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Defined. A writ of mandamus (also known as a writ of mandate) is an order from a court to a corporation or governmental official compelling the person to perform their official duties. An ordinary mandate is a remedy by which a court compels an inferior tribunal to perform a legally required duty. An administrative mandate is a statutory remedy which enables a petitioner to challenge an administrative decision after a hearing in which the agency performs a fact finding function. 

If the person fails to comply with the court's order, he/she can be held in contempt of court and fined or jailed. Writs are brought under California Code of Civil Procedure § 1084 et seq.

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Adams Stirling PLC