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What is an Article 78 proceeding?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Land Use & Zoning |

If you have received an unfavorable decision by a government agency or planning board, you can file for an Article 78 proceeding to challenge the decision.

You must file your Article 78 action within 4 months of receiving the unfavorable decision. Because this statute of limitations is quite short, it is important that you file as soon as you can. An attorney can help you with filing the action and representing your interests in court.

You must exhaust all other remedies first

The law states that an Article 78 action cannot be brought until all other administrative actions have been exhausted. This means that you must first appeal the decision using the appropriate appellate procedure.

After an unsuccessful appeal, you can then bring your Article 78 action.

There are three different ways you can challenge the decision through an Article 78 action:

  • Mandamus of review
  • Writ of mandamus
  • Writ of prohibition

Mandamus of review and writ of mandamus

A mandamus of review is filed when you are trying to reverse the decision of a public official or agency. A writ of mandamus is designed to request that a government agency do something that they are legally required to do and are not doing.

A common example of a scenario where a writ of mandamus is appropriate is when you are waiting for a decision from a government agency or body, and you feel you have been waiting too long. A writ of mandamus can be filed to order that the decision be issued.

Writ of prohibition

A writ of prohibition operates the opposite of a writ of mandamus. Instead of requesting an order forcing a government agency or body to do something, it asks for an order prohibiting something from being done. One reason for filing a writ of prohibition is when you feel the agency or body has acted outside the scope of their authority.

These are just some examples of the legal protections that are available to you. Understanding your options, and which one is right for your situation, is important.