Prerogative Writs Law & Legal Definition


Prerogative writs are orders or process, the issuance of which is discretionary with the court, as opposed to writs of right. They are the writs of procedendo, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and certiorari, which are extraordinary remedies.

An action in lieu of prerogative writs is a right under the New Jersey Constitution, permitting "parties to seek 'review, hearing and relief' in the Superior Court of all actions of municipal agencies. [Wessie Corp. v. Sea Isle City Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47342 (D.N.J. June 29, 2007)].

The law as it appears is as follows:

N.J. Const., Art. VI, Sec. V, Para. 4. “Prerogative writs are superseded and, in lieu thereof, review, hearing and relief shall be afforded in the Superior Court, on terms and in the manner provided by rules of the Supreme Court, as of right, except in criminal causes where such review shall be discretionary.”

Thus, in New Jersey, where prerogative writ jurisdiction is constitutionally placed in the Superior Court, judicial review of administrative action is afforded as of right, and no statute is needed to provide that review. [Villines v. Harris, 487 F. Supp. 1278, 1280 (D.N.J. 1980)].