Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
mandamus (plural mandamuses)
- (law) A common law prerogative writ that compels a court or government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly.
1833 January 21, “Proceedings in the Court of King's Bench, on Monday 21st January 1833”, in Proceedings Connected with the Writ of Mandamus Issued by His Majesty's Court of King's Bench Against the Court of Directors of the East-India Company, for the Transmission to India of the Bengal Political Draft No. 167, of the Season 1832, on the Subject of the Affairs of Messrs. William Palmer and Co., London: Printed in conformity to the resolution passed by the Court of Proprietors of East-India Stock, on the 20th March 1833, by J. L. Cox and Son, 75, Great Queen Street, OCLC 11943656, page 94:
- I admit to all my learned friends that a Mandamus does not issue where there is another course of proceeding by which the thing can be effected; but I again state to your Lordships, that if in this case a Mandamus must not issue, there is no other proceeding that can be adopted.
1849, Richard Jebb, “Cause Shown against the Rule [Regina v. The Archbishop of Canterbury]”, in A Report of the Case of the Right Rev. R[enn] D[ickson] Hampden, D.D., Lord Bishop Elect of Hereford, in Hereford Cathedral, the Ecclesiastical Courts, and the Queen's Bench, London: Richard Benning and Co., law booksellers, 43, Fleet Street, OCLC 873330578, page 311:
- And then it was moved that the court would grant a mandamus to the delegates to admit the bishop's allegations: and it was compared to the cases where they grant mandamuses to compel the granting of probates of wills or letters of administration.
1856, Mathew Bacon; Joseph Sayer; Owen Ruffhead; Henry Gwyllim; Charles Edward Dodd; Bird Wilson; John Bouvier, A New Abridgment of the Law. By Matthew [sic: Mathew] Bacon, of the Middle Temple, Esq. With Large Additions and Corrections, by Sir Henry Gwyllim, and Charles Edward Dodd, Esq. And with the Notes and Referencs Made to the Edition Published in 1809, by Bird Wilson, Esq. To which are Added Notes and References to American and English Law and Decisions, by John Bouvier, volume VI, Philadelphia, Pa.: T. & J. W. Johnson & Co., law booksellers, No. 197 Chestnut Street, OCLC 1806057, page 419:
- A mandamus is a writ commanding the execution of an act, where otherwise justice would be obstructed, or the king's charter neglected, issuing regularly only in cases relating to the public and the government; and is therefore termed […] a prerogative writ.
- (transitive) To serve a writ of this kind upon.