Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, are intervenors participating in a lawsuit required to have Article III standing, or is standing presumed if there is a valid case or controversy between the parties?
The Supreme Court will consider whether under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) intervenors in a lawsuit must have Article III standing or whether a case or controversy between the named parties satisfies Article III. Petitioner, the Town of Chester, argues that courts should not permit parties to intervene in an action unless they can prove they have independent Article III standing, which it argues is required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24. In contrast, Respondent Laroe Estates contends that so long as the initial party who brought the action has Article III standing, other parties can intervene without showing standing. The outcome of this case will have implications for the separation of powers and the potential litigation burdens on courts and parties.
Questions as Framed for the Court by the Parties
Whether intervenors participating in a lawsuit as of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) must have Article III standing, or whether Article III is satisfied so long as there is a valid case or controversy between the named parties.
Steven Sherman, now deceased, was a land developer in the Town of Chester who applied in 2000 to subdivide a $2.7 million piece of land that measured close to 400 acres. See Brief for Petitioner at 2. Over the next decade, the Town and Sherman went back and forth, with the Town passing new regulations that barred Sherman’s subdivision and Sherman submitting new proposals to satisfy the new regulations.
- Marlene Kennedy, Justices to Tackle Circuit Split on Intervention Standing, Courthouse News Service (Jan. 17, 2017)
- Lisa Soronen, Supreme Court to Decide Whether Interveners Must Have Standing, The Council of State Governments (Feb. 15, 2017).