Legal Definition of Standing

In Eckles v. State of Oregon, 306 Ore. 380, 383-84, 760 P.2d 846 (1988), appeal dismissed 490 U.S. 1032, 109 S. Ct. 1928, 104 L. Ed. 2d 400 (1989), the Oregon Supreme Court distinguished between two uses of the term "standing": "Ordinarily, 'standing' means the right to obtain an adjudication. It is thus logically considered prior to consideration of the merits of a claim. To say that a plaintiff has 'no standing' is to say that the plaintiff has no right to have a tribunal decide a claim under the law defining the requested relief, regardless whether another plaintiff has any such right. When this court has used the term 'standing,' the term has for the most part been used in this sense. We will so use the term in this opinion. "In contrast, 'standing' is also sometimes used to refer to the existence of a substantive personal right. Used in this sense, 'standing' is concerned with the merits of a claim. To say that a plaintiff has 'no standing' is to say that no right of the plaintiff was violated, regardless whether the conduct of a defendant was in general unlawful or unlawful as to some other person. This use of 'standing' should be avoided because it easily confuses the right to obtain an adjudication of a claim for relief with the right to obtain the relief itself. "One other source of confusion is the habit of treating standing as if it were a generic concept unrelated to the specific legal relief requested by a party. This court has noted on more than one occasion that whether a person is entitled to seek judicial relief depends upon the type of relief sought and commonly is governed by a specific statutory standard. A person with standing to seek one type of relief will not necessarily have standing to seek any other type of relief. Because plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, we must decide the issue of his standing by looking to the specific statutes and cases governing his right to seek these types of relief."