Forcing Action With A Writ of Mandamus

Writ of Mandamus

This Latin phrase means ” forcing the realm” but what does that mean? As citizens, when our government does not act the way it should, we can go to court and file for a writ of mandamus.

I can perhaps best describe this writ by explaining the circumstances surrounding the first time that I filed a writ of mandamus.

My client had purchased a used car from a used car dealer in Howard County. The dealer provided a sales contract under which the purchase was made and my client paid for the vehicle. The dealer then went out of business the same week that my client purchased the vehicle but did not turn in the paper work to the Motor Vehicle Administration. My client, therefore, did not receive a title to the vehicle he had purchased. So, on his own, he went to the MVA in Glen Burnie and found that the MVA would not issue a full title but only what is called a ” hold title”. This means he could use the vehicle as any owner could but he could not sell the vehicle without going to court. About a year after his purchase of the vehicle, he was in a car accident in which the vehicle was “totaled”. The insurance company would not give him payment for the total loss until he had obtained a full title.

At that point, he came to me and we filed suit. We were able to prove that his purchase was bonafide and Judge Gelfman ordered the MVA to issue him a full title. Her order required the MVA, a governmental office, to act by issuing a full title and this resulted in my client being paid the full amount the insurance company had offered him for his vehicle.

More recently, the need again arose that may have required our filing a writ of mandamus. A client of mine was unable to obtain an identification card that is routinely issued by the MVA because he did not have a birth certificate. We were able to assist this client in obtaining documentation sufficient enough for the MVA to issue him a MVA identification card. We actually accompanied our client to the Express Office of the MVA in Columbia, Maryland, where he received his ID card. A writ of mandamus was not required because we were able to achieve what our client needed.

If you are unable to obtain what you need from the MVA or from a government office, we may be able to get what you need by filing a writ of mandamus. However, before filing a lawsuit (writ of mandamus), we make numerous assertive efforts to achieve your goal. We seek to resolve the issue by providing sufficient documentation to satisfy the governmental office or agency. Please call us to have Fred Antenberg, an attorney with many years of experience going to court, obtain a writ of mandamus for you in the Howard County circuit court or in a county surrounding Howard County, Maryland. Call Fred at 410 730 4404 now.