: an extraordinary writ issued by a court of competent jurisdiction to an inferior tribunal, a public official, an administrative agency, a corporation, or any person compelling the performance of an act usually only when there is a duty under the law to perform the act, the plaintiff has a clear right to such performance, and there is no other adequate remedy available; also : an action in the nature of a writ of mandamus in jurisdictions where the writ is abolished — compare cease-and-desist order at order, injunction, stay
NOTE: Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy and is issued usually only to command the performance of a ministerial act. It cannot be used to substitute the court’s judgment for the defendant’s in the performance of a discretionary act.