Standing Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Standing, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Standing?

(n) Standing is the right to do any activity especially the right to file a lawsuit or petition in court. Example: person is said to have no standing when he is instrumental in breach of contract. Standing to in special courts require special instances like parties resides in different states etc. Trade associations have standing to file petition on behalf of its members affected by a decision.

History and Meaning of Standing

Standing is a legal term that refers to the right of an individual or entity to bring a lawsuit or petition before a court. To have standing, a person must demonstrate that they have a sufficient stake in the outcome of a case, and that the court's decision will have a direct impact on them. The concept of standing dates back centuries, to the early years of the British legal system, and has evolved over time to reflect changes in society and the legal system itself.

In the United States, the concept of standing is closely tied to the principle of federalism, which divides power between the federal government and individual states. Federal courts can only hear cases in which an individual has standing under federal law, while state courts have broader authority to hear cases. There are also specific legal criteria that must be met in order to establish standing in a particular case, such as injury in fact, causation, and redressability.

Examples of Standing

  1. A group of homeowners who live near an industrial area file a lawsuit against a company that operates a factory there, alleging that the factory is emitting toxic chemicals that endanger their health. To have standing in this case, the homeowners would need to demonstrate that they have suffered a concrete injury as a result of the factory's activities, and that the court's decision would be likely to redress that injury.

  2. An environmental advocacy group files a lawsuit challenging a federal agency's decision to issue a permit for a new oil pipeline. To have standing in this case, the group would need to demonstrate that its members have suffered or will suffer direct harm as a result of the pipeline's construction, and that the court's decision would be likely to redress that harm.

  3. A company files a lawsuit against a former employee for breach of a non-compete agreement. To have standing in this case, the company would need to demonstrate that the employee's actions have caused it concrete harm, such as a loss of business or competitive advantage.

Legal Terms Similar to Standing

  1. Jurisdiction: The legal authority of a court to hear a particular case, which is closely related to the concept of standing.

  2. Ripeness: The idea that a case must be sufficiently developed or mature to warrant court intervention.

  3. Mootness: A case is considered moot if the issues it raises are no longer relevant or capable of being resolved by the court.