A Utah lawyer told the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday that his client had standing to sue the city of St. George for subsidizing lighting at a landmark Mormon temple and using the temple on the city logo.
Attorney Brian Barnard argued before a three-judge Circuit Court panel that a Utah federal judge erred in ruling that his client, Phillip Foremaster of St. George, had no standing and declaring his lawsuit against the city invalid. The federal appellate panel took Wednesday's oral arguments under advisement.Foremaster had challenged the legality of the city of St. George paying the electricity to light the exterior of the historic St. George Temple. He also said the city was improperly using the temple on its official emblem, which appeared on city stationery and some city vehicles.
But the city had argued that because Foremaster was not a city ratepayer, he had no standing to make a claim, and the Utah federal judge agreed.
At Wednesday's hearing City Attorney T.W. Shumway said the city is no longer providing the free electricity and began phasing out the logo before Foremaster filed his suit.
The City of St. George provided electricity to the local temple from 1942 until 1986, when it discontinued the practice after Foremaster filed the lawsuit, Barnard said.