2017 ORS 34.110¹
When and to whom writ issued

A writ of mandamus may be issued to any inferior court, corporation, board, officer or person, to compel the performance of an act which the law specially enjoins, as a duty resulting from an office, trust or station; but though the writ may require such court, corporation, board, officer or person to exercise judgment, or proceed to the discharge of any functions, it shall not control judicial discretion. The writ shall not be issued in any case where there is a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law.

Notes of Decisions

In General

Mandamus is not proper remedy to test constitu­tionality of treat­ment afforded inmate of penal institu­tion. Brooks v. Cupp, 6 Or App 539, 488 P2d 804 (1971), Sup Ct review denied

When public official has acted in way that violates some statute, rule or ordinance, he has implied legal duty to correct his error, and mandamus is appropriate remedy to compel him to do so. Parks v. Bd. of County Commr. of Tillamook County, 11 Or App 177, 501 P2d 85 (1972), Sup Ct review denied

Demand that duty be performed is generally re­quired when interests involved are private, but is not necessarily re­quired when interests involved are public. Parks v. Bd. of County Commr. of Tillamook County, 11 Or App 177, 501 P2d 85 (1972), Sup Ct review denied

Mere pendency in Supreme Court of mandamus pro­ceed­ing sub­se­quently commenced does not of itself stay trial court pro­ceed­ings unless Supreme Court orders stay or grants other af­firm­a­tive relief effecting such result. Lee v. Brown, 264 Or 341, 505 P2d 924 (1973), cert. denied, 414 US 830

In mandamus pro­ceed­ing parties should proceed according to the rule that a demurrer to the alternative writ admits all well-pleaded facts in the writ. State ex rel Ware v. Hieber, 267 Or 124, 515 P2d 721 (1973)

A legal obliga­tion to perform the act which is sought to be compelled must exist on the part of the defendant. Wilber v. Wheeler, 273 Or 855, 543 P2d 1052 (1975)

The writ of mandamus compelling the Director of Personnel of Lane County to certify as an employe an applicant known to lack certain min­i­mum qualifica­tions was improperly issued. Byland and Muir v. Wold, 27 Or App 715, 557 P2d 695 (1976)

Under “limited jurisdic­tion” test district court is “inferior court” for purposes of mandamus, and therefore circuit court could issue writs of mandamus to it. Mattila v. Mason 287 Or 235, 598 P2d 675 (1979)

Where, at time of their civil service examina­tion, plaintiffs had no legal right to prevent applica­tion of veteran’s preference points to their entrance examina­tion scores, they could not compel city per­sonnel director, through mandamus, to re-apply such points to their promo­tional examina­tions since mandamus remedy is to be applied only when legal right has been es­tab­lished. Brown v. Dearborn, 52 Or App 237, 628 P2d 405 (1981), Sup Ct review denied

Peti­tioners were precluded from obtaining mandamus because they had remedy under APA even if they did not prevail in their at­tempt to obtain it. Mongelli v. Oregon Life and Health Guaranty, 85 Or App 518, 737 P2d 633 (1987); Scovell v. Goldschmidt, 106 Or App 111, 806 P2d 181 (1991), Sup Ct review denied

Criminal defendant’s peti­tion for peremptory writ of mandamus, which sought discontinued use of pretrial agree­ment and disallowance of trial in defendant’s absence, should have been denied because defendant could seek relief through direct ap­peal and thus had plain, speedy and adequate remedy at law. State ex rel Young v. Keys, 98 Or App 69, 778 P2d 500 (1989)

Workers’ compensa­tion referee’s rulings on claims, which allegedly exceeded referee’s jurisdic­tion, was not redressable by mandamus because exclusive review of order was provided in Workers’ Compensa­tion Law and constituted plain, speedy and adequate remedy. SAIF v. Johnson, 99 Or App 64, 781 P2d 374 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

ORCP 29 pro­ce­dures and require­ments for joinder do not apply in mandamus pro­ceed­ing. State ex rel Dewberry v. Kulongoski, 220 Or App 345, 187 P3d 220 (2008), aff’d 346 Or 260, 210 P3d 884 (2009)

Judicial Acts and Func­tions

District court’s decision whether to require disclosure of docu­ments was judicial, not ministerial, decision and thus not subject to challenge through mandamus pro­ceed­ing. State ex rel City of Portland v. Keys, 96 Or App 669, 773 P2d 1347 (1989)

When Remedy At Law Is Sufficient

Writ of mandamus was issued when right to be vindicated was a public as well as a private one despite fact that peti­tioner failed to avail himself of adequate and available remedy at law. McAlmond v. Myers, 262 Or 521, 500 P2d 457 (1972)

Right to judicial review of an administrative hearing was an adequate remedy at law, so mandamus would not be to quash service in that hearing. Phillips v. Layman, 15 Or App 107, 514 P2d 1352 (1973), Sup Ct review denied

Where Relators Alleged That Denial of Pretrial Hearing Prejudiced Them In That

(1) they would be denied pretrial discovery of testimony of pros­e­cu­­tion witness who refused to be interviewed and (2) denied pretrial opportunity to determine whether probable cause to require them to answer charge existed was not kind of prejudice which would render direct ap­peal inadequate remedy. State ex rel Automotive Emporium v. Murchison, 289 Or 265, 611 P2d 1169 (1980)

Where defendant had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law by way of a request for transcript under ORS 138.500 (Appointment of counsel and furnishing of transcript for appellant without funds) (2) followed by a mo­tion to supple­ment the record under ORAP 6.15, mandamus would not lie to compel trial court to grant defendant’s request for a transcript. State v. Montgomery, 294 Or 417, 657 P2d 668 (1983)

Mandamus relief is not available to putative father who challenges denial of pretrial mo­tion for appoint­ment and compensa­tion of experts to con­duct blood tests because direct ap­peal of adverse judg­ment, if any, is “plain, speedy and adequate remedy” at law. State ex rel Le Vasseur v. Merten, 297 Or 577, 686 P2d 366 (1984)

Where ability to obtain adjudica­tion on merits is entirely within control of adverse party, plaintiff does not have plain, speedy and adequate remedy in ordinary course of law. State ex rel Dewberry v. Kulongoski, 220 Or App 345, 187 P3d 220 (2008), aff’d346 Or 260, 210 P3d 884 (2009)

Where circuit court determines on review of peti­tion that relator has plain, speedy and adequate remedy at law, court is prohibited from issuing writ of mandamus. State ex rel Portland Habilita­tion Center v. PSU, 353 Or 42, 292 P3d 537 (2012)

Law Review Cita­tions

15 EL 245 (1985)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 34—Writs, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors034.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 34, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano034.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.