The circumstances concerning specific properties, such as levels of investment and income, will be directly material. Plaintiff's argument that proof of the RSL's impact could be obtained through "statistical evidence," discovery, and "the individual experiences of some RSA members" is to no avail (Plaintiff Memorandum at 50). Even without the need for actual testimony from its members, RSA lacks standing. See Terre Du Lac Ass'n, Inc. v. Terre Du Lac, Inc., 772 F.2d at 471:
The Association's argument boils down to the proposition that the rule against granting associational standing where the 'participation of individual members' is required in the lawsuit refers solely to participation in the form of in-court testimony. Such a narrow reading of Hunt is unfounded. Associational standing is properly denied where, as here, the need for 'individualized proof' so pervades the claims asserted that the furtherance of the members' interests requires individual representation.
The individual owners, urging their particular and specific cases, are better fitted than the association to challenge the RSL as it applies to them. Mr. Justice Powell stated in Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. at 499, 95 S. Ct. at 2205, that "this Court has held that the plaintiff generally must assert his own legal rights and interests, and cannot rest his claim to relief on the legal rights or interests of third parties." He continued:
Without such limitations--closely related to Art. III concerns but essentially matters of judicial self-governance--the courts would be called upon to decide abstract questions of wide public significance even though other governmental institutions may be more competent to address the questions and even though judicial intervention may be unnecessary to protect individual rights.
Although standing in no way depends on the merits of the plaintiff's contention that particular conduct is illegal, it often turns on the nature and source of the claim asserted. The actual or threatened injury required by Art. III may exist solely by virtue of 'statutes creating legal rights, the invasion of which creates standing . . . .' Moreover, the source of the plaintiff's claim to relief assumes critical importance with respect to the prudential rules of standing that, apart from Art. III's minimum requirements, serve to limit the role of the courts in resolving public disputes.
Warth, 422 U.S. at 500, 95 S. Ct. at 2205-06 (citations omitted).
Here, the "source of the claim" lies primarily in the application of the rent stabilization process to some, but less than all, of RSA's members. Individually represented, each interested member would supply that intimacy with the facts, individual interest in the outcome, discrimination in balancing the costs and risks of litigation against the chance of recovery, and freedom to urge or waive a particular argument in his own interest rather than as part of the association's overall strategy, which assures the "concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions."
Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 204, 82 S. Ct. 691, 703, 7 L. Ed. 2d 663 (1962).
Accordingly, counts I.B., I.E., and I.G. of RSA's complaint are dismissed. Plaintiff lacks standing to challenge the RSL as applied to its individual members. Accordingly, there is no need to address defendants' contention that those takings claims are not ripe for adjudication (State Memorandum at 16-19; State Reply at 21-25).
II. Due Process Claim
In the second claim for relief, RSA alleges that "defendants' administration of the hardship provisions" deprives its members of due process of law (Complaint PP 85-89). Plaintiff has no greater standing to challenge the "administration" of the hardship provisions under the due process clause than it has to challenge the RSL as effecting takings as it is being applied. The same individualized proof necessary to determine whether there was a taking is essential in finding a violation of due process. See Williamson County, 473 U.S. at 199-200, 105 S. Ct. at 3123:
Viewing a regulation that 'goes too far' as an invalid exercise of the police power, rather than as a 'taking' for which just compensation must be paid, does not resolve the difficult problem of how to define 'too far' . . . . As we have noted, resolution of that question depends, in significant part, upon an analysis of the effect the Commission's application of the zoning ordinance and subdivision regulations had on the value of respondent's property and investment-backed profit expectations.
RSA, therefore lacks standing to bring its due process claim. Accordingly, claim II is dismissed.
Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint is granted.
Dated: New York, New York
October 8, 1992
LOUIS L. STANTON