Case Caption: In Re: Janelle K. SarauwCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2017-0060Date: 07/03/2017Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

Considering a petition for writ of mandamus directed both to a Superior Court judge to issue a ruling in an election case and to the Board of Elections to certify the results of a special election, the Supreme Court denies the petition without prejudice. As to the judge, the petitioner failed to prove that her right to an immediate ruling is clear and indisputable. Although election cases must receive expedited consideration, the petitioner contributed to the delay in the underlying matter by also filing requests for declaratory and injunctive relief. Moreover, the petitioner filed motions for a ruling with new exhibits attached immediately prior to seeking mandamus relief from the Supreme Court, and the failure of the Superior Court to consider these motions within one working day is not evidence that the Superior Court does not intend to issue a ruling in a prompt manner. With respect to the Board of Elections, the petitioner established that she possesses a clear and indisputable right to have the results of the special election certified, for certification within the statutorily-mandated fifteen days is a ministerial act that the Board of Elections lacks the discretion to simply postpone. However, the petitioner has failed to establish the second factor--that she lacks no other adequate means to attain the desired relief--because her petition for writ of mandamus is presently pending before the Superior Court. While there may be certain exceptional cases where the inability of the Superior Court to rule on a motion within one working day may justify mandamus relief in this Court, this is not such a case, since the petitioner has failed to explain why a ruling on one working day--as opposed to two working days or three working days--is necessary. Therefore, the Supreme Court denies the petition for writ of mandamus without prejudice to its re-filing at an appropriate time if the Superior Court fails to offer relief in a prompt manner.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion