Case Details


Attorney General Control Of Litigation

Filing State



U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana




Indiana ex rel. Carter v. Pastrick, 384 F.Supp.2d 1261 (N.D. Ind. 2005)


Attorney General may bring RICO claims on behalf of a city under Indiana law.

Case Description

The Attorney General of Indiana has standing to bring RICO claims on behalf of an Indiana city, according to the U.S. District Court for the District of Indiana. To bring a civil RICO claim, the plaintiff must allege an injury to “business or property by reason of” a racketeering violation. Defendants in this case asserted that the Attorney General lacked standing because the State failed to allege sufficient injury to its “business or property,” and because the Attorney General is not the proper person under federal law to assert RICO claims on the City’s behalf. The court analyzed the State Board of Accounts Act and held, “The . . . Act is critical because it charges the Attorney General with both the duty and authority to undertake the City’s lawsuit. This, in essence, makes the Attorney General the owner of the property that has allegedly been injured because the Attorney General has the exclusive right to pursue recovery for that property.” The court also noted that permitting the Attorney General to sue in this case was necessary to vindicate the purposes of the RICO statute. “To find that the Attorney General lacked standing would effectively require the City to vindicate its own rights–a highly unlikely possibility when, at the time this suit was filed, the City was controlled by the allegedly corrupt Defendants.”