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Who Has Standing To File A Federal Civil RICO Lawsuit?


Not everyone has the right to have their case heard in court. A plaintiff must first establish that they have “standing” in order to be eligible to pursue their legal claim. In the legal context, standing is simply the capacity to bring a particular lawsuit in court. In this blog post, our Miami RICO claims lawyers explain the most important things you should know about standing to file a federal civil RICO lawsuit.

Four Elements of Standing to File a Federal Civil RICO Lawsuit

There are specific elements that an individual or entity must satisfy in order to have the legal standing to file a federal civil RICO lawsuit. Under federal law (18 US Code § 1962), the following four factors are explicit elements that must be satisfied to file a civil RICO lawsuit:

  1. The plaintiff must be a “person”—defined as an individual, business, or organization;
  2. The plaintiff must have sustained an actual injury (tangible harm);
  3. The plaintiff must have been sustained to the plaintiff “business” or “property”; and
  4. The plaintiff’s harm must have occurred due to racketeering activity.

When a plaintiff files a federal civil RICO lawsuit, a court will review and evaluate the issue of standing at the outset of the case. A defendant may assert “lack of standing” as an initial procedural defense. If a federal court finds that the plaintiff does not have standing, the civil RICO lawsuit can be dismissed without a full hearing.

An Overview of Parties Who May File a Federal Civil RICO Claim 

A civil RICO lawsuit allows parties to take action to recover compensation for damages caused by racketeering activity. These types of federal legal claims can be filed in many different contexts. Some notable examples of parties that may potentially have the legal standing to file a federal civil RICO lawsuit include:

  • Individuals;
  • Consumers;
  • Debtors;
  • Businesses;
  • Shareholders;
  • Business partners;
  • Employees; and
  • Union members. 

Standing is Necessary but Not Sufficient: Pleading a Civil RICO Violation 

A plaintiff must have legal standing in order to be eligible to bring a civil RICO lawsuit in federal court. That being said, establishing standing is not enough to survive a motion to dismiss. A civil RICO plaintiff must also meet the pleading requirements. Many federal civil RICO claims do not survive past the pleading stage. It is imperative that a plaintiff in a civil RICO case has a strong, well-supported initial claim that raises sufficient allegations to move past the pleading stage.

 Call Our South Florida Federal Civil RICO Lawyers for Immediate Legal Help

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our federal commercial lawyers are experienced, effective, and results-driven advocates for our clients. If you have any questions about standing to file a federal civil RICO lawsuit or pleading requirements in a federal civil RICO lawsuit, we are ready to get you reliable answers. Call us now for your strictly confidential case review. We handle federal and state civil RICO litigation from our offices in Miami and West Palm Beach.



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