Briscoe v. City of New Haven
A litigant's statement that he will not request that the court displace another worker may not be sufficient to protect the legal rights of the other worker, because the litigant lacks the power to make the final decision about what relief will be granted. The plaintiff firefighter, Michael Briscoe, filed a civil-rights suit against the City of New Haven, alleging its promotional practices had an impermissible, disparate impact on African-American workers. In October 2012, the District Court granted intervenor status to other firefighters who work for the City of New Haven. Michael Briscoe filed a motion for reconsideration and asked the District Court to deny intervenor status to Matthew Marcarelli. Briscoe's motion claimed that Briscoe will not request that the court place Briscoe in a position that will displace Marcarelli, who serves as the director of training. Marcarelli objected. The District Court found that Briscoe's statement that he will not attempt to displace Marcarelli is insufficient to protect Marcarelli's interests. Briscoe lacks the power to make the final decision about what relief will be granted, in the event that the District Court rules in his favor. "A mere statement by a party of its intentions," wrote the District Court, "does not constitute a guarantee that relief that might be within the pleadings will not be awarded." The District Court denied Briscoe's motion for reconsideration.