How To File For A Petition For Writ Of Mandate

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

At times, the government courts, departments or agencies do not follow the articulated law. When a judicial authority can clearly show that a certain course of actions are mandated by law, then he can issue a Writ of Mandate. Here is how to file for a petition for Writ of Mandate.

"Citizen Can Petition Legal Authority to Issue Writ of Mandate"

The Writ of Mandate (Mandamus) is a court order to government agency or another court to correct its previous illegal behavior in order to comply with the law. This mandamus is issued to correct defects of justice. In jurisprudence, case law is created by the actions of bureaucrats, administrators and judges. If a court judgment or action is a mistake, it could seriously undermine the legitimacy of the entire process.

A regular citizen cannot issue his own Writ of Mandate, he can only request or petition an authority to do so. The mandamus is a discretionary, equitable remedy, which must be made in good faith. The Writ of Mandate is usually used to compel or restrict a public official from following an illegal order from another authority.

"Three Kinds of Mandamus"

The three kinds of mandamus are the following: 1) Alternative, 2) Peremptory and 3) Continuing. The Alternative Mandate commands the defendant to perform a specific act or explain to a court why is not performing said act. The Peremptory Mandate is an absolute order for the defendant to perform said act when there is no excuse for not performing the act. The Continuing Mandate demands that the defendant perform the act for an unspecified period of time henceforth.

The citizen can file a Petition for Writ of Mandate to a court to enforce an action required by law. The applicant must state his name (or his organization's name), date, court with jurisdiction, legal decision case citation and any other writs concerning this action. The applicant must identify his interest in this matter.

The petitioner must state why the actions of a court or administrator violate the law, clearly state which law is applicable. Show why the actions are mistaken, unlawful, fraudulent or unfair.

Applicants must describe the remedy or relief they are seeking under the Writ of Mandate. The citizen can suggest which type of mandamus should be issued also. Using words, such as "just," "proper" and "lawful" is standard practice.

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