Will lack of “standing to sue” once again rear its ugly head?

i May 17, 2010

ISAR’s supporters know that the bane of animal rights litigation has been the problem of “standing to sue”–the question of what individuals or organizations have the right to sue in behalf of animals (see, for example, Animals and “Standing to Sue” and Jones v. Butz.

Here we go again . . . perhaps.

The Gerber Animal Law Center of Raleigh, North Carolina, announced earlier this month that it has commenced a lawsuit against the county shelter. Although Gerber’s press release is sketchy on details, the case seems to be grounded in a recent North Carolina statute promoting fostering rather than euthanizing, and the shelter’s alleged failure to abide by the law.

Be that as it may–and when the complaint is available we’ll know exactly what Gerber is alleging, factually and legally–unfortunately the case’s announcement is silent about on whose behalf the lawsuit has been brought. That question is critical, because whatever the merits of Gerber’s complaint, it will go nowhere unless someone has “standing to sue.”