PETITIONERS HAD CAPACITY AND STANDING TO BRING AN ACTION SEEKING A DECLARATION RESPONDENTS VIOLATED THE ELECTION LAW AND COMPELLING REMEDIAL ACTION (THIRD DEPT).
The Third Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined petitioners did not have the authority under the Election Law to force a respondent to refund a $200,000 contribution to an election committee, but did have capacity and standing to bring an action seeking a declaration respondents violated the Election Law and compelling a respondent to amend its registration documents:
Contrary to Supreme Court’s conclusion, petitioners do not wholly lack the authority to commence this proceeding/action. A party lacks the authority to sue where he or she is without both capacity and standing to sue … . “Capacity to sue is a threshold matter allied with, but conceptually distinct from, the question of standing” … Capacity “concerns a litigant’s power to appear and bring its grievance before the court” … and may, in some circumstances, be granted by statute … . In contrast, “[s]tanding involves a determination of whether the party seeking relief has a sufficiently cognizable stake in the outcome so as to cast . . . the dispute in a form traditionally capable of judicial resolution” … . The concept of standing “is, at its foundation, aimed at advancing the judiciary’s self-imposed policy of restraint, which precludes the issuance of advisory opinions” … .
… [P]etitioners — five qualified voters who reside within … the 9th Assembly District — have been statutorily afforded a private right of action to seek a declaration that [responent] violated the Election Law and to compel [responents] to comply with the Election Law . Thus, petitioners have both capacity and standing to seek such relief. * * *
… Election Law § 14-126 (2) [does not] completely extinguish the private right of action granted in Election Law § 16-114 (3) so as to deprive petitioners of the authority to seek an order declaring that [respondent] violated Election Law § 14-107-a and compelling [respondent] to amend its registration documents. Matter of Lauder v Pellegrino, 2017 NY Slip Op 06337, Third Dept 8-24-17
ELECTION LAW (PETITIONERS HAD CAPACITY AND STANDING TO BRING AN ACTION SEEKING A DECLARATION RESPONDENTS’ VIOLATED THE ELECTION LAW AND COMPELLING REMEDIAL ACTION (THIRD DEPT))