Just in today — the “Second Order of Intervention” granting Concerned River Valley Citizens Intervention status:


And check this Memorandum, which simply must be read in its entirety to appreciate:

Because of the concerns Concerned River Valley Citizens (“CRVC”) raised in its filings as to the extent of public participation if its motion for intervention as a party were not granted, a few points deserve special emphasis.

It bears noting that while the Administrative Law Judge had concerns as to who might make an appearance on behalf of CRVC in these proceedings there was never a serious question as to whether, as an association of affected landowners, CRVC had a legal right to raise questions or be heard as to the proposed project. Similarly, there was never a risk that the views of CRVC would not be sought, or integrated in a meaningful way, into hearing record. Likewise, it is free from doubt that Mr. Neuman, Ms. Johnson or other affected landowners, could have intervened in their individual capacity, without counsel. The fact is that our system of due process delights in the contributions that genuinely motivated parties make toward building a record for later decision-making.

The much narrower item of concern for the Administrative Law Judge was whether Mr. Neuman or Ms. Johnson, neither of whom are attorneys, could permissibly make an appearance on behalf of CRVC – which is a corporate entity. The general, and more familiar rule, is that a corporation must be represented by an attorney in legal proceedings.

There is, however, an important exception to this general rule. The predecessor Environmental Quality Board2 had a specific representation rule for proceedings “involving … the routing of high voltage transmission lines” that is more generous and permissive than both the common law rule and the representation rule for contested cases under the Minnesota Administrative rocedures Act. Rule 1405.0600 permits “all persons” to be “represented by legal counsel, or by a person of their choice, or they may represent themselves.”  Under these same rules, the definition of “person” is broad enough to include corporate entities such as CRVC. 

Because of these more generous rules, which are specific to these proceedings, granting CRVC’s request as it was submitted by its chosen representatives, is appropriate.

One Response to “Hot off press – CRVC granted Intervention”

  1. Legalectric » Blog Archive » Another outrageous ALJ Order Says:

    […] that he and the other Intervenors could not speak at a public hearing! I’m remembering the ALJ’s Order that CRVC explain just exactly why their representing themselves was not unauthori… (Here’s another post on that). And I’m remembering David Ludwig of the PSC essentially […]

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