Writs of Mandamus

Writs of Mandamus

In certain circumstances, if a government agency or authority refuses to comply with the law, or declines to act as it is legally required to act, an individual can request a “writ of mandamus” from a court, which functions as a demand to a government actor to perform an act that it has otherwise failed to perform.  In certain family-based immigration cases in particular, it may be necessary to pursue a writ of mandamus where a government agency has declined to act in such a way as to prejudice or harm the rights of an applicant or beneficiary of some sort of application.  


The jurisdiction for U.S. courts to issue and entertain requests for mandamus writs has been substantially limited by various laws and court rules, and as such it is often necessary to get the advice of a lawyer as to whether or not he or she may be eligible for mandamus relief.  Often mandamus writs are the last option when trying to force a government actor to perform an act it is otherwise unwilling to perform.  In that sense, requesting mandamus relief is something like appealing a decision.  Call our office for a free consult if you think you may need mandamus relief.

Lessons from the Past

When I have a particular case in hand, I have that motive and feel an interest in the case, feel an interest in ferreting out the questions to the bottom, love to dig up the question by the roots and hold it up and dry it before the fires of the mind.

Abraham Lincoln

Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln compiled and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher and Virginia Fehrenbacher, (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1996), p. 242.

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