A writ of prohibition is a writ directing a subordinate to stop doing something the law prohibits. This writ is often issued by a superior court to the lower court directing it not to proceed with a case which does not fall under its jurisdiction.
Writs of prohibition can be subdivided into “alternative writs” and “peremptory writs”. An alternative writ directs the recipient to immediately act, or desist, and “show cause” why the directive should not be made permanent. A peremptory writ directs the recipient to immediately act, or desist, and “return” the writ, with certification of its compliance, within a certain time.
When an agency of an official body is the target of the writ of prohibition, the writ is directed to the official body over which the court has direct jurisdiction, ordering the official body to cause the agency to desist.
Although the rest of this article speaks to judicial processes, a writ of prohibition may be directed by any court of record (i.e., higher than a misdemeanor court) toward any official body, whether a court or a county, city or town government, that is within the court’s jurisdiction.
Petition for prohibition. — When the proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person, whether exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, are without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent to desist from further proceedings in the action or matter specified therein, or otherwise granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.
The petition shall likewise be accompanied by a certified true copy of the judgment, order or resolution subject thereof, copies of all pleadings and documents relevant and pertinent thereto, and a sworn certification of non-forum shopping as provided in the third paragraph of section 3, Rule 46.