Standing refers to a plaintiff’s right to file a suit in court. The plaintiff must have a stake in the outcome in order to have standing. The plaintiff cannot just be an interested member of the public. A plaintiff can demonstrate a stake in the outcome by showing that the plaintiff has a connection to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff must demonstrate standing through the petition. A petition is the first document that the plaintiff files with the court. In the petition, the plaintiff must state the factual basis and legal basis for the plaintiff’s lawsuit.
3 Minimum Requirements of Standing:
- Injury: The plaintiff must show that he has been injured by the defendant, or could be injured by something that the defendant plans to do. In a personal injury case, the injury could be physical, mental, or financial. Physical injury could be shown through medical bills. Mental injury could be shown be through therapists records, and financial injury could be shown through proof of lost wages or damage to a vehicle.
- Causation: The plaintiff has to show that there is a connection between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s injury.
- Remedy: In order for the plaintiff to have standing the court must be able to address the situation. This means that there must be a remedy available to the plaintiff. This remedy could be an injunction or damages.
The defendant can file a motion to dismiss or address the issue in the answer if the defendant believes that the plaintiff lacks standing. The court will dismiss the case if the court believes that the plaintiff does not have standing.
There are a few general situations where courts have determined that the plaintiff lacks standing:
- The plaintiff is attempting to sue on behalf of a third party that was injured. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, parents can sue on behalf of their children.
- The plaintiff is not a member of the group that the law was designed to protect.
- The plaintiff attempts to sue on behalf of a large group who could have been injured or could have not been injured.