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Rule 121.Mandamus and Prohibition - Emergency Situations

121.01Communication to the Court

If an emergency situation exists and the provisions of Rule 120 are impractical, the attorney for a party seeking a writ of mandamus or of prohibition directed to a lower court may orally petition the reviewing court for such relief by telephoning or by personally contacting the Supreme Court Commissioner, if application is made in the Supreme Court, or the Chief Staff Attorney, if application is made in the Court of Appeals, who will communicate with the reviewing court relative to an early or immediate consideration of the petition. If the Commissioner or Chief Staff Attorney is unavailable, the oral petition may be made to a justice or judge of the reviewing court.


Except as provided in Rule 121.03, no written petition or other document need be filed unless the reviewing court so directs. If the reviewing court is of the opinion that either no emergency exists or no relief is available, it may either deny the oral petition or may direct the party to proceed under Rule 120. Otherwise, after affording all parties an opportunity to be heard, it may:

(a) issue a peremptory writ, or

(b) grant such other relief as the interest of justice requires.

(Amended effective for appeals taken on or after January 1, 1992.)

121.03Filing Fee

In the event the oral petition is granted, the attorney orally petitioning for a writ shall thereafter immediately transmit to the clerk of the appellate courts a $550 filing fee with a letter specifying:

(a) the name of the case,

(b) the lower court and the name of the judge,

(c) the type of writ sought, and

(d) the name, address, telephone number and attorney registration license number of each attorney.

No filing fee or transmission of documents shall be required in the event the oral petition is denied.

(Amended effective July 1, 1989; amended effective for appeals taken on or after January 1, 1992; amended effective July 1, 1993; amended effective July 1, 2003; amended effective July 1, 2009.)

See Appendix for form of petition for a writ of prohibition (Form 120A), the order for the writ (Form 120B), and the writ of prohibition (Form 120C).

Comment to Rules 120 and 121 - 1983

These two rules have been amended to reflect the judicial restructuring accomplished by the creation of the Court of Appeals. Jurisdiction to issue extraordinary writs directed to trial courts or other lower tribunals, previously existing in the Supreme Court, is vested by these rules in the Court of Appeals. Once the Court of Appeals has acted on an application for an extraordinary writ, review by the Supreme Court is discretionary under Rule 117. Extraordinary relief in the Supreme Court pursuant to these rules relates solely to actions taken by the Court of Appeals in matters other than those arising under Rules 120 and 121.

The basic procedures and requirements remain the same in both courts as they were under the prior rules with the exception that the filing fee has been increased. The filing of a petition for extraordinary relief does not automatically stay the proceedings in the lower court.

See Appendix for form of petition for a writ of prohibition (Form 120A)*, the order for the writ (Form 120B)*, and the writ of prohibition (Form 120C)*.

*Forms 120A, 120B, and 120C deleted effective January 1, 1999.