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DrShibari

Public Interest Litigation in America

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There is a process in India known as public interest litigation that allows suits to be filed on behalf of the social good for issues. Is there an equivalent in the United States. I am not looking for racial injustice such as affirmative action but overall social betterment, though this may apply and I am just unfamiliar with it. If anyone can direct me to more information on this process and what constitutes grounds for a suit I would really appreciate it.

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19 minutes ago, DrShibari said:

There is a process in India known as public interest litigation that allows suits to be filed on behalf of the social good for issues. Is there an equivalent in the United States. I am not looking for racial injustice such as affirmative action but overall social betterment, though this may apply and I am just unfamiliar with it.

 

There is no process in the U.S. for what you describe. In the U.S. the courts role is not for "overall social betterment." The role of the courts in the U.S. is resolve  disputes and controversies between specific parties.

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On 5/10/2019 at 9:35 AM, DrShibari said:

There is a process in India known as public interest litigation that allows suits to be filed on behalf of the social good for issues.

 

On 5/10/2019 at 9:58 AM, Tax_Counsel said:

There is no process in the U.S. for what you describe.

 

I disagree.  Some states have laws that allow a person to sue on behalf of the general public even though the plaintiff did not personally suffer any damage.  They are known as "private attorney general" laws.  They are very few and far between and, in at least one state, have been significantly curtailed in the last decade or so.

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3 hours ago, pg1067 said:

 

 

I disagree.  Some states have laws that allow a person to sue on behalf of the general public even though the plaintiff did not personally suffer any damage.  They are known as "private attorney general" laws.  They are very few and far between and, in at least one state, have been significantly curtailed in the last decade or so.

 

I disagree that public attorney general laws are suing, as OP put it, "on behalf of the social good for issues". Those suits are claims in which a private person stands in place of the government and brings a claim that the government itself otherwise would have brought. Because of that, the range of issues that may be brought in such litigation is generally rather narrow to begin with. As a result, there is no general ability to bring the kinds of suit that the OP has in mind that may be brought in India.

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1 hour ago, Tax_Counsel said:

I disagree that public attorney general laws are suing, as OP put it, "on behalf of the social good for issues". Those suits are claims in which a private person stands in place of the government and brings a claim that the government itself otherwise would have brought. Because of that, the range of issues that may be brought in such litigation is generally rather narrow to begin with. As a result, there is no general ability to bring the kinds of suit that the OP has in mind that may be brought in India.

 

I once defended a lawsuit brought on behalf of consumers who bought a return address stamp based on a claim that the defendant's ad falsely represented a reduction from a higher price that was never an actual price.  It was, in essence a quasi-class action brought by a person who had, herself, never even seen the offending ads or bought the product.  While I don't really think this was a suit brought "on behalf of the social good for issues or "overall social betterment," it certainly goes beyond a "claim[] in which a private person stands in place of the government and brings a claim that the government itself otherwise would have brought."

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3 hours ago, pg1067 said:

While I don't really think this was a suit brought "on behalf of the social good for issues or "overall social betterment," it certainly goes beyond a "claim[] in which a private person stands in place of the government and brings a claim that the government itself otherwise would have brought."

 

As to the first part of that, it was the point of my reply to the OP that the U.S. does not have a mechanism that is as broad as he asked about, i.e. a suit "on behalf of the social good for issues". As to the suit you brought, it sounds very much like an action based on a federal or state consumer protection act. If it was, then the FTC or state consumer protection agency almost certainly could have pursued a similar action, in which case my description was accurate: you were standing in for something the government could have brought.

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11 minutes ago, Tax_Counsel said:

As to the first part of that, it was the point of my reply to the OP that the U.S. does not have a mechanism that is as broad as he asked about, i.e. a suit "on behalf of the social good for issues". As to the suit you brought, it sounds very much like an action based on a federal or state consumer protection act. If it was, then the FTC or state consumer protection agency almost certainly could have pursued a similar action, in which case my description was accurate: you were standing in for something the government could have brought.

 

Just to be clear, I defended that suit; I would never in a million years have filed such a cockamamie thing.  🙂

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2 hours ago, RetiredinVA said:

So, what happened to the suit?  This issue has been addressed in " Should trees have standing.  Christopher Stone, 1972"  and in Sierra Club v. Morton, , 405 U.S. 727 (1972).

 

The case was settled for something in the nuisance value to cost of defense range.  The federal precedent had no application since my case was filed in state court pursuant to state law.

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