Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in Teesdale v. City of Chicago that a city’s legal argument in a civil proceeding does not constitute its official policy.
One of the threshold questions before a person or entity may sue another in federal court is one of judicial standing. When the person or entity is suing for prospective relief—that is, a court order preventing a harm that has not yet occurred, the threshold is particularly high. Under the Supreme Court case City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, a plaintiff seeking prospective relief must show that he or she is in immediate danger of sustaining some direct injury as the result of the challenged conduct, and the injury or threat of injury must be “real and immediate,” not “conjectural” or “hypothetical.” In Teesdale, the court found that Teesdale did not meet the standing requirement and thus could not go forward with his case against the City of Chicago. Continue reading →