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Moore's Federal Practice - Civil
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

23-520 Moore's Federal Practice - Civil 520.syn


Supreme Court Rules, Procedure on a Petition for an Extraordinary Writ


Lynne Avakian Campbell Esq.

Chapter Summary


The issuance of an extraordinary writ, such as prohibition, mandamus, and habeas corpus, is not a matter of right, but of discretion sparingly exercised. There are four prerequisites to the granting of an extraordinary writ by the Supreme Court of the United States. First, it must be shown that the writ will be in aid of the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction. Second, there must be exceptional circumstances to warrant the exercise of the Court's discretionary powers. Third, it must be shown that adequate relief cannot be had in any other form. Finally, adequate relief cannot be had from any other court.

This chapter of Moore's Federal Practice covers Supreme Court Rule 20, which prescribes the procedure to be followed in applying for extraordinary writs from the Supreme Court. The chapter outlines the considerations governing issuance of the extraordinary writs of prohibition, mandamus, and habeas corpus. It also details the form required for petitions for the extraordinary writs and discusses the petition for the common law writ of certiorari.

Moore's Federal Practice (Matthew Bender) is the leading source of analysis of federal court practice and procedure and has been repeatedly relied upon by federal courts around the country. It has comprehensive and authoritative analysis on federal civil, criminal, appellate, and admiralty procedure, along with the full text of the federal rules and extensive commentary and analysis of the rules and cases interpreting the rules.


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For more information on writs of certiorari, see Ch. 514, Content of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.

For a discussion on briefs, see Ch. 515, Briefs in Opposition; Reply Briefs; Supplemental Briefs.

For more information on habeas corpus proceedings, see Ch. 536, Custody of Prisoners in Habeas Corpus Proceedings.

For a discussion on in forma pauperis, see Ch. 539, Proceedings In Forma Pauperis.


For a discussion on extraordinary writs, see Moore's Manual--Federal Practice and Procedure, Ch. 27, General Principles of Appeal (Matthew Bender).

For more information on appeals to the Supreme Court, see Moore's Manual--Federal Practice and Procedure, Ch. 29, Appeal to Supreme Court (Matthew Bender).

For information on the procedure for a petition for an extraordinary writ, see Bender's Federal Practice Forms, I, Rules of the Supreme Court (Matthew Bender).

For detailed analysis and case law on federal evidence, see Weinstein's Federal Evidence (Matthew Bender).

For discussion and strategic tips on federal civil cases, see Moore's AnswerGuide: Federal Civil Motion Practice (Matthew Bender) and Moore's AnswerGuide: Federal Pretrial Civil Litigation (Matthew Bender).
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