City Government

Judge Declines G.C. Bike Suit For Lack of Standing

The group trying to get bike access to the Greenbelt in Garden City got tossed out of court for “lack of standing.”

It is a common move in Idaho courts, but it is the LAW.
This from the Committee for an Open Greenbelt. (Pardon the formatting, GUARDIAN is on small computer in Asia.)

Today Judge Cheri Copsey issued her ruling on our lawsuit to stop the Garden City bike ban. She ruled in favor of Garden City saying that the Citizens for an Open Greenbelt (COG) “does not have standing”. In other
words she could not rule on the merits of our case because COG, as an organization, did not suffer a particularized harm which would enable it to
bring a lawsuit against Garden City. Unfortunately, this ruling leaves citizens with little recourse to challenge the unjust actions of our elected officials. .
Specifically the judge wrote: “The issue is narrow. Until the Court
rules on whether the Plaintiff, Citizens for an Open Greenbelt, can meet
the requirements to establish standing, the Court cannot address the
merits(our emphasis) because standing is fundamental to prosecuting
any lawsuit.” She also went on to say *“…this does not address the issue of whether Garden City should open the greenbelt to bikes”.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. The “standing” issue is weak sauce and a weasel way out for the judge.
    I am wondering if commuters using bikes to get to work and having to dismount and walk their bikes would create unique damages? Of course they would have to be Garden City Citizens.

    This standing issue thing drives me nutty.

  2. @Paul, is that a short drive?

  3. Of course if the judge would have sided with the bikers he would have been a wise man….

    EDITOR NOTE–”she” is wise and followed the law.

  4. I attended Judge Copsey’s hearing in December, and was astounded by the amount of legal mumbo-jumbo that was spoken back and forth. Obviously Legal Mumbo-Jumbo 301 is a required course at law school!

    She gave the clear impression that she was sympathetic to the cause of the COG group. (She even stated she’s a cyclist herself.) And although this may appear to be “weak sauce,” she also made the point that no matter how she ruled, her ruling would likely be appealed. Garden City’s attorney asked right off if the COG group has “standing,” so you can bet they would’ve appealed any other decision by the judge.

    Makes you long for the days of wise King Solomon, when a judge could just make a proper and just ruling. The Greenbelt belongs to the public, NOT Riverside Village. But apparently the public doesn’t have “standing” in the court of the land.

    I applaud the City of Eagle, for their willingness to take a stand by asking Garden City to unblock the path. And I wonder:
    - Where’s the City of Boise?
    - Where’s ACHD?
    - Where’s COMPASS?
    All of them should be speaking loudly in favor of a continuous Greenbelt BIKE PATH, and against the arbitrary blockage.

  5. The ban is a good idea for the Boise area. It is common knowledge that cyclists are the dregs of society, and whenever someone mentions the most exclusive and ritzy part of town where movers and shakers meet to propel manifest destiny, Garden City comes to mind as the defacto choice of the elite. Kudos to Garden City and the Courts in helping to maintain the natural order.

  6. Editor

    The judge was a women???… well that explains every thing.

  7. Standing issues suck. Even the most socially awkward attorney has to admit that. Standing is like math or science for attorneys. I mean, as an attorney myself, I can assure everyone that when cases are dismissed due to standing, it feels like losing a football game because of a missed chip-shot field goal. However, standing is an important legal doctrine. In this case, there is clearly a way to generate proper standing. The question is whether it will be done (or, perhaps, whether the Supreme Court will reverse the decision on appeal).

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