Standing to Sue

“Standing” generally refers to the ability of an individual to file a claim in court. It essentially asks whether a person has a right to obtain relief in court. “Standing is a jurisdictional matter antecedent to the right to relief.” State ex rel. Williams v. Marsh, 626 S.W.2d 223, 227 n. 6 (Mo. 1982).

Standing requires that a “party have a personal take arising from a threatened or actual injury” State ex rel. Williams v Mauer, 722 S.W.2d 296, 298 (Mo. 1986). It is required to prevent parties from creating controversies in matters in which they are not involved and which do not directly affect them. Ryder v. St. Charles Cnty., 552 S.W.2d 705, 707 (Mo. 1977).

There must generally be a legally protectable interest. There is no litmus test for determining whether a legally protectable interest is at stake. Schweich v. Nixon, 408 S.W.3d 769, 775 (Mo. 2013). Nonetheless, to demonstrate standing, a plaintiff must usually show “some personal interest at stake in the dispute, even if that interest is attenuated, slight or remote.” Missouri State Medical Ass’n v. State, 256 S.W.3d 85, 87 (Mo. 2008).

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