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How-To: Write a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus


Background: You needed the government to do something
Problem: The government didn't do it
Solution: You Petition a reviewing court for a Writ of Mandamus

I. Definitions

Mandamus
Lat.: we command. An extraordinary writ, issued from a court to an official, compelling performance of an act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty, as distinct from acts that may be at the official's discretion. Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016

II. Legal Citations

Art. V §3(b)(8) Florida Constitution | Supreme Court
"(8) May issue writs of mandamus and quo warranto to state officers and state agencies." Art. V §4(b)(3) Florida Constitution | District Courts of Appeal
"(3) A district court of appeal or any judge thereof may issue writs of habeas corpus returnable before the court or any judge thereof or before any circuit judge within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. A district court of appeal may issue writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto, and other writs necessary to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction. To the extent necessary to dispose of all issues in a cause properly before it, a district court of appeal may exercise any of the appellate jurisdiction of the circuit courts." Art. V §5(b) Florida Constitution | Circuit Courts
"(b) JURISDICTION. — The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction not vested in the county courts, and jurisdiction of appeals when provided by general law. 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. Jurisdiction of the circuit court shall be uniform throughout the state. They shall have the power of direct review of administrative action prescribed by general law." Rule 9.030(a)(3) Fla. R. App. P. | Original Jurisdiction (Supreme Court)
"Original Jurisdiction. The supreme court may issue writs of prohibition to courts and all writs necessary to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction, and may issue writs of mandamus and quo warranto to state officers and state agencies. The supreme court or any justice may issue writs of habeas corpus returnable before the supreme court or any justice, a district courts of appeal or any judge thereof, or any circuit judge."" Rule 9.030(b)(3) Fla. R. App. P. | Original Jurisdiction (Appellate Courts)
"Original Jursidction. District courts of appeal may issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and common law certiorari, and all writs necessary to the complete exercise of the courts’ jurisdiction; or any judge thereof may issue writs of habeas corpus returnable before the court or any judge thereof, or before any circuit judge within the territorial jurisdiction of the court." Rule 9.100(e) Fla. R. App. P. | Petitions for Writs of Mandamus and Prohibition Directed to...
"Petitions for Writs of Mandamus and Prohibition Directed to a Judge or Lower Tribunal. When a petition for a writ of mandamus or prohibition seeks a writ directed to a judge or lower tribunal, the following procedures apply:
(1) Caption. The name of the judge or lower tribunal shall be omitted from the caption. The caption shall bear the name of the petitioner and other parties to the proceeding in the lower tribunal who are not petitioners shall be named in the caption as respondents. (2) Parties. The judge or the lower tribunal is a formal party to the petition for mandamus or prohibition and must be named as such in the body of the petition (but not in the caption). The petition must be served on all parties, including any judge or lower tribunal who is a formal party to the petition. (3) Response. Following the issuance of an order pursuant to subdivision (h), the responsibility for responding to a petition is that of the litigant opposing the relief requested in the petition. Unless otherwise specifically ordered, the judge or lower tribunal has no obligation to file a response. The judge or lower tribunal retains the discretion to file a separate response should the judge or lower tribunal choose to do so. The absence of a separate response by the judge or lower tribunal shall not be deemed to admit the allegations of the petition.
Rule 9.100(g) Fla. R. App. P. | Petition
"Petition. The caption shall contain the name of the court and the name and designation of all parties on each side. The petition shall not exceed 50 pages in length and shall contain:
(1) the basis for invoking the jurisdiction of the court; (2) the facts on which the petitioner relies; (3) the nature of the relief sought; and (4) argument in support of the petition and appropriate citations of authority. If the petition seeks an order directed to a lower tribunal, the petition shall be accompanied by an appendix as prescribed by rule 9.220, and the petition shall contain references to the appropriate pages of the supporting appendix.
Rule 24 Fed. R. App. P. | Writs of Mandamus and Prohibition...
"(a)(1) A party petitioning for a writ of mandamus or prohibition directed to a court must file a petition with the circuit clerk with proof of service on all parties to the proceeding in the trial court. The party must also provide a copy to the trial-court judge. All parties to the proceeding in the trial court other than the petitioner are respondents for all purposes." Rule 1.630 Fla. R. Civ. P. | Extraordinary Remedies
"(a) Applicability. This rule applies to actions for the issuance of writs of mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and habeas corpus."

III. Samples

# PDF Comments
1TBD case. Pro Se Filing. LT = FCHR. §120.565 Declaratory Statement.
2X Denied (Dissenting Opinion). SC. Attorney Filing. Florida's JNC versus Florida's SOS.
3→ Transferred to Circuit Court. SC. Attorney Filing. City Mayor versus Florida's SOS.
4✓ Granted! Attorney Filing. SC. Retired Judge versus s Governor. Must act in 60 days.
5→ Transferred to Circuit Court. SC. State Attorneys vs SOS
6→ Transferred to Circuit Court. SC. Attorney Filing. Citizen vs SOS. Financial Disclosures. Emgncy.
7→ Transferred to Circuit Court. SC. Pro Se Filing. Prisoner vs Private Attorney. Abandoned Client.
8X Dismissed (Jurisdiction). SC. Pro Se Filing. Prisoner vs 2DCA.
9→ Transferred to Circuit Court. SC. Prisoner. Parole Challenge.
10X Dismissed (Jurisdiction). SC. Pro Se Filing. Prisoner vs State Attorney.
11X Dismissed (Moot). SC. Attorney Filing. Corporation vs 1DCA. Enforce Lower Appeal.
12X Dismissed (Not Entitled). SC. Pro Se Filing. Prisoner vs 3DCA. Rule on Rehearing.
13X Dismissed (Filing Fee). DOAH. Pro Se Filing. + Certiorari. + Prohibition.
14✓ Granted! DOAH. Attorney Filing. Citizen vs School Board. Legal Fees.
15✓ Granted! DOAH. Attorney Filing. DH vs DOAH. Compel [commanded] Ruling.
16✓ Granted! DOAH. Attorney Filing. Citizen vs DOAH. Compel Ruling. + Review
17X Denied (Merits). DOAH/State Court. Attorney Filing. Stay DOAH Proceedings.
18X Denied. DOAH. Pro Se Filing. Citizen vs 3DCA/DOAH/FCHR. Reinstate Appeal.
19✓ Granted! DOAH. Citizen vs DOAH. Compel Judge to Enter Order (work-product immunity)
20✓ Granted! DOAH. Attorney Filing. AHCA vs DOAH. Get ALJ to Accept Remand.
21X Denied. DOAH. Attorney Filing. Corporation vs Estate. + Review

IV. Templates

# Word Comments
1Petition | Replace all placeholder tags with real information (eg "[plfName]" becomes "John Doe").
2Appendix | Replace all placeholder tags with real information (eg "[plfName]" becomes "John Doe").

V. Quick Commentary

  • Crucial Note: File this document within 30 days [of the Government's dereliction of duty]!
  • Standard of Review: Understand the 3-Part Test for issuing a Writ of Mandamus:
    • 1: The petitioner must have a clear legal right to the requested relief;
    • 2: The Agency must have an indisputable duty to perform the requested action; and
    • 3: The petitioner must have no other options (ie, Mandamus is his/her only vehicle)
  • Note: Add all relevant Notices from the Florida Administrative Register.
  • Expectation: Do not expect victory (even if you have a slam dunk petition).
    • The appellate courts rarely issue Writs of Mandamus.
  • Please download as many sample documents as you'd like
    • Contact TBD for more free samples
  • Feel free to use the template (see Part III - above) to help draft your 'Petition for a Writ of Mandamus'
  • Save the final version as a PDF file.
  • File the final version in court

VI. Additional Resources

VII. Bibliography

VIII. Conclusion

A Writ of Mandamus will help you compel the government to do its job. Jobs that are mandatory (ie, non-discretionary). Examples of mandatory jobs include entering an order on time, assembling your record, forwarding your legal papers to the proper authorities, and so on.

With the use of the template (as well as the samples above), you can more easily petition the court for a Writ of Mandamus.

Congratulations! You're now booked up on how to write a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus!

Please get the justice you deserve.

Sincerely,



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