United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
OPINION AND ORDER 
SHERIPOLSTERCHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Lee County,
Florida's (“Lee County”) Motion for Joinder
(Doc. 33), which was filed on June 13, 2018. Plaintiff Adam
Lacroix (“Lacroix”) responded on June 21, 2018.
(Doc. 39). The matter is ripe for review.
dispute concerns an effort to join Boston Red Sox Baseball
Club, Limited Partnership (the “Red Sox”) and
NESV Florida Real Estate LLC (“NESV”)
(collectively, the “Non-Parties”) to an ongoing
first amendment case. The facts of the case have been fully
laid out in a previous Opinion and Order. (Doc. 43). Only the
salient details will be repeated here.
is a roaming evangelist. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 33). On April 29,
2017, he attempted to preach at a sports complex in Lee
County, Florida, known as JetBlue Park (the “JetBlue
Property”). (Doc. 1 at ¶ 64). The JetBlue Property
consists of parcels owned by Lee County and NESV. (Doc.
36-1). Lee County exclusively leases its portions of the
JetBlue Property to the Red Sox on a year-round basis. (Docs.
36-2 at 5-7; 38-2 at ¶ 4).
date of the incident, the Non-Parties allowed a concert to
take place on the JetBlue Property. (Docs. 1 at ¶ 64;1-8
at 9). The concert was permitted under Lee County's
Special Events Permitting Ordinance (the
“Ordinance”). (Doc. 1 at ¶ 65). The concert
organizer requested the Lee County Sheriff's Office
(“LCSO”) only allow concert patrons to enter the
JetBlue Property. (Doc. 36-4 at ¶ 7).
Lacroix attempted to begin preaching, LCSO Lieutenant James
Dryzmala (“Officer Dryzmala”) approached and
summoned a concert organizer, who demanded Lacroix leave.
(Docs. 1 at ¶¶ 64, 66-67, 82, 86-88; 36-4 at ¶
3). Officer Dryzmala then directed Lacroix to move outside
the JetBlue Property. (Doc. 1 at ¶ 97). When Lacroix
protested, Officer Dryzmala informed him that further
non-compliance would result in his arrest for trespass. (Doc.
1 at ¶ 99). Lacroix does not specify whether he complied
with Officer Dryzmala's directive or if he faced reprisal
then sued Lee County and Officer Dryzmala, claiming Lee
County's Trespass Policy for public property (the
“Trespass Policy”) and Ordinance (collectively,
the “Laws”), facially restrict first amendment
rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. (Doc.
1). He also claimed Lee County and Officer Dryzmala's
application of the Laws unconstitutionally restricted free
speech and free exercise of religion. (Doc. 1).
then moved to enjoin the enforcement of the Trespass Policy
and the Ordinance. (Doc. 7). But the Court found Lacroix
lacked standing for injunctive relief. (Doc. 43). Now, Lee
County moves to join the Red Sox and NESV as required parties
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19. (Doc. 33).
Rule of Civil Procedure 19 provides for mandatory joinder of
a non-party. See Molinos Valle del Cibao, C. por
A. v. Lama, 633 F.3d 1330, 1344 (11th Cir. 2011). Under
[a] person who is subject to service of process and whose
joinder will not deprive the court of subject-matter
jurisdiction must be joined as a party if that person claims
an interest relating to the subject of the action and is so
situated that disposing of the action in the person's
absence may (i) as a practical matter impair or impede the
person's ability to protect the interest; or (ii) leave
an existing party subject to a substantial risk of incurring
double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations
because of the interest.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(a)(1)(B)(i)-(ii) (internal punctuation
omitted). A person whom the court deems must be joined if
feasible is regarded as “necessary.” BFI
Waste Sys. of N. Am., Inc. v. Broward Cty.,
Fla., 209 F.R.D. 509, 514 (S.D. Fla. 2002). The burden
of proving a party is necessary rests with the moving party.
County argues the basis for Lacroix's suit is that he
wishes to invalidate the Ordinance and the Trespass Policy to
obtain the right to access the JetBlue Property and engage in
his preaching activities. That interpretation compels Lee
County to contend the Red Sox, as the lessee of Lee
County's portions of the JetBlue Property, and NESV, as
the owner of the remaining portions of the JetBlue Property,
must be joined for two reasons. First, Lee County argues the
Non-Parties should be joined because they have interests in
the subject of this case that might be impaired if the case
is adjudicated in their absence. Second, Lee County argues
adjudicating this case without the Non-Parties could expose
it to multiple or otherwise inconsistent obligations. Lacroix
disagrees. The Court will address each element in assessing
whether joinder is merited.
threshold matter, it is uncontested that the Non-Parties are
subject to service of process and their inclusion would not
deprive the Court of subject matter jurisdiction. Still,
mandatory joinder is unmerited for a number of reasons.
First, Rule 19(b) applies only to parties that affirmatively
claim an interest in the action. SeeFed. R. Civ. P.
19(b); see alsoGreen v. Bannasch, No.
6:14-CV-1676-ORL-37, 2015 WL 3465828, at *5 (M.D. Fla. June
1, 2015) (finding a party was not necessary in part because
it had not claimed ...