In general, parens patriae actions allow the government a great deal of latitude in litigating quasi-sovereign interests and in representing the public at large.
The Doctyine of Parens Patriae Has Been Over-extended and Should
The courts general use of the parens patriae doctrine in natural resource accident litigation, and in this case in particular, demonstrates the need for a fundamental rethinking of its future application in similar cases.
To maintain a parens patriae action, the state must clearly express a "quasi-sovereign" interest that represents 'a set of interests that the state has in the well-being of its populace.
The first time the Court noted that a parens patriae action could rest upon a "quasi-sovereign" interest was in Louisiana v.
In its first application of parens patriae in an environmental context, the Court in Georgia v.
185] Springing from these cases is a series of decisions laying firm groundwork for states to sue in their capacity of parens patriae to enjoin public nuisances.
Once the state acts in its parens patriae capacity, it is deemed to represent all of its citizens whenever the state is a party to a suit involving a matter of sovereign interest, and there is a presumption that the state will adequately represent the position of its citizens.
Parens Patriae Implications of Alaska Sport Fishing Association
One of the fundamental notions giving rise to the development of parens patriae authority is the fear of inadequacies in individual litigation.
A state parens patriae suit will seek recovery only for its quasi-sovereign interests in the resource, while private party actions can seek damages for more particularized interests in the resource.
197] Due to citizens' ability to represent their interests in a clean environment, the fundamental need for a parens patriae action by the state is lessened.