(a) Intervention of Right. Upon timely application anyone shall be permitted to intervene in an action: (1) when a statute confers an unconditional right to intervene; or (2) when the applicant claims an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action and he is so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede his ability to protect that interest, unless the applicant's interest is adequately represented by existing parties.
This is the same as Federal Rule 24(a). Intervention of right under this Rule is a counterpart to Rule 19(a) on joinder of persons needed for a just adjudication; where, upon motion of a party in an action, an absentee should be joined so that he may protect his interest which as a practical matter may be substantially impaired by the disposition of the action, he ought to have a right to intervene in the action on his own motion. The Rule expands intervention of right as provided by Code § 15-5-200, and Circuit Court Rule 22.
(b) Permissive Intervention. Upon timely application anyone may be permitted to intervene in an action: (1) when a statute confers a conditional right to intervene; or (2) when an applicant's claim or defense and the main action have a question of law or fact in common. When a party to an action relies for ground of claim or defense upon any statute or executive order administered by a federal or state governmental officer or agency or upon any regulation, order, requirement or agreement issued or made pursuant to the statute or executive order, the officer or agency upon timely application may be permitted to intervene in the action. In exercising its discretion the court shall consider whether the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties.
This is the language of current Federal Rule 24(b) with one minor change to delete an unnecessary reference to federal law. It provides a needed procedure to permit intervention by parties who ought to be allowed to intervene, but have no direct right to intervene under Rule 24(a).
(c) Procedure; Notice to State When Validity of Statute Questioned. A person desiring to intervene shall serve a motion to intervene upon the parties as provided in Rule 5. The motion shall state the ground therefor and shall be accompanied by a pleading setting forth the claim or defense for which intervention is sought. The same procedure shall be followed when a statute of this State gives a right to intervene. When the constitutionality of a statute is drawn in question in any action in which the State or an officer, agency or employee thereof is not a party, the party shall also serve the motion on the Attorney General.
This language is a modification of Federal Rule 24(c). The last two sentences, providing that the same procedure will be followed when a statute permits intervention, and for notice to the Attorney General when a statute is alleged to be unconstitutional, are modified slightly to make them applicable to State practice. Code § 15-33-80 gives the Attorney General a statutory right to intervene in declaratory judgment actions. The language of the Federal Rule on these matters is preferred because Rule 24(c) is procedural, and designed for notice to the Attorney General so that he may decide whether or not to intervene in any case challenging the constitutionality of a statute, while the present statute apparently applies only to declaratory judgment actions.