Understanding the Mandamus – and What It Might Mean for You

Throughout the legal system, there are many key terms and phrases that inspire confusion, especially if you have not heard them before. One such term is “Mandamus.” This judicial writ, or remedy, is largely an administrative term within the judicial system. But that does not mean that it will not potentially impact you and your case. That is why we have put together this brief guide to understanding the “mandamus” and what it might mean in your specific scenario.

Defining “Mandamus”

You will note a similarity between the word “mandamus” and the word “mandate.” You can think of them as somewhat interchangeable. But the word “mandamus” does have specific relevance to the world of law, in that this specific judicial remedy can represent an order from a court. Usually these “mandates” come in the form of ordering that a subordinate court or agency uphold its duties as part of the judicial system in the United States.


What does this mean for the individual? When you believe that your rights have been violated, it may be possible to ask a court for a “mandamus” that would remedy the situation and restore these rights to you. This is most common in the immigration context when you are asking for a decision on an application that has unreasonably delayed.

Unreasonably Delayed Applications

An individual can request a mandamus if they believe their rights have been violated.  As referenced above, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents have a right to have their applications and petitions be timely reviewed by the appropriate government authorities.  It is not fair to the U.S. citizen or the lawful permanent resident if the government, commonly the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, takes an extraordinarily long time to review the application or petition and make a decision on it.  If they are failing to act timely, then the possibility of requesting a mandamus may be right for you.

Consult with Reeves Immigration Law Group 

Is it within your rights and positive expectations to apply for this type of mandate from a court, or would your energies best be served elsewhere? These are the questions that depend entirely on the unique facts of your case.  It is therefore vital that you consult with an experienced and competent immigration attorney to discuss your options. If you have a legitimate grievance, applying for a court order of this type might be a way to ensure that your rights are upheld. Contact Reeves Immigration Law Group today for a confidential consultation about your case and to discuss whether a mandamus is right for you.

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