mandamus


mandamus
/maendeymas/ We command. This is the name of a writ (formerly a high prerogative writ) which issues from a court of superior jurisdiction, and is directed to a private or municipal corporation, or any of its officers, or to an executive, administrative or judicial officer, or to an inferior court, commanding the performance of a particular act therein specified, and belonging to his or their public, official, or ministerial duty, or directing the restoration of the complainant to rights or privileges of which he has been illegally deprived. A writ issuing from a court of competent jurisdiction, commanding an inferior tribunal, board, corporation, or person to perform a purely ministerial duty imposed by law. Nebel v. Nebel, 241 N.C. 491, 85 S.E.2d 876, 882. Extraordinary writ which lies to compel performance of ministerial act or mandatory duty where there is a clear legal right in plaintiff, a corresponding duty in defendant, and a want of any other appropriate and adequate remedy. Cohen v. Ford, 19 Pa.Cmwlth. 417, 339 A.2d 175, 177.
See also ministerial act.
The U.S. District Courts have original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff. 28 U.S.C.A. No. 1361. Mandamus has traditionally issued in response to abuses of judicial power. Thus, where a district judge refuses to take some action he is required to take or takes some action he is not empowered to take, mandamus will lie. Bankers Life & Cas. Co. v. Holland, 346 U.S. 379, 384, 74 S.Ct. 145, 98 L.Ed. 106.
The Supreme Court may issue a writ of mandamus in aid of the appellate jurisdiction that might otherwise be defeated by the unauthorized action of the court below. McClellan v. Garland, 217 U.S. 268, 30 S.Ct. 501, 503, 54 L.Ed. 762.
The remedy of mandamus is a drastic one, to be invoked only in extraordinary situations. Banker's Life & Cas. Co. v. Holland, 346 U.S. 379, 382-385, 74 S.Ct. 145, 147-149, 98 L.Ed. 106; Ex parte Fahey, 332 U.S. 258, 259, 67 S.Ct. 1558, 1559, 91 L.Ed. 2041.
The writ has traditionally been used in the federal courts only "to confine an inferior court to a lawful exercise of its prescribed jurisdiction or to compel it to exercise its authority when it is its duty to do so." Will v. United States, 389 U.S., at 95, 88 S.Ct., at 273, quoting Roche v. Evaporated Milk Assn., 319 U.S. 21, 26, 63 S.Ct. 938, 941, 87 L.Ed. 1185.
Pleading
Like most of the extraordinary writs, the writ of mandamus has been abolished under rules practice in favor of a complaint or motion in the nature of mandamus which accomplishes the same object; e.g. Federal or Mass.R.Civ.P. 81(b)

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mandamus — man·da·mus /man dā məs/ n [Latin, we enjoin, from mandare to enjoin]: an extraordinary writ issued by a court of competent jurisdiction to an inferior tribunal, a public official, an administrative agency, a corporation, or any person compelling… …   Law dictionary

  • Mandamus — (lat. wir ordnen an) ist ein Rechtsterminus, der eine gerichtliche Entscheidung in der Nebensache bezeichnet, also jede, meistens an einen Dritten oder an eine staatliche Stelle gerichtete Anordnung oder Verfügung, die kein Endurteil im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • mandamus — (lat. wir ordnen an) ist ein Rechtsterminus, der eine gerichtliche Entscheidung in der Nebensache bezeichnet, also jede, meistens an einen Dritten oder an eine staatliche Stelle gerichtete Anordnung oder Verfügung, die kein Endurteil im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • mandamus — UK US /mænˈdeɪməs/ noun [C] (plural mandamuses) ► LAW an official order from a court of law stating that a person or organization must do a particular thing: »A court may issue a writ of mandamus to force a public official to perform a mandated… …   Financial and business terms

  • Mandamus — Man*da mus, n. [L., we command, fr. mandare to command.] (Law) A writ issued by a superior court and directed to some inferior tribunal, or to some corporation or person exercising authority, commanding the performance of some specified duty.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mandāmus — (lat., »wir verordnen«), Bezeichnung für einen Befehl (injunction) des englischen Oberhofgerichts …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • mandamus — 1530s, writ from a superior court to an inferior one, specifying that something be done, (late 14c. in Anglo French), from Latin, lit. we order, first person plural pres. indicative of mandare to order (see MANDATE (Cf. mandate) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • mandamus — [man dā′məs] n. [L, we command, 1st pers. pl., pres. indic., of mandare: see MANDATE] Law a writ commanding that a specified thing be done, issued by a higher court to a lower one, or to a private or municipal corporation, government agency,… …   English World dictionary

  • Mandamus — For other uses, see Mandamus (disambiguation). Prerogative writs …   Wikipedia


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