeal from the consent decree approving that lawsuit's settlement; therefore, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals. The rule that only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment, is well settled. See, e. g., United States ex rel. Louisiana v. Jack, 244 U.S. 397, 402 (1917); Fed. Rule App. Proc. 3(c) ("The notice of appeal shall specify the party or parties taking the appeal"). The Court of Appeals suggested that there may be exceptions to this general rule, primarily "when the nonparty has an interest that is affected by the trial court's judgment." 806 F.2d, at 1152. We think the better practice is for such a nonparty to seek intervention for purposes of appeal; denials of such motions are, of course, appealable. See United Airlines, Inc., supra.

Accordingly, the judgments of the Court of Appeals are

Affirmed.


Summaries of

Marino v. Ortiz

U.S.
Jan 13, 1988
484 U.S. 301 (1988)

holding that “when nonparty has an interest that is affected by the trial court's judgment ... the better practice is for such a nonparty to seek intervention for purposes of appeal” because “only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment”

Summary of this case from United States ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of N.Y., N.Y.

holding that "when nonparty has an interest that is affected by the trial court’s judgment," "the better practice is for such a nonparty to seek intervention for purposes of appeal" because "only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment"

Summary of this case from United States v. Whyte

holding that petitioners did not have standing to appeal from the consent decree because they were not parties to the litigation giving rise to the decree

Summary of this case from Keith v. Volpe

holding that "when nonparty has an interest that is affected by the trial court's judgment ... the better practice is for such a nonparty to seek intervention for purposes of appeal" because "only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment"

Summary of this case from United States ex rel. JKJ P'ship 2011, LLP v. Sanofi Aventis,U.S., LLC (In re Plavix Mktg., Sales Practices & Prods. Liab. Litig.)

holding "only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment"

Summary of this case from Fulbright v. Jones

holding that petitioners who failed to intervene and who were not parties to litigation lacked standing to appeal the settlement

Summary of this case from In re Uponor, Inc., F1807 Plumbing Fittings Prods. Liab. Litig.

holding that to have standing to appeal, nonparties must move to intervene

Summary of this case from In re Enron Corp. Securities

holding that, under the federal rules of procedure, nonparties aggrieved by a judgment should seek intervention for purposes of appeal, in the trial court, prior to filing an appeal

Summary of this case from Stas v. Posada

affirming judgments dismissing appeals of nonparties because of nonparty status

Summary of this case from Securities and Exchange Commission v. Black

affirming dismissal of petitioner's suit as impermissible attack by non-parties because the "better practice is for such a nonparty to seek intervention for purposes of appeal"

Summary of this case from Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Bolger

affirming the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit's holding that "a district court may dismiss as an impermissible collateral attack a lawsuit challenging a consent decree by nonparties to the underlying litigation"

Summary of this case from Wheeler Peak, LLC v. L.C.I.2, Inc.

rejecting application of an exception for persons whose interests are affected by a judgment and stating that "the better practice is for such a non-party to seek intervention for purposes of appeal"

Summary of this case from San Juan v. Meridian

recognizing that a non-party may intervene for the limited purpose of taking an appeal

Summary of this case from Clarke v. Baptist Mem'l Healthcare Corp.

noting that “denials of [motions to intervene] are, of course, appealable”

Summary of this case from United States ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of N.Y., N.Y.

noting that if a nonparty "has an interest that is affected by" a district-court ruling, "the better practice is for such a nonparty to seek intervention for purposes of appeal," with denials of such motions being appealable

Summary of this case from Douglas v. W. Union Co.

describing this rule as "well settled"

Summary of this case from CalMat Co. v. Oldcastle Precast, Inc.

noting that the "better practice" is for nonparty to seek intervention

Summary of this case from Sky Cable, LLC v. DirecTV, Inc.

In Marino, petitioners, a group of individuals who claimed to have been adversely affected by a settlement in an employment discrimination case, chose not to intervene in the district court proceedings.

Summary of this case from Aurelius Capital v. Rep. of Argentina

In Marino, the Supreme Court held that "only parties to a lawsuit, or those that properly become parties, may appeal an adverse judgment.

Summary of this case from Plain v. Murphy Family Farms

In Marino, the Supreme Court addressed in a non-class action whether police officers who were not parties could challenge a consent decree settling a Title VII lawsuit against the City of New York where the officers had objected to the settlement at the fairness hearing but had not moved to intervene either on appeal or before the district court.

Summary of this case from Scardelletti v. Debarr

In Marino, two independent minority groups brought Title VII actions against the City of New York alleging that the New York City Police Department's police sergeant examination was discriminatory.

Summary of this case from Powers v. Eichen

In Marino, the Supreme Court reviewed our decision in Hispanic Society, an employment discrimination case in which an examination for Sergeant in the New York City Police Department was challenged as having a disparate impact on blacks and Hispanics.

Summary of this case from Kaplan v. Rand

In Marino v. Ortiz, 484 U.S. 301 (1988) (per curiam), which involved a challenge to a consent decree approving settlement of a Title VII lawsuit against the City of New York, the petitioners appeared at the hearing in which the settlement was approved.

Summary of this case from New York v. Reebok International Ltd.

In Marino, the Supreme Court stated that nonparties, to have standing to appeal, must intervene; merely having an interest in the outcome of the litigation was insufficient to confer standing upon them. Marino, 484 U.S. at 304, 108 S.Ct. at 588.

Summary of this case from Shults v. Champion Intern. Corp.

In Marino, the Supreme Court concluded that individuals who were nonparties and who chose not to intervene in a class action could not later appeal the final judgment in that action.

Summary of this case from Walker v. City of Mesquite
Case details for

Marino v. Ortiz

Case Details

Full title:MARINO ET AL. v . ORTIZ ET AL

Court:U.S.

Date published: Jan 13, 1988

Citations

484 U.S. 301 (1988)
108 S. Ct. 586

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