November 21, 2015
Court of Appeals Finds Petitioners Have Standing
in Painted Post Case
On November 19, 2015, the New York Court of Appeals
ruled that Petitioner John Marvin had standing in the case of Sierra Club v. Painted Post, 26 N.Y.3d 301 (2015). The decision overturned the ruling of the Appellate Division,
Fourth Department, which had dismissed the case on the ground that
none of the petitioners had standing. The case now goes back to
the Fourth Department to decide the substantive issues in the case
regarding Painted Post's bulk water sales to a subsidiary of Shell
The Court of Appeals found that the Appellate
Division's standing analysis "applied an overly restrictive analysis of the requirement to show harm 'different
from that of the public at large.'" The Court of Appeals stated that an injury to a petitioner, while having to
be different than the public at large, "need not be unique."
"Here, petitioner Marvin is not
alleging an indirect, collateral effect from the increased train
noise that will be experienced by the public at large, but rather
a particularized harm that may also be inflicted upon others
in the community who live near the tracks."
The Court concluded that Petitioner Marvin alleged
injuries that are "real and different from the injury most members of the public face . . . . Thus,
his allegation about train noise caused by the increased train
traffic keeping him awake at night, . . , would be sufficient to
The Court expressed concerned that applying the
Appellate Division's reasoning "would effectively insulate the Village's actions from any review," and said this would "run afoul of our pronouncement that the standing rule should not be so restrictive
as to avoid judicial review." The Court quoted with approval the statement of the US Supreme Court that, "[t]o deny standing to persons who are in fact injured simply because many others
are also injured, would mean that the most injurious and widespread
Government actions could be questioned by nobody." U.S. v S.C.R.A.P., 412 U.S. 669, 687-688 (1973).
Click here and here for
our previous articles on the Trial Court and Appellate Division
decisions in the case.
I am working with attorney Richard Lippes from Buffalo to represent
The papers in the case are
Posted by Rachel Treichler on 11/21/15, updated