Case Caption: In re: The Bank of Nova ScotiaCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0033Date: 09/13/2013Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

A petition for a writ of mandamus to direct the Nominal Respondent - a Superior Court judge presiding over a bank's lawsuit for debt and foreclosure upon real property - to rule on its pending application for relief is denied. To obtain a writ of mandamus, a petitioner must establish that it has no other adequate means to attain the desired relief and that its right to the writ is clear and indisputable. To the extent the bank intends this application to request that the Nominal Respondent be directed to grant its motion, the first prerequisite for mandamus relief is not satisfied, for if the motion is ultimately denied the bank may appeal that decision to this Court upon entry of a final judgment. If, however, the bank's petition simply requests a ruling on its motion, the ordinary appeals process would not represent a practical avenue for obtaining comparable relief, since a failure to rule-by its very nature-would preclude entry of an appealable final appealable judgment. However, not all failures to rule, even if for an extended period of time, qualify for mandamus relief. Since the manner in which a court disposes of cases on its docket is within its discretion, a trial court's delay in ruling on a motion will generally not warrant mandamus relief unless its undue delay is tantamount to a failure to exercise jurisdiction. In this case it cannot be said that the Nominal Respondent has engaged in any undue delay, let alone failed to exercise jurisdiction, as a hearing was held on the motion for default judgment within two months of its filing, and those proceedings and the resulting order clearly demonstrate that he intends to rule on the bank's motion. It cannot be said that the Nominal Respondent has breached his duty to rule on the bank's motion within a reasonable time. For the foregoing reasons, the bank has failed to meet its burden of establishing entitlement to a writ of mandamus, and the petition is denied.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion