Affiliated Constr. Trades v. W. Va. Dep't of Transp.Annotate this Case
In 2003, the Division of Highways (DOH) let out a public highway construction contract to Nicewonder Contracting. The Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation (ACT) filed a declaratory judgment action against the DOH and Nicewonder, alleging that the construction contract violated state and federal law because the DOH did not seek public bids for the project and there was no prevailing wage clause in the contract. Upon remand from the district court, the circuit court granted Nicewonder's motion for summary judgment, finding ACT lacked standing. The Supreme court reversed, holding that the appropriate standard to determine if an organization has representative standing to sue on behalf of its members is when the organization proves that (1) at least one of its members would have standing to sue in their own right; (2) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization's purpose; and (3) neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation of individual members in the lawsuit. The Court found that ACT met all three prongs and thus had representative standing to seek the declarations contained in its petition.