Writ of Mandamus, Georgia
If you’re seeking legal assistance with a writ of mandamus in Georgia, look no further than Tadeo & Silva Law. Our experienced attorneys can help you with all your legal needs.
Author: Massiel Silva Tadeo, Founder, Tadeo & Silva
Attorney Massiel Silva Tadeo is a partner and owner at The Tadeo & Silva Law Firm. She specializes in removal (deportation) defense, family immigration, and hardship waivers. Published on: May 02, 2023.
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What Is a Writ of Mandamus?
Mandamus is a Latin word that means “to command”. The writ of mandamus is a legal order issued by a court instructing a lower court, governmental body, public official, or incorporation to perform their official duties. 28 U.S. Code § 1361 and Georgia code in § 9-6-20 define and regulate this extraordinary writ.
In the context of immigration, a writ of mandamus can be used to compel action on an immigration application that has been pending for an unreasonably long period. The order instructs the U.S.C.I.S. to make a decision but does not dictate the decision itself. This means that the U.S.C.I.S. still has the discretion to approve or deny the application.
How Does a Writ of Mandamus in Georgia Work?
The requirement for mandamus petitions is that reasonable time must have passed since the due performance was supposed to be fulfilled. But what qualifies as “reasonable time” is subject to judicial interpretation. Generally, the wait must have been unreasonably long, constituting an implicit refusal to perform the duty owed.
The writ can be issued against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) for failing to proceed with your immigration petition for an extended period without any reasonable grounds being communicated to you. It can also be issued against the National Visa Center (N.V.C.) to compel them to complete the adjudication of your visa application and schedule an interview.
A mandamus petition will not succeed where there has been a request for further information to which you have failed to respond or if you have outstanding processing fees that may have halted the process. It is critical for you to fulfill your duties with respect to the green card or visa application for this writ to be issued.
The writ of mandamus is a rare remedy not often issued by the courts. It may be a good idea to have a solid case presented by a top immigration lawyer in Atlanta to increase your petition approval chances.
How to File a Writ of Mandamus in Immigration Cases?
To file a writ of mandamus in Georgia, you may hire a lawyer who is familiar with federal and Georgia immigration laws. Your lawyer will draft the petition containing your name, the circumstances of the case, and the relief sought. They will then file it with the court having the jurisdiction to hear the matter and pay any necessary fees. They also need to inform all parties involved in the suit.
In most cases, as soon as the petition is filled, the government attorney will ask for a brief extension of time to decide on the case and avoid further litigation. The judge has the discretion to either grant your petition or deny it.
Conditions for Mandamus to Be Granted
The following are the outlined legal requirements for a petition for mandamus to be considered by U.S. courts:
- The petitioner must have a pending case with the body in question.
- A clear public duty is owed to the petitioner and a corresponding right to relief.
- The immigration authorities must have refused or delayed the performance of their official duty without reasonable explanation.
- No other specific legal remedy is available to the petitioner, as in most immigration application cases.
Other Situations Where You May Petition for a Writ of Mandamus
A writ of mandamus can be used to compel government agencies, public offices, and courts to perform a delayed duty.
Mandamus Action Against Other Government Agencies
Apart from delayed petitions with the U.S.C.I.S., a person can petition for mandamus against the U.S. consulates for failing to respond to a visa application after the interview, the F.B.I. for delaying an immigration security check, and so on.
It’s important to note that while a writ of mandamus can be used against U.S. embassies and consulates, it cannot be used against foreign embassies in the U.S., such as the Mexican Consulate Atlanta.
When an Individual Has No Other Adequate Remedy to Enforce It
One may seek mandamus in non-immigration cases where a public body infringes their legal rights, and there is no proper remedy or path to legal justice. It is, however, a good idea to seek legal advice first.
To Compel a Lower Court
A superior court can issue a writ of mandamus to compel a trial court or any other lower court to decide on a motion that was filed long ago without any response. However, the lower court may deny such a motion.
When Not to Petition a Writ of Mandamus in Georgia?
Even though the writ of mandamus is an effective remedy, there are many situations where the petition can’t be issued. Some of them include:
When the duty owed is discretionary not ministerial (obligatory)
When it means evading the limitations prescribed in the Georgia law concerning mandamus cases
When it is used to check past criminal or court records
When an appellate review is possible, or some other legal remedy is available
Effectiveness of Mandamus
Many people often fear that government authorities will retaliate if they seek a mandamus against them. Some also believe that it does not work. However, both sentiments are not necessarily true. If you have a valid case and a sound lawyer, a mandamus writ can be an effective remedy, particularly in immigration cases.
Tadeo & Silva Immigration Attorneys: Your Mandamus Lawyers in Georgia
Our law firm prides itself on competently serving the interests of the public and the justice system. We have years of experience successfully providing legal immigration services and advice to the residents of Atlanta, Georgia, and to people across the length and breadth of the U.S.
If you believe a writ of mandamus may be a helpful remedy for your case, do not hesitate to contact us. We put our heads together at Tadeo & Silva Immigration Attorneys to bring you closer to realizing your dreams. We can use our knowledge and experience to make the process faster, easier, and more reliable. Remember, we are only a click away.
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