The United States has an administrative structure that is based on checks and balances. There are processes in place that can be used to curtail illegal activity on the part of a court or government agency, and those processes are accessible to the public. One of the most common check on the administrative system is the Writ of Mandate. It is a fairly straightforward document that is used to keep government agencies and courts in check.
Who Issues A Writ Of Mandate?
Only a court can issue a Writ of Mandate, but the origin of the Writ does not necessarily have to be from a court. If a citizen feels that a government agency or other court is acting in violation of the law, then that citizen can petition another court to issue a Writ of Mandate.
How Does The Writ Of Mandate Work?
Before a court can issue a Writ of Mandate, it must have evidence that another court or government agency is acting in violation of the law. Once all of the evidence has been collected and the court has made its decision, it can issue the Writ of Mandate against the agency or other court. The entity that has been served with the Writ of Mandate must explain why it is violating the law and what steps it will take to correct the action.
Alternative Writ Of Mandate
An alternative Writ of Mandate is an order for an agency or court to perform some type of legal function or act. If the agency or court refuses to perform the mandated act or legal function, then it must explain why it will not do so.
Peremptory Writ of Mandate
A peremptory Writ of Mandate is similar to the alternative Writ, but it is a bit more direct. With a peremptory Writ, the served party must perform whatever act or legal action is outlined in the Writ as long as there is no logical reason not to. In other words, the act must be performed unless there is a very good reason not to perform it.
Continuing Writ of Mandate
A continuing Writ of Mandate orders an agency or court to perform a specific process or act for a period of time that is outlined in the Writ.
A Writ of Mandate is a way for courts to monitor the actions of government agencies and other courts, and it is also a way for a citizen to bring potentially illegal behavior being performed by a court or government agency to public attention.