Mandamus Should Be a Last Resort
Video Transcribed: Hello, my name is Brian L. Jackson. I am a Tulsa attorney. Today I want to talk to you a little bit about a writ of mandamus, and what it is, and when you would use it. Writ of mandamus is a form of what’s called extraordinary relief, which any kind of extraordinary relief in Oklahoma courts is typically your last resort when there isn’t another cause of action that will address the problem.
Mandamus is used generally speaking when you’re talking about somebody who is acting in their official capacity, who is mandated to do something or refrain from doing something, and is refusing to carry out their duty. And basically what you’re asking the court to do in a writ of mandamus is to order that official in their official capacity to either do or not do what they’re supposed to do or not do.
Mandamus should be a last resort, and it is typically in extraordinary situations that you would seek mandamus. And the way it’s filed is you do file it in district court and you would have an attorney outline for you the facts leading up to why you think you’re entitled to mandamus.
And then you get a hearing and the court will determine if the writ is appropriate or not appropriate. I would caution anyone listening to this on a couple of things.
This is not something you do just because, and it’s not something you would do if a lesser remedy is available to you. Also, it’s really not something you ever want to try on your own. This is something where you definitely want to consult with a lawyer.
But if you do find yourself dealing with a public official, who is refusing to do their duty or some other major problem like that, then you should talk to an attorney right away. There may be a number of options available to you and mandamus could be on the table or not, but that’s a situation where you do need a lawyer and you should talk to a lawyer right away.