Legal Memorandum: Facial Challenge to Standing

Issue: What is the standard of review for a 12(b)(1) facial challenge to standing?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Facial challenge to standing; Standard of review
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 458 F.3d 181
Cited Statutes: F. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), 12(b)(6), 12(c)
Date: 08/01/2008

On a facial challenge to standing under F. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), the standard of review is essentially the same as that applied under Rule 12(b)(6). Taliaferrio v. Darby Twp. Zoning Bd., 458 F.3d 181, 188 (3d Cir. 2006); see Petruska v. Gannon Univ., 462 F.3d 294, 302 n.3 (3d Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 127 S. Ct. 2098 (2007). 

Similarly a 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings is also governed by the same standard applied to a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.  Turbe v. Government of Virgin Islands, 938 F.2d 427, 428 (3d Cir. 1991).

Under the 12(b)(6) standard, motions  must be denied unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle him to relief.  Matheson v. V.I. Community Bank Corp. 297 F. Supp. 2d 819, 824 (D.V.I. 2003).  In making the determination, “all of plaintiff’s allegations are taken as true, with all their favorable inferences.”  Mortenson v. First Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n, 549 F.2d 884, 891 (3d Cir. 1977).

All that is required is that the facts alleged, including all reasonable inferences, show Plaintiff may be entitled to relief under “any possible theory.”  See Unix. Sys. Labs., Inc. v. Berkeley Software Design, Inc., 832 F. Supp. 790, 803 (D.N.J. 1993).  In fact, before it may dismiss, “the court is under a duty to examine the complaint to determine if […]

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