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Writs and Appeals

A writ of administrative mandamus is the legal vehicle used to appeal a loss at the administrative level to the Superior Court.  In other words, to appeal a loss of a license or other unfavorable outcome at the Office of Administrative Hearings or in front of an agency, a writ of administrative mandamus must be filed in the Superior Court.  If the writ petition does not yield a favorable result, the next level appeal is to the California Court of Appeals.

Writ Petitions in Superior Court

A licensee or license applicant typically has only 30 days from the effective date of a decision to file a writ petition in Superior Court.  At Ray & Bishop, our writs and appeals department handles these appeals from a wide range of California licensing agencies, including the Medical Board of California, the Board of Registered Nursing, the Board for Professional Engineers, the Bureau of Real Estate and the Department of Insurance.  Writs and appeals can be filed in any Superior Court where the Attorney General has an office in that county, or in another county if it has a connection to the case.  Most petitions for writ of administrative mandamus are filed in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Ex Parte Application to Stay License Revocation or License Discipline

The first step in seeking an appeal by a writ of administrative mandamus is to file, with the writ petition, an ex parte application asking the Superior Court to stay, or stop, the agency order revoking, suspending or disciplining the license.  It is important that the status quo be maintained so that the licensee’s licensed practice or licensed job is not lost due to an order of revocation, suspension or other discipline.  An ex parte application for stay should be filed before the effective date of the decision in the Superior Court where the writ of administrative proceedings are going to occur.  Therefore, if a client needs to stop the revocation of their license after losing the administrative hearing, the client should retain us as soon as possible to bring a petition for a stay.   To win a stay, we must convince the Superior Court judge that we are likely to prevail on the writ petition and that there is little or no danger of harm to the public due to granting the stay.  The technical requirements of the ex parte petition for stay are complex, including meeting all notice rules, taking appropriate early steps to prepare the writ petition case, and making legal arguments to support the granting of a stay.

Appeals to the Court of Appeal and Writs of Supercedeas

If a case is not won in Superior Court in the writ of administrative mandamus, the next level of appeal is to file an appeal at the district court of appeal.   If a client needs to continue a stay (order stopping license revocation) that was granted in Superior Court, the procedure to do that is called a writ of supercedeas.  Supercedeas is an emergency procedure for the court of appeal to decide whether to stay, or stop, license revocation or license discipline while the appeal is pending.  It is not unusual that an appeal can take over a year, so the importance of a writ of supercedeas cannot be overstated.  The rules involved to maintain a valid license from the Superior Court over to the Court of Appeal for an appeal are complicated, a Ray & Bishop attorney has the experienced needed to timely address the stay issue through the writ of supercedeas.

An appeal to the Court of Appeals usually needs to be filed within 60 days of the date of the Superior Court judgment.  However, there are a number of other deadlines that must be met soon after a notice of appeal is filed.  If you have just suffered a loss in Superior Court and wish to appeal that decision, it is best to contact Ray & Bishop without delay so that we can evaluate your appeal and act promptly to protect your rights on appeal.

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Newport Beach, CA 92660


**Attorneys are only licensed to practice law in California. Attorneys’ offices are only located in California. However, pursuant to United States Code of Federal Regulations 8 C.F.R. § 1.2 and United States Code 5 U.S.C. § 500, Attorneys may practice Federal Administrative Law and represent an individual located outside of California within the parameters of Federal Administrative Law. Attorneys will NOT advise clients on the laws of any State or any State law legal matters (with the exception of California).  The information on this website is for general information purposes only.  Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.  This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.  Legal advertisement.**