Association of Data Processing Service Organizations, Inc v. Camp

Citation90 S.Ct. 827,25 L.Ed.2d 184,397 U.S. 150
Decision Date03 March 1970
Docket NumberNo. 85,85
PartiesASSOCIATION OF DATA PROCESSING SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, INC., et al., Petitioners, v. William B. CAMP, Comptroller of the Currency of the United States, et al
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Bert M. Gross, for petitioners.

Alan S. Rosenthal, Washington, D.C., for respondents.

Mr. Justice DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioners sell data processing services to businesses generally. In this suit they seek to challenge a ruling by respondent Comptroller of the Currency that, as an incident to their banking services, national banks, including respondent American National Bank & Trust Company, may make data processing services available to other banks and to bank customers. The District Court dismissed the complaint for lack of standing of petitioners to bring the suit. 279 F.Supp. 675. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 406 F.2d 837. The case is here on a petition for writ of certiorari which we granted. 395 U.S. 976, 89 S.Ct. 2128, 23 L.Ed.2d 764.

Generalizations about standing to sue are largely worthless as such. One generalization is, however, necessary and that is that the question of standing in the federal courts is to be considered in the framework of Article III which restricts judicial power to 'cases' and 'controversies.' As we recently stated in Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 101, 88 S.Ct. 1942, 1953, 20 L.Ed.2d 947 '(I)n terms of Article III limitations on federal court jurisdiction, the question of standing is related only to whether the dispute sought to be adjudicated will be presented in an adversary context and in a form historically viewed as capable of judicial resolution.' Flast was a taxpayer's suit. The present is a competitor's suit. And while the two have the same Article III starting point, they do not necessarily track one another.

The first question is whether the plaintiff alleges that the challenged action has caused him injury in fact, economic or otherwise. There can be no doubt but that petitioners have satisfied this test. The petitioners not only allege that competition by national banks in the business of providing data processing services might entail some future loss of profits for the petitioners, they also allege that respondent American National Bank & Trust Company was performing or preparing to perform such services for two customers for whom petitioner Data Systems, Inc., had previously agreed or negotiated to perform such services. The petitioners' suit was brought not only against the American National Bank & Trust Company, but also against the Comptroller of the Currency. The Comptroller was alleged to have caused petitioners injury in fact by his 1966 ruling which stated:

'Incidental to its banking services, a national bank may make available its data processing equipment or perform data processing services on such equipment for other banks and bank customers.' Comptroller's Manual for National Banks 3500 (October 15, 1966).

The Court of Appeals viewed the matter differently, stating:

'(A) plaintiff may challenge alleged illegal competition when as complainant it pursues (1) a legal interest by reason of public charter or contract, * * * (2) a legal interest by reason of statutory protection, * * * or (3) a 'public interest' in which Congress has recognized the need for review of administrative action and plaintiff is significantly involved to have standing to represent the public * * *.' 406 F.2d, at 842—843.1

Those tests were based on prior decisions of this Court, such as Tennessee Electric Power Co. v. TVA, 306 U.S. 118, 59 S.Ct. 366, 83 L.Ed. 543, where private power companies sought to enjoin TVA from operating, claiming that the statutory plan under which it was created was unconstitutional. The Court denied the competitors' standing, holding that they did not have that status 'unless the right invaded is a legal right,—one of property, one arising out of contract, one protected against tortious invasion, or one founded on a statute which confers a privilege.' Id., at 137—138, 59 S.Ct. at 369.

The 'legal interest' test goes to the merits. The question of standing is different. It concerns, apart from the 'case' or 'controversy' test, the question whether the interest sought to be protected by the complainant is arguably within the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the statute or constitutional guarantee in question. Thus the Administrative Procedure Act grants standing to a person 'aggrieved by agency action within the meaning of a relevant statute.' 5 U.S.C. § 702 (1964 ed., Supp. IV). That interest, at times, may reflect 'aesthetic, conservational, and recreational' as well as economic values. Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. FCC, 2 Cir., 354 F.2d 608, 616; Office of Communication of United Church of Christ v. FCC, 123 U.S.App.D.C. 328, 334—340, 359 F.2d 994, 1000—1006. A person or a family may have a spiritual stake in First Amendment values sufficient to give standing to raise issues concerning the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 83 S.Ct. 1560, 10 L.Ed.2d 844. We mention these noneconomic values to emphasize that standing may stem from them as well as from the economic injury in which petitioners rely here. Certainly he who is 'likely to be financially' injured, FCC v. Sanders Bros. Radio Station, 309 U.S. 470, at 477, 60 S.Ct. 693, at 698, may be a reliable private attorney general to litigate the issues of the public interest in the present case.

Apart from Article III jurisdictional questions, problems of standing, as resolved by this Court for its own governance, have involved a 'rule of self-restraint.' Barrows v. Jackson, 346 U.S. 249, 255, 73 S.Ct. 1031, 1034, 97 L.Ed. 1586. Congress can, of course, resolve the question one way or another, save as the requirements of Article III dectate otherwise. Muskrat v. United States, 219 U.S. 346, 31 S.Ct. 250, 55 L.Ed. 246.

Where statutes are concerned, the trend is toward enlargement of the class of people who may protest administrative action. The whole drive for enlarging the category of aggrieved 'persons' is symptomatic of that trend. In a closely analogous case we held that an existing entrepreneur had standing to challenge the legality of the entrance of a newcomer into the business, because the established business was allegedly protected by a valid city ordinance that protected it from unlawful competition. Chicago v. Atchison, T. & S.F.R. Co. 357 U.S. 77, 83—84, 78 S.Ct. 1063, 1066—1068, 2 L.Ed.2d 1174. In that tradition was Hardin v. Kentucky Utilities Co., 390 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 651, 19 L.Ed.2d 787, which involved a section of the TVA Act designed primarily to protect, through area limitations, private utilities against TVA competition. We held that no explicit statutory provision was necessary to confer standing, since the private utility bringing suit was within the class of persons that the statutory provision was designed to protect.

It is argued that the Chicago case and the Hardin case are relevant here because of § 4 of the Bank Service Corporation Act of 1962, 76 Stat. 1132, 12 U.S.C. § 1864, which provides:

'No bank service corporation may engage in any activity other than the performance of bank services for banks.'

The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Arnold Tours, Inc. v. Camp, 408 F.2d 1147, 1153, that by reason of § 4 a data processing company has standing to contest the legality of a national bank performing data processing services for other banks and bank customers:

'Section 4 had a broader purpose than regulating only the service corporations. It was also a response to the fears expressed by a few senators, that without such a prohibition, the bill would have enabled 'banks to engage in a nonbanking activity,' S.Rep.No.2105, (87th Cong., 2d Sess., 7—12) (Supplemental views of Senators Proxmire, Douglas, and Neuberger), and thus constitute 'a serious exception to the accepted public policy which strictly limits banks to banking.' (Supplemental views of Senators Muskie and Clark). We think Congress has provided the sufficient statutory aid to standing even though the competition may not be the precise kind Congress legislated against.'

We do not put the issue in those words, for they implicate the merits. We do think, however, that § 4 arguably brings a competitor within the zone of interests protected by it.

That leaves the remaining question, whether judicial review of the Comptroller's action has been precluded. We do not think...

To continue reading

Request your trial
2585 cases
  • Knussman v. State of Md., Civil No. B-95-1255.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • August 2, 1996
    ...protected by the statutory or constitutional provision he is seeking to invoke. Association of Data Processing Service Organizations, Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 90 S.Ct. 827, 25 L.Ed.2d 184 (1970). Standing doctrine further prevents a plaintiff from raising another person's legal rights an......
  • McKinney v. United States Dept. of Treasury, Court No. 84-9-01320.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of International Trade
    • July 23, 1985 be protected or regulated by the statute or constitutional guarantee in question." Association of Data Processing Service Orgs. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 153, 90 S.Ct. 827, 830, 25 L.Ed.2d 184 (1970). 454 U.S. at 474-75, 102 S.Ct. at 759-60 (footnotes With these considerations in mind, the ......
  • Aiken v. Obledo, Civ. No. S-75-76 TJM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • November 2, 1977
    ...See also Barlow v. Collins, 397 U.S. 159, 90 S.Ct. 832, 25 L.Ed.2d 192 (1970); Association of Data Processing Service Organizations, Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 90 S.Ct. 827, 25 L.Ed.2d 184 (1970); Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 92 S.Ct. 1361, 31 L.Ed.2d 636 (1972); Construction Indus......
  • Preservation of Los Olivos v. Dept. of Interior, Case No. CV 06-1502 AHM (CTx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • July 8, 2008
    ...within the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the statute ... in question." Ass'n of Data Processing Serv. Orgs., Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 153, 90 S.Ct. 827, 25 L.Ed.2d 184 (1970). "The zone of interests test is not intended to impose an onerous burden on the plaintiff." S......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 firm's commentaries
  • Statutory Class Actions: Developments And Strategies
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • February 26, 2015
    ...(1973)). The injury need not even be economic in nature. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 562–63; Assoc. of Data Processing Serv. Orgs, Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 152 (1970). What is instead required is that the plaintiff evidence some injury from the defendant's alleged misconduct: an injury that is "c......
  • The Importance And Proper Use Of Administrative Declaratory Statements
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • March 13, 2013
    ...prong of the two-part test, the so-called "zone of protected interest" test, was first announced in Data Processing Service v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150 (1970). Agency denial of standing to bring a rule challenge based on the standards set in Agrico, was overturned based on the standards set forth......
  • Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Standing Requirements To Appeal Issuance Of A Coastal Zone Act Permit
    • United States
    • Mondaq United States
    • November 2, 2013
    ...Oceanport it had relied upon the United States Supreme Court decision in Association of Data Processing Serv. Organizations, Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150 (1970), to determine standing under the term "substantially affected" and would look to the same decision for guidance regarding the word "......
40 books & journal articles
  • Introduction to the CWA and the administrative process
    • United States
    • Introduction to environmental law: cases and materials on water pollution control - 2d Edition
    • July 23, 2017
    ...over their own governance have established prudential limitations on standing. See Association of Data Processing Serv. Orgs. v. Camp , 397 U.S. 150 (1970). Nevertheless, “Congress may grant an express right of Introduction to the CWA and the Administrative Process 133 action to persons who......
  • Unpacking Third-Party Standing.
    • United States
    • Yale Law Journal Vol. 131 No. 1, October 2021
    • October 1, 2021
    ...are enforceable by any citizen simply because citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries of those provisions has no boundaries."). (56.) 397 U.S. 150 (1970). (57.) See id. at 154 (emphasizing that "[w]here statutes are concerned, the trend is toward enlargement of the class of people who may p......
  • United States Supreme Court's 2006-2007 Term, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and a New Direction
    • United States
    • Capital University Law Review No. 36-3, May 2008
    • May 1, 2008
    ...extend Flast while acknowledging that the prohibition is a constitutional one. The Court in Association of Data Processing Serv. v. Camp , 397 U.S. 150, 152 (1970), listed the requirement that an interest to be litigated must be within the “zone of interests” contemplated by the legislature......
  • When 30 Years of Practice Goes Against You: Patent Venue Ruling 'Ignores' Supreme Court Precedent
    • United States
    • ABA General Library Landslide No. 10-5, May 2018
    • May 1, 2018
    ...S. Ct. 2675, 2685–86 (2013) (recognizing this requirement’s prudential nature). 30. Ass’n of Data Processing Serv. Orgs., Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 151 (1970). 31. 753 F.3d 1258. 32. About , Consumer Watchdog, http://www. (last visited Apr. 13, 2018). 33. Groups......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT