What is Locus Standi?
How do you legally define it?
What are the important elements you should know!
In this article, we will break down the legal definition of Locus Standi so you know all there is to know about it!
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Locus Standi meaning
What is the locus standi meaning?
Locus standi (or standing) refers to a party’s ability to demonstrate that it has sufficient reasons for the court to hear it on an issue pending before the court.
In Latin, locus standing literally means a “place to stand”.
Legal standing exists in three instances:
- A party is directly impacted by the effect of the legal action or the law (injury-in-fact)
- A party is not directly impacted by the action or statute but requests relief from the court as it has a reasonable relation to the issue at hand (causation)
- A party has an automatic standing by operation of the law (redressability)
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, a litigant will have legal standing when it is entitled to have the court render a decision on the merits of the case.
Locus Standi definition
How do you define locus standi?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, locus standi is defined as:
a right to appear in a court or before any body on a given question : a right to be heard
Locus Standi case law
According to U.S. case law, there are three possibilities when a plaintiff or party may have legal standing to address the court on a matter before it.
In the first case, a party is directly impacted by the case or the law.
To prevent further damages or harm, a party may invoke legal standing to be able to seek relief from the court.
This scenario is generally referred to as the case where a party has “something to lose” or is directly harmed justifying their standing.
In the second case, a party may not be directly harmed due to a statute or effect of but may want to make representations before the court or address the court to speak for those who cannot take action for themselves.
For instance, when there are sufficient grounds for asking that a law be struck down due to violations of the U.S. Constitution, a plaintiff may not be directly harmed but may have legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of the law.
A party may perceive that the law may adversely affect others and will take action to prevent others from being harmed.
In the third case, a party may sue another not because they are directly harmed but the law permits the legal action to be brought forth.
For example, certain environmental lawsuits can be filed by a plaintiff who may not have been directly affected by the violations of another.
However, the environmental law may permit a person from suing another who is polluting the waterways or causing environmental damages to society by their actions.
In the United States, in addition to the standing requirements, the courts have judicially created three prudential standings:
- Prohibition of third-party standing
- Prohibition of generalized grievances
- Zone of interest test
The first prudential standing requirement is that a third-party cannot take legal action for the damages to or harm suffered by another.
Unless the law specifically authorizes and defines how a third-party may take legal action for the benefit or another, individuals and entities must file claims for their own interests, uphold their own rights or seek relief for themselves.
The second prudential rule is that a person cannot sue for general complaints.
For example, if the government adopts a tax bill requiring citizens to pay higher taxes, a person cannot sue for such a grievance shared by many in an undifferentiated way.
Third, the courts have developed the zone of interest test to determine if a party is within the “zone of interest” benefiting from the production of the statute or the Constitution.
Locus Standing in English
How do you use the term “locus standi” in the English language or in a sentence?
Let’s look at a few ways you can construct a sentence in English using this Latin phrase.
She had no “locus standi” to file a complaint against her former classmate
If the company is not duly registered, it has no “locus standi” in American courts
So what is the legal definition of Locus Standi?
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
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