Latin for we command and is usually referred to as a writ of mandamus. It is a court order requiring another court, government entity, organization or person to perform an act. It is usually the opposite of a cease and desist order and compels an action, for example, a landlord is compelled to rent to viable potential tenants without discriminatory practices. (B) practice. The name of a writ, the principal word of which when the proceedings were in Latin, was mandamus, we command. 2. It is a command issuing in the name of the sovereign authority from a superior court having jurisdiction, and is directed to some person, corporation, or, inferior court, within the jurisdiction of such superior court, requiring them to do some particular thing therein specified, which appertains to their office and duty, and which the superior court has previously determined, or at least supposes to be consonant to right and justice. 20 Pick. 484; 21 Pick. 258; Dudley, 37; 4 Humph. 437. 3. Mandamus is not a writ of right, it is not consequently granted of course, but only at the discretion of the court to whom the application for it is made; and this discretion is not exercised in favor of the applicant, unless some just and useful purpose may be answered by the writ. 4. This writ was introduced io prevent disorders from a failure of justice; therefore it ought to be used upon all occasions where the law has established no specific remedy, and where in justice and good government there ought to be one. 5. The 13th section of the act of congress of September, 24, 1789, gives the supreme court power to issue 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. The issuing of a mandamus to courts, is the exercise of an appellate jurisdiction, and, therefore constitutionally vested in the supreme court; but a mandamus directed to a public officer, belongs to original jurisdiction, and by the constitution, the exercise of original jurisdiction by the supreme court is restricted to certain specified cases, which do not comprehend a mandamus. The latter clause of the above section, authorizing this writ to be issued by the supreme court, to persons holding office under the authority of the United States, is, therefore, not warranted by the constitution, and void. 1 Cranch, R. 175. 6. The circuit courts of the United States may also issue writs of mandamus, but their power in this particular, is confined exclusively to those cases in which it may be necessary to the exercise of their jurisdiction.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
Lat. 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. The action of mandamus is one, brought in a court of competent jurisdiction, to obtain an order of such court commanding an inferior tribunal, board, corporation, or person to do or not to do an act the performance or omission of which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station. Where discretion is left to the inferior tribunal or person, the mandamus can only compel it to act, but cannot control such discretion. Rev. Code Iowa, 1880,