Ark. R. Civ. P. 24
Reporter's Notes to Rule 24:
1. Generally speaking, the question of whether to allow an intervention has rested in the discretion of the trial court. There are situations, however, under prior Arkansas law where an intervention has been allowed as a matter of right. Ark. Stat. Ann. § 31-157 (Repl. 1962) permits a person contesting the validity of an attachment or claiming an interest in attached property to intervene to assert his rights. That statute seems to suggest that an intervention is allowed as a matter of right once the proper interest is shown in the subject matter. Lawrence v. Ford Motor Credit Co., 247 Ark. 1125, 449 S.W.2d 695 (1970). Likewise, Ark. Stat. Ann. § 34-1809 (Repl. 1962), provides that upon proper showing, a party claiming an interest in property about to be sold at a partition sale can intervene in that action, with the implication that such right is unconditional. Also, Ark. Stat. Ann. § 81-1340(a) (Repl. 1962), seems to suggest that a workmen's compensation carrier has the unconditional right to intervene in an action brought by an injured employee against a third party. Thus, there are at least three situations where the right to intervene is granted by statute as contemplated by Rule 24(a)(1).
2. The Arkansas Supreme Court has held that intervention is not a common law right, but is instead based upon the principle that a party should be permitted to do that voluntarily which, if known, a court would require to be done. Board of Directors of St. Francis Levee Dist. v. Raney, 190 Ark. 75, 76 S.W.2d 311 (1934). Accordingly, the court has followed the general rule that only necessary parties could intervene as a matter of right, while permitting the trial court to exercise its discretion in deciding whether others could intervene. Pulaski County Bd. of Eq. v. American Republic Life Ins. Co.,Ark. 124, 342 S.W.2d 660 (1961). Section (a)(2) of this rule suggests, however, that an intervention as a matter of right may not be limited to those persons who have been traditionally considered as "necessary" parties.
3. Section (b) does not appear to change to any appreciable degree prior Arkansas law concerning permissive interventions. As noted herein, the question of permitting persons other than those mentioned in Section (a) to intervene rests in the sound discretion of the trial court. Thus, Section (b), does not work any changes in prior law.