A fair and just trial is only possible if the presiding judge is fair and just. The justice system depends on unbiased and careful consideration of the facts of a case in order to function properly. So, what happens when a judge abuses their discretion? 

Texas law allows you to file a writ of mandamus in situations where a judge’s accountability comes into question or when there is no appropriate remedy through appeal or the law itself. This complex concept can be quite difficult to navigate alone, which is why The Werner Law Group is well-versed in the process of mandamus to assist our clients. We are always ready to advocate for our clients, and that includes holding judges accountable for their rulings. 

What is a Writ of Mandamus?

This court order holds many functions depending on the context in which it is used. If mandamus is necessary due to a judge’s improper ruling, the order would demand that a remedy be found for this abuse of power. Specific rules vary throughout jurisdictions, but cases involving factual disputes are generally not suited for remedies through mandamus. 

In civil court, it must be shown that the judge abused their discretion or power to make a ruling. It is also important that no existing remedy is available through traditional appeal mechanisms. For criminal cases, the stipulations are slightly different. Writs of mandamus in criminal court must prove that the law provides no adequate remedy. 

Mandamus often occurs in courts as a method to appeal the judge’s decision. Essentially, the aggrieved party sues the judge, and the writ of mandamus orders a remedy to the judge’s previous decision. Because this process is in the same category as an appeal, it is important that you have a Board-Certified Appellate Attorney like Leslie A. Werner involved if you want to mandamus a judge. 

When Should You File a Mandamus?

Taking swift action to file a lawsuit against a judge following an adverse ruling is crucial in the mandamus process. You should file a writ of mandamus as soon as possible to avoid further delays or negative consequences. There are statutory deadlines for filing a writ of mandamus, so you need to get with your attorney the moment you feel you have been wronged by a judge. If any of the following scenarios has occurred in your case, you may want to consider filing a writ of mandamus:

– the judge abused their discretion;

– an adequate remedy of law does not exist; or 

– an abuse of power occurred.

Mandamus may fall outside of the above categories, for details or to find out if your judge’s act was proper, consult with an appellate attorney.

Texas Supreme Court may issue a mandamus to a lower trial court and appellate court judges, and appellate courts may issue a mandamus to appellate court and trial court judges. Which court’s judge you are seeking to file a writ against will determine in which court you should file the mandamus. 

Having a highly qualified and experienced attorney on your side throughout the mandamus process can be beneficial to ensure all the necessary steps are taken. The Werner Law Group can provide the expert legal counsel you need during this difficult time. If you have questions about your case and need answers quickly, you can text Leslie at 361-648-6888 for a response any day of the week.