Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, La Buy (Petitioner), a District Judge, referred two cases to be heard by a Master. The Court of Appeals issued a writ of mandamus to order the judge to vacate the references. The judge refused and the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court) granted certiorari.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Common-law writs of mandamus, like equitable remedies, may be granted or withheld in the sound discretion of the court.
When the Petitioner refused to vacate the references, the mandamus actions were filed in the Court of Appeals seeking issuance of the writs ordering the Petitioner to vacate. The Court of Appeals held that the judge refused to try the cases in due course and that the orders were beyond the court’s authority under 28 U.S.C. Section: 1651(a).
Issue. Whether the Court of Appeals has the power to issue writs of mandamus to compel a district Judge to vacate his orders entered under Federal Rule of Procedure (FRCP) Rule 53(b), which refer antitrust cases for trial before a Master.
Held. Writs of mandamus should be resorted to only in extreme cases. In this case, the District Judge was well informed to the nature of antitrust litigation – his excuse of court docket congestion in itself was not an exceptional circumstance to warrant reference to a Master. Common-law writs, like equitable remedies, may be granted or withheld in the sound discretion of the court. Affirmed.
Its use in such exceptional cases, however, does not mean that the All Writs statute grants to the appellate court a general roving commission to supervise the administration of justice in the federal district courts and to review by writ of mandamus any unappealable order which the court might believe should be immediately reviewable in the interest of justice.View Full Point of Law