mandamus

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mandamus

(măndā`məs) [Lat.,=we order], in law, writwrit,
in law, written order issued in the name of the sovereign or the state in connection with a judicial or an administrative proceeding. Usually the writ requires the person to whom the command is issued to report at a fixed time (the return day) with proof of compliance or a
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 directing the performance of ministerial acts. A ministerial act is one that a person or body is obliged by law to perform under given circumstances; e.g., on receipt of the fee, a license clerk must grant a marriage license to persons legally qualified to marry. If the law allows discretion in performance, the act is not ministerial; thus mandamus will not be issued if, pursuant to statute, a license to sell liquor is refused because of the applicant's immoral character. Mandamus may be used to compel the directors of a corporation to produce the books for inspection in the manner provided by law or to compel a lower court to accept a suit it has illegally refused. Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy; i.e., it will not be issued if the usual remedies, e.g., damagesdamages,
money award that the judgment of a court requires the defendant in a suit to pay to the plaintiff as compensation for the loss or injury inflicted. Damages are the form of legal redress most commonly sought.
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 for the breach of duty, are adequate. Mandamus, originally granted at the will of the English king, is now available from ordinary courts in Great Britain and the United States. In the famous case of Marbury v. MadisonMarbury v. Madison,
case decided in 1803 by the U.S. Supreme Court. William Marbury had been commissioned justice of the peace in the District of Columbia by President John Adams in the "midnight appointments" at the very end of his administration.
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 the Supreme Court was asked to issue a writ of mandamus against Secretary of State James Madison. See injunctioninjunction,
in law, order of a court directing a party to perform a certain act or to refrain from an act or acts. The injunction, which developed as the main remedy in equity, is used especially where money damages would not satisfy a plaintiff's claim, or to protect personal
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They shall have the power to issue writs of mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, prohibition and habeas corpus, and all writs necessary or proper to the complete exercise of their jurisdiction.
the district courts through writs of mandamus and prohibition.
May Victims Petition Courts of Appeal for Writs of Mandamus? Early in its opinion, in considering the issue of a victim's standing to challenge a plea bargain agreement, the Cooper court cited a passage from Reed v.
The Court did not hear oral arguments in this case; instead, cases concerning writs of mandamus made the Supreme Court function as the trial court.
writs of mandamus, in cases warranted by the principles and usages of law, to any courts appointed, or persons holding office, under the authority of the United States."
(24) However, federal courts frequently rely on writs of mandamus to review these orders.
Trial practitioners will generally seek writs of mandamus, prohibition, or habeas corpus.
First, Marbury holds that Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 gave the Supreme Court original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus to executive branch officers.
First, the court stated that it needed to determine whether it had jurisdiction to compel agency action in a case of unreasonable delay.(71) The All Writs Act(72) gave the Court of Appeals jurisdiction over "unreasonable Commission delay."(73) The court noted that a lack of final judgment in the case did not preclude court action in the matter.(74) Furthermore, the court found jurisdiction because Courts of Appeal have traditionally issued writs of mandamus.(75) Appellate courts are particularly well situated to compel agency action because they are more experienced with administrative law than are district courts and are able to provide uniformity and efficiency in issuing such orders.(76)
At least two appellate courts have issued writs of mandamus under circumstances in which a trial court has not set a properly noticed case for trial.