Wikipedia defines mandamus as:

Mandamus is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a court[1] to any government, subordinate court, corporation, or public authority, to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do (or refrain from doing), and which is in the nature of public duty, and in certain cases one of a statutory duty

and defines injunction as:

An injunction is a legal and equitable remedy in the form of a special court order that compels a party to do or refrain from specific acts.

So it looks like the only difference is that mandamus is directed against a government official (which may be not a party to a proceeding?), while injunction is directed to a party of a proceeding.

Is this the only difference?

What if the party of a proceeding is a government official?

Would he receive a mandamus or an injunction?

  • Perhaps not a true duplicate, but heavily overlaps with the answer at law.stackexchange.com/questions/76633/…
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 0:23
  • @ohwilleke if you wat to copy your answer from there to her I will accept it Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 16:41
  • There is no need to clutter Law.SE in that way, and I don't need another accepted answer that badly.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


First, mandamus is always a form of writ whereas injunctions are typically a part of the proceedings in a lawsuit. Writs and lawsuits are each distinct, individual legal actions whereas multiple motions for various remedies like injunctive relief can occur within one continuous lawsuit. The lawsuit and the various motions within it including injunctions have largely replaced the common law writ (including writs of mandamus except those from a higher court to a lower) as legislated in rules of civil procedure federally and in most states

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