260 F.Supp. 802 (N.D.Ga. 1966), Civ. A. 9846, Georgia Ass'n of Independent Ins. Agents, Inc. v. Saxon

Docket Nº:Civ. A. 9846
Citation:260 F.Supp. 802
Party Name:Georgia Ass'n of Independent Ins. Agents, Inc. v. Saxon
Case Date:October 21, 1966
Court:United States District Courts, 11th Circuit, Northern District of Georgia

Page 802

260 F.Supp. 802 (N.D.Ga. 1966)

GEORGIA ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS, INC. and Gerry R. Holden, Jr., Walter H. McGee, Charles A. Simons, Howard C. Kearns, Jr.


James J. SAXON, Comptroller of the Currency of the United States of America.

Civ. A. No. 9846.

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia

Oct. 21, 1966

Gambrell, Harlan, Russell & Moye, Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiffs.

Charles L. Goodson, U.S. Atty., Slaton Clemmons, Asst. U.S. Atty., Atlanta, Ga., for defendant.

MORGAN, Chief Judge.

The plaintiffs in the above-styled action seek a declaratory judgment and injunction against allegedly illegal acts by the defendant James Saxon. The defendant has filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring the instant action.

It is first necessary to review the factual background within which the motion to dismiss is made. Title 12, U.S.C.A. § 92 authorizes national banks which are located in places with a population of 5,000 or less to act as insurance agents under rules and regulations prescribed by the Comptroller. The defendant has issued a ruling which allows national banks in cities of any size to act as insurance agents for the purpose of writing insurance which is incidental to banking transactions.

The plaintiffs are independent insurance agents and organizations which represent the collective interests of such independent insurance agents. These plaintiffs allege that the defendant Comptroller is without authority to issue such a ruling, that such a ruling is in violation of Title 12, U.S.C.A. § 92, and that the result of such ruling is to implement unauthorized and illegal competition which, in effect, has caused and is continuing to cause financial injury to them.

The defendant takes the position that, regardless of the validity of the plaintiffs' allegations, the plaintiffs have no standing to bring the present action.

First, it must be noted that the Courts have developed no single formula which can be applied to a set of facts to determine whether an aspiring plaintiff has 'standing'. Upon occasion the Courts have spoken in terms of substantial or sufficient interest as to confer standing, but it must be realized that in doing so no clearly delineated standard has been announced, but, rather, that the Court was speaking in terms of result. If the

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plaintiff is deemed to have standing, it is said that he has a 'sufficient interest' to confer standing, while if it is determined that this particular plaintiff has no standing, his interest is deemed to be insufficient. Thus, 'sufficient interest' is a phrase of art utilized to denote the result reached by a Court in its determination regarding standing, and does not provide the guidelines necessary in a determination of whether a particular individual has standing.

Thus, the Court is left in the position of having no alternative but to examine the plaintiffs' position in the case at hand in the light of the long line of cases which hold that a particular plaintiff had standing on one hand, and on the other, with an eye to the equally long line of cases where a plaintiff was deemed not to have standing.

The defendant relies principally on the numerous cases which arose pursuant to the congressional creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority. See Tennessee Electric Power Co. v. T.V.A., 306 U.S. 118, 59 S.Ct. 366, 83 L.Ed. 543 (1938).

In Tennessee Power Company, supra, and in Alabama Power Co. v. Ickes, 302 U.S. 464, 58...

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