Standing Definition

The capacity to participate in a lawsuit by making or defending a legal claim. Typically, a defendant (the party being sued) raises standing to challenge the plaintiff's (the party who files a lawsuit) capacity to sue. For a plaintiff to have standing to bring a legal claim, the plaintiff:

  1. must have suffered an actual, particularized injury
  2. that was caused by the defendant's conduct, and
  3. which the court can remedy with appropriate relief (like money damages or an injunction).

When the plaintiff lacks standing to sue, the case is nonjusticiable and must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

For an example of a U.S. Supreme Court case illustrating standing, see Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737 (1984).