At a quick glance, a writ of mandamus seems fairly straightforward: a court can compel a public official to perform a legal duty unless other specific legal remedies are available to enforce that legal right. Throughout the history of mandamus, courts have had to determine whether an alternative legal remedy is available, and if so, whether it would preclude a writ of mandamus. In particular, a long series of Georgia cases have addressed whether an appeal to a county's board of equalization (BOE) is an adequate alternative remedy. The recent Georgia Supreme Court case Southern LNG, Inc. v. MacGinnitie (Southern H) examined whether the existence of an alternative legal remedy precluded mandamus relief. For instance, if an alternative legal remedy is not "adequate," mandamus relief may still be available (the exception). Ultimately, the supreme court narrowly interpreted the exception to the preclusion of mandamus relief, holding that a taxpayer has standing to seek a writ of mandamus when a court determines that the alternative remedy is inadequate.
DiBiase, Laura K.
"A Taxing Exception: Southern LNG, Inc. v. MacGinnitie's Narrow Interpretation of the Mandamus Exemption,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 66:
3, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol66/iss3/10