Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Standing up for State Standing

Hector F. v. El Centro Elementary School Dist., No. D064035 (June 24, 2014)

A student who brought a writ of mandate against his school graduated while the litigation was pending. The trial court granted the school’s motion to dismiss for mootness and lack of standing. But state standing isn’t like federal Article III standing. In the mandamus context, longstanding California precedent recognizes the standing of citizens to litigate public rights in the public interest, so long it does not short-circuit important processes of governing meant to occur outside of litigation. Furthermore, Code of Civil Procedure § 526a gives taxpayers standing to sue to enjoin unlawful expenditures of public funds. That right has been construed broadly to include unlawful governmental actions with only incidental costs.


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