ripeness doctrine


ripeness doctrine
The principle that the federal courts require an actual, present controversy, and therefore will not act when the issue is only hypothetical or the existence of a controversy merely speculative. The constitutional mandate of case or controversy, U.S. Const. Art. Ill, requires an appellate court to consider whether a case has matured or ripened into a controversy worthy of adjudication before it will determine the same. The question in each case is whether there is a substantial controversy, between parties having adverse legal interests, of sufficient immediacy and reality to warrant the issuance of a declaratory judgment. Lake Carriers' Ass'n v. MacMullan, 406 U.S. 498, 92 S.Ct. 1749, 32 L.Ed.2d 257.
Basic rationale of "ripeness doctrine" arising out of courts' reluctance to apply declaratory judgment and injunctive remedies unless administrative determinations arise in context of a controversy ripe for judicial resolution, is to prevent courts, through avoidance of premature adjudication, from entangling themselves in abstract disagreements over administrative policies, and also to protect the agencies from judicial interference until an administrative decision has been formalized and its effects felt in a concrete way by the challenging parties, and court is required to evaluate both fitness of issues for judicial decision and hardship to parties of withholding court consideration. Abbott Laboratories v. Gardner, 387 U.S. 136, 87 S.Ct. 1507, 1515, 18 L.Ed.2d 681.

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

Look at other dictionaries:

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