Warth v. Seldin Case Brief

Summary of Warth v. Seldin
S. Ct. (1975)

Relevant Facts: Petitioners were comprised of various individuals wanting the rezoning of an area within the confines of the City of Penfield NY. Penfield is and exclusive area catering to the moderately wealthy. Petitioner’s claim that the zoning law, by its terms and as enforced by the defendant board members, excludes people of low to moderate income levels.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the petitioners had standing to sue?

Court’s Holding: Petitioners lack standing to sue.

Law or Rule(s): Article III U.S. Constitution, the asserted injury was the consequence of the defendant’s actions, or that prospective relief will remove the injury. Case or controversy requirement.

Procedure: District Court dismissed, Ct. of Appeals affirmed. Affirmed.

Court Rationale: The petitioners must allege specific, “concrete," facts demonstrating that the challenged practices harm him. They have not. The attempted third party intervener failed to show that the enforcement of the ordinance against the third party intervener would violate the third partys’ rights. The petitioner’s in this action failed to allege an injury resulting from the respondent’s actions.

Plaintiff’s Argument: The respondents have caused an injury by the imposition of the zoning law, an petitioner’s have been denied access to the courts for redress of grievances.

Defendant’s Argument: Petitioners failed to state a claim upon which the court can grant a remedy. There is no injury suffered from the respondent’s actions.


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