What is a Petition for Writ of Prohibition?

“The writ of prohibition arrests the proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, or person exercising judicial functions, when such proceedings are without or in excess of the jurisdiction of such tribunal, corporation, board or person.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 1102; County of Sutter v. Super. Ct. (1922) 188 Cal. 292, 295.) It “may be issued by any court to an inferior tribunal or to a corporation, board, or person, in all cases where there is not a plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.” (Code of Civ. Proc., § 1103(a).)

A court acts in excess of its jurisdiction, as that term is used in determining whether the writ of prohibition will issue, if it acts in violation of a statute defining its powers. (Abelleira v. District Court of Appeal (1941) 17 Cal.2d. 280, 291.) Acts simply ministerial in their nature, and in no sense judicial, cannot be reached by prohibition. (Taylor v. Board of Election Commrs. (1880) 54 Cal. 404, 406.)

Legal Standard

A writ of prohibition is a proper remedy to restrain enforcement of a law or ordinance invalid on its face. (Chambers v. Municipal Court (1977) 65 Cal.App.3d 904, 907.) It is only where the inferior tribunal is about to do some act unauthorized by law that the writ will lie; it is a preventive, rather than a corrective, remedy, and issues only to restrain the commission of a future act and not to undo an act already performed. (Hevren v. Reed (1899) 126 Cal. 219, 222; Hull v. Super. Ct. (1883) 63 Cal. 179; Havemeyer v. Super. Ct. (1890) 84 Cal. 327, 394.)

If the court has jurisdiction over both the crime and the person of the defendant, prohibition is not available to restrain or correct mere errors in procedure, such as rulings upon the admissibility of evidence, since such errors can be corrected on appeal. (Abelleira v. District Court of Appeal (1941) 17 Cal.2d 280, 287.) “If the lower court has power to make a correct determination of a particular issue, it clearly has power to make an incorrect decision, subject only to appellate review and not to restraint by prohibition. Hence, in examining the authorities, we must conclude that in those situations in which a writ of prohibition was issued, the particular action restrained was one beyond the jurisdiction of the court to take.” (Id. at 286.)

“It is the universal rule that mere error, irregularity, or mistake in the proceedings of a court having jurisdiction does not justify a resort to the extraordinary remedy of prohibition, and that a writ of prohibition never issues to restrain a lower tribunal from committing mere error in deciding a question properly before it; or, as it has sometimes been said, the writ of prohibition cannot be converted into, or made to serve the purpose of, an appeal, writ of error, or writ of review to undo what already has been done. This is true both because there has been no usurpation or abuse of power and because there exist other adequate remedies. Thus, when jurisdiction is clear, an erroneous decision in ruling on the sufficiency of the petition or complaint, or on a motion to dismiss, or on matters of defense, or in rendering judgment, is not ground for a writ of prohibition.” (42 Am.Jur. 165, 166; Lord v. Super. Ct. (1946) 27 Cal. 2d 855; Howard v. Super. Ct. (1944) 25 Cal. 2d 784.)

Useful Rulings on Petition for Writ of Prohibition

Recent Rulings on Petition for Writ of Prohibition

CHRISTOPHER THANNHAEUSER VS TKH ZUMA, LLC, ET AL.

Local Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A) contains mandatory filing rules which have no application to Plaintiff’s complaint, as the case does not fall within any of the enumerated case types: personal injury, asbestos, class action, probate, Labor Code section 98.2, writ of prohibition or mandate, emancipation, or adoption. If none of the mandatory provisions apply, a civil case may always be filed in the Central District.

  • Hearing

    Jul 02, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

CLARK VS OASIS SURGERY CENTER LLC

Plaintiff petitioned for a writ of prohibition and/or mandate. The Court of Appeal denied the petition.

  • Hearing

    Jan 30, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

CLARK VS OASIS SURGERY CENTER LLC

Plaintiff petitioned for a writ of prohibition and/or mandate. The Court of Appeal denied the petition.

  • Hearing

    Jan 30, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

KATHY LITTLE VS. COMMISSION ON TEACHER CREDENTIALING

Disposition The writ of prohibition is granted, The OSC re: contempt is denied. In the event that this tentative ruling becomes the court's order, then pursuant to Cal. Rule of Court 3.1312, counsel for the Petitioners shall lodge for the court's signature a proposed judgment that incorporates this ruling as an exhibit.

  • Hearing

    Jan 24, 2020

FRONTLINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATES, INC. VS BENJAMIN GLUCK, ET AL.

On appeal, Twin Lock sought a writ of prohibition to prevent the imposition of sanctions for its officers’ failure to appear for the depositions. The Supreme Court stated: “The disposition of this proceeding depends upon the applicability of section 1989 of the Code of Civil Procedure … .” (Twin Lock, supra, 52 Cal.2d at p. 758.)

  • Hearing

    Jan 09, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

STEVEN JENSEN VS KRISTEN KERR ET AL

On appeal, Twin Lock sought a writ of prohibition to prevent the imposition of sanctions for its officers' failure to appear for the depositions. The Supreme Court stated: “The disposition of this proceeding depends upon the applicability of section 1989 of the Code of Civil Procedure … .” (Twin Lock, supra, 52 Cal.2d at p. 758.)

  • Hearing

    Dec 12, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

LOWRY V. LOWRY

Superior Court (1937) 23 Cal.App.2d 173, 72 P.2d 774.) ¶ Appellate review of the issue may be sought by petition for writ of prohibition. (Lawyers Title Ins. Corp. v. Superior Court, supra, 151 Cal.App.3d 455, 199 Cal.Rptr. 1; Padula v. Superior Court, supra, 235 Cal.App.2d 567, 45 Cal.Rptr. 500; Figgs v. Superior Court, supra, 204 Cal.App.2d 231, 22 Cal.Rptr. 199; Robinson v. Superior Court, supra, 203 Cal.App.2d 263, 21 Cal.Rptr. 475; Cade v.

  • Hearing

    Dec 06, 2019

SHEILA GIANELLI VS MARK SCHWARTZ ET AL

After the trial court issued an order compelling the deposition of the plaintiff’s spouse, the plaintiff sought a writ of prohibition to prevent his spouse from testifying in the action.

  • Hearing

    Dec 04, 2019

DARRYL HAYES

Pursuant to LASC Local Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A), “[e]very proceeding seeking a writ of prohibition or mandate (except as provided in subsection (B) below) must be filed in the Central District.” Petitioner contends the Respondent functions wholly in the Southwest District, because the Metropolitan State Hospital is located in Norwalk. (Opp. at 4-5.) However, as noted Respondent in Reply, the Respondent is a statewide agency, not a single hospital.

  • Hearing

    Aug 22, 2019

  • Type

    Administrative

  • Sub Type

    Writ

JASON STEGER VS CSJ PROVIDENCE ST JOSEPH MEDICAL CENTER ET A

In Brown, the court of appeal issued a writ of prohibition restraining the trial court from compelling a personal injury plaintiff to produce her W-2 forms. The court recognized that the privilege extended to documents used in the preparation of tax forms, and rejected the argument made here, that the privilege should not apply because the documents were necessary to evaluate plaintiff’s claim for loss of earnings.

  • Hearing

    Jul 26, 2019

SHELTER ISLE RESIDENTS ASSN ET AL VS KIRK GELMS ET AL

Local Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A) sets forth mandatory filing rules which have no application to Plaintiffs’ complaint, as the case does not fall within any of the enumerated case types: personal injury, asbestos, class action, probate, Labor Code section 98.2, writ of prohibition or mandate, emancipation, or adoption. If none of the mandatory provisions apply, a civil case may always be filed in the Central District.

  • Hearing

    Jul 11, 2019

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

SAM WALKER CPA INC VS THE DEPT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS CA BOARD

On September 27, 2016, Walker filed a motion requesting the OAH to stay the administrative hearing pending appeal of the trial court’s denial of the writ of prohibition. See AR 498. The CBA opposed the request and the OAH denied the request on the grounds that Walker did not establish good cause for continuance of the hearing and that there is no right to a stay based upon an appeal of an order dismissing a writ petition. AR 498-99.

  • Hearing

    Jul 09, 2019

BELMONT STATION, INC., ET AL. VS ROD FORTINO, ET AL.

Local Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A) contains mandatory filing rules which have no application to Plaintiffs’ complaint, as the case does not fall within any of the enumerated case types: personal injury, asbestos, class action, probate, Labor Code section 98.2, writ of prohibition or mandate, emancipation, or adoption. If none of the mandatory provisions apply, a civil case may always be filed in the Central District.

  • Hearing

    Jun 27, 2019

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

COVELOP HOLDINGS, ET AL. V. SAN LUIS BAY ESTATES HOA

The 2018 Action asserts causes of action for (1) declaratory relief, (2) injunctive relief, (3) “per se, private and public nuisance,” (4) accounting, (5) writ of mandate under Code of Civil Procedure section 1085, (6) writ of prohibition under Sections 1102-1103, and (7) breach of 2000 agreement. On December 13, 2018, the Court denied the Rossi Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction and writ of mandate and/or writ of prohibition.

  • Hearing

    Jun 20, 2019

JOSEFINA HANSING VS. RICHARD ANTHONY SEPOLIO [E-FILE]

Plaintiff petitioned for a writ of prohibition and/or mandate. The Court of Appeal denied the petition.

  • Hearing

    Jun 12, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Auto

JOSEFINA HANSING VS. RICHARD ANTHONY SEPOLIO [E-FILE]

Plaintiff petitioned for a writ of prohibition and/or mandate. The Court of Appeal denied the petition.

  • Hearing

    Jun 12, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Auto

EDWARD BEHRENS VS SANTA BARBARA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Court of Appeal issued a writ of prohibition precluding those depositions from being taken, finding that discovery into the subjective motives or mental processes of legislators is forbidden, and the proscription may not be circumvented by deposing others about the factors that may have led to the legislators’ votes. Even when an ulterior purpose is relevant to the validity of the decision, it must be established by objective proof, and not by inquiry into motivation.

  • Hearing

    May 29, 2019

ANDREIA FUZON VS DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Pursuant to LASC Local Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A), “[e]very proceeding seeking a writ of prohibition or mandate (except as provided in subsection (B) below) must be filed in the Central District.” Because the DMV functions throughout the entire state of California, subsection (B) does not apply. (LASC Local Rule 2.3(a)(1)(B) (allowing optional filing in another district of a petition for writ of “Mandate, where the defendant functions wholly therein.”).)

  • Hearing

    May 16, 2019

  • Type

    Administrative

  • Sub Type

    Writ

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA VS SUMMERLAND MARKET INC

The trial court denied the motion and the executor applied for a writ of prohibition to restrain trial until the other parties were brought in. (Ibid.) The California Supreme Court denied the application for writ (id. at p. 527), but stated: “At common law, joinder of plaintiffs was compulsory where the parties, under the substantive law, were possessed of joint rights. Joint promisees under a contract, partners, and joint tenants were familiar examples.

  • Hearing

    May 15, 2019

DAVID ASCH ET AL VS ANDREW JOHN BERTSCHY ET AL

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Immediate Stay Pending Determination of Writ of Prohibition/ Mandate, filed on 3/21/19, is DENIED. The court’s file reflects that there is no basis for a stay of proceedings while Plaintiffs appeal the court’s orders because on 3/26/19, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, dismissed the following appeals: Appeal filed on 2/19/19 filed by Plaintiff, David Asch from the order of 2/14/19 Appeal filed 2/13/19 by David Asch.

  • Hearing

    Apr 17, 2019

WATER AUDIT CALIFORNIA VS. CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF STATE HOSPITALS

Those cases found that Section 393, subdivision (b) did not apply to actions seeking a writ of prohibition or an order enjoining a public agency from taking particular action. But the Petition here claims Respondent has failed to properly operate the dams, which Petitioner claims has caused, and will continue to cause damage to fish habitats. The allegations here are distinguishable from those asserted in the cases cited by Petitioner. Similarly, the Court is not persuaded by McMillan v.

  • Hearing

    Apr 12, 2019

WATER AUDIT CALIFORNIA VS. CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF STATE HOSPITALS

Those cases found that Section 393, subdivision (b) did not apply to actions seeking a writ of prohibition or an order enjoining a public agency from taking particular action. But the Petition here claims Respondent has failed to properly operate the dams, which Petitioner claims has caused, and will continue to cause damage to fish habitats. The allegations here are distinguishable from those asserted in the cases cited by Petitioner. Similarly, the Court is not persuaded by McMillan v.

  • Hearing

    Apr 12, 2019

ROHIT SINGH VS AMERICAN FINANCIAL NETWORK, LLC, ET AL.

Local Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A) contains mandatory filing rules which have no application to Plaintiff’s complaint, as the case does not fall within any of the enumerated case types: personal injury, asbestos, class action, probate, Labor Code section 98.2, writ of prohibition or mandate, emancipation, or adoption. If none of the mandatory provisions apply, a civil case may always be filed in the Central District.

  • Hearing

    Apr 04, 2019

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

TSANG HAN WANG VS CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Pursuant to LASC Local Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A), “[e]very proceeding seeking a writ of prohibition or mandate (except as provided in subsection (B) below) must be filed in the Central District.” Petitioner’s reference in Opposition to the DMV’s office in Santa Monica is immaterial. Because the DMV functions throughout the entire state of California, subsection (B) does not apply.

  • Hearing

    Mar 21, 2019

  • Type

    Administrative

  • Sub Type

    Writ

TSANG HAN WANG VS CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Los Angeles County Rules of Court Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A) provides that “every proceeding seeking a writ of prohibition or mandate (except as provided in subsection (B) below) must be filed in the Central District.” The August 20, 2018 petition is labeled “verified petition for writ of mandate.” Further, the subsection (B) exception for writs of mandate does not apply here, since the DMV does not function wholly within Santa Monica. Petitioner provided no basis to suggest that Rule 2.3(a)(1)(A) is inapplicable.

  • Hearing

    Feb 14, 2019

  • Type

    Administrative

  • Sub Type

    Writ

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