Writs of Mandamus / Requests for Declaratory Relief / Habeas
Certain remedies may be pursued in federal district court requesting review of agency decisions. The following is a simplified, non-exclusive list of court remedies that are generally available to individuals who have been adversely affected by a certain action (or inaction) from a government agency:
- A complaint for declaratory relief basically asks the court to declare a certain agency decision unconstitutional or unlawful.
- A request for injunction relief asks the court to enjoin or restrain the agency from committing a certain act that would harm the person's case.
- A writ of mandamus asks the court to issue an order to a government officer to perform a mandatory duty on the case. This remedy is commonly sought when the immigration agency has delayed in making a decision on an application.
- A writ of habeas corpus (or "Great Writ") is a legal action challenging the unlawful detention of a person.
The passage of recent immigration laws has restricted federal judicial review over certain claims. Some remedies even require that the applicant exhaust his or her administrative remedies before seeking federal judicial review. Therefore it is imperative to seek legal counsel to determine if your case qualifies for legal action in federal court and evaluate which remedy best suits your case.
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