Warth v. Selding, 422 U.S. 490 (1975)
Various organizations and individuals resident in the Rochester, New York, metropolitan area brought suit against town adjacent to Rochester, and against members of zoning, planning and town boards, claiming that town's zoning ordinance effectively excluded persons of low and moderate income from living in the town, in contravention of petitioners' constitutional rights and in violation of civil rights statutes.
The United States District Court for the Western District of New York granted motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of standing and for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted, and an appeal was taken. The Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 495 F.2d 1187, reaching only the standing question, affirmed, and certiorari was granted.
In essence the question of standing is whether the litigant is entitled to have the court decide the merits of the dispute or of particular issues.
It is the responsibility of the complaint clearly to allege facts demonstrating that he is a proper party to invoke judicial resolution of the dispute and the exercise of the court's remedial powers.
There is no standing in this case. The Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Powell, held that whether the rules of standing are considered as aspects of the constitutional requirement that a plaintiff must make out a 'case or controversy' within the meaning of art. III, or as prudential limitations on the courts' role in resolving disputes involving 'generalized
grievances,' or third parties' legal rights or interest, none of the petitioners met the threshold requirement of such rules that to have standing a complainant must clearly allege facts demonstrating that he is a proper party to invoke judicial resolution of the dispute and the exercise of the court's remedial powers.
None of these petitioners has a present interest in any Penfield property; none is himself subject to the ordinance's strictures.
Dissent says that to require them to allege facts of standing is to require them to prove their case on paper in order to get into court at all.