42 U.S. Code § 1997c - Intervention in actions

(a) Discretionary authority of Attorney General; preconditions; time period
(1) Whenever an action has been commenced in any court of the United States seeking relief from egregious or flagrant conditions which deprive persons residing in institutions of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States causing them to suffer grievous harm and the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that such deprivation is pursuant to a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of such rights, privileges, or immunities, the Attorney General, for or in the name of the United States, may intervene in such action upon motion by the Attorney General.
(2) The Attorney General shall not file a motion to intervene under paragraph (1) before 90 days after the commencement of the action, except that if the court determines it would be in the interests of justice, the court may shorten or waive the time period.
(b) Certification requirements by Attorney General
(1) The Attorney General shall certify to the court in the motion to intervene filed under subsection (a) of this section—
(A) that the Attorney General has notified in writing, at least fifteen days previously, the Governor or chief executive officer, attorney general or chief legal officer of the appropriate State or political subdivision, and the director of the institution of—
(i) the alleged conditions which deprive rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States and the alleged pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of such rights, privileges, or immunities;
(ii) the supporting facts giving rise to the alleged conditions, including the dates and time period during which the alleged conditions and pattern or practice of resistance occurred; and
(iii) to the extent feasible and consistent with the interests of other plaintiffs, the minimum measures which the Attorney General believes may remedy the alleged conditions and the alleged pattern or practice of resistance; and
(B) that the Attorney General believes that such intervention by the United States is of general public importance and will materially further the vindication of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
(2) The Attorney General shall personally sign any certification made pursuant to this section.
(c) Attorney General to personally sign motion to intervene
The Attorney General shall personally sign any motion to intervene made pursuant to this section.
(d) Discretionary award of attorney fees; other award provisions unaffected
In any action in which the United States joins as an intervenor under this section, the court may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee against the United States as part of the costs. Nothing in this subsection precludes the award of attorney’s fees available under any other provisions of the United States Code.

Source

(Pub. L. 96–247, § 5,May 23, 1980, 94 Stat. 351; Pub. L. 104–134, title I, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 803(c)], Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321, 1321–71; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 104–140, § 1(a),May 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 1327.)
Amendments

1996—Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 803(c)(1)(A)], substituted “the Attorney General” for “he” in introductory provisions and in cl. (iii).
Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 803(c)(1)(A)], substituted “the Attorney General” for “he”.
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 803(c)(1)(B)], amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “Any certification made by the Attorney General pursuant to this subsection shall be personally signed by him.”
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 803(c)(2)], amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “Any motion to intervene made by the Attorney General pursuant to this section shall be personally signed by him.”

 

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