Prime Locations, an advertising company that owns small billboards and free standing signs, challenged the denial of several building permits to expand their existing signs, alleging that the applicable zoning ordinances of the city and county which restrict the use of billboards are inconsistent with Tennessee state law. The city and county argued, among other things, that Prime Locations did not have standing to challenge the acts in court because they failed to exhaust remaining administrative remedies. The trial court found for the city and county on other grounds. The appellate court reiterated the three prong test for standing: (1) a palpable injury; (2) a causal connection between the injury and purported conduct; and (3) that a court can remedy the injury. Here, the court found that Prime Location’s injury was not palpable because there was no controversy. A live controversy exists where there is a real dispute, meaning the matter is ripe for adjudication. Since Prime Location failed to appeal the administrative decision as provided by the state statute, they lacked standing.
Prime Locations, Inc. v. Shelby County, 2011 WL 6140871 (Tenn. Ct. App. 12/8/2011)
The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/primelocationsopn.pdf