Chapter 3: The Case or Controversy Requirement and Other Preliminary Hurdles

Updated 2013

This chapter discusses several constitutionally or prudentially imposed limitations on the pursuit of federal litigation. First, the chapter surveys the doctrine of standing and discusses constitutional and prudential requirements as well as associational and third-party standing. Second, the chapter covers ripeness and mootness, including mootness in the context of class action litigation. Questions of mootness may arise at any time in litigation and, as suggested in Chapter 9 of this Manual, the doctrine of mootness has emerged as an important issue in the recovery of attorney's fees. Third, the chapter examines a significant prerequisite to pursuit of federal litigation in some types of cases: exhaustion of mandatory or voluntary administrative remedies, and the preclusive effects that availability of or utilization of administrative agency and/or state court adjudication have on subsequent federal court litigation.

Updated 2013