Dantzler v. Hammond Fire & Police Civ. Serv. Bd.

923 So.2d 40

 

RULE:

A writ of mandamus may only be issued in cases where the law provides no relief by ordinary means or where the delay involved in obtaining ordinary relief may cause injustice.

FACTS:

Appellant terminated police officer appealed a judgment denying his request for a writ of mandamus directed to appellee fire and police civil service board requiring it to hold a hearing after his termination from employment with appellee city. Applying the doctrines of laches and res judicator, the district court concluded that the petition was barred. The officer appealed.

ISSUE:

Did the trial court correctly deny the officer's request for mandamus relief based on an application of equity under La. Civ. Code. Ann. art. 4?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The officer argued that under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 33:2501A, the board was mandated to grant him a hearing and investigation within 30 days after receipt of his written request. The appellate court had not found, and the parties had not provided, a time limitation prescribed by positive written law applicable to a request for a hearing after the continuance of a previously scheduled hearing. While the officer's request for an appeal of his termination was timely, years later when he filed the petition seeking a writ of mandamus, more than four and a half years had lapsed since his request for a continuance of the March hearing. He also pursued relief in federal court based on allegations of discrimination arising out of the same facts that were the subject matter of his disciplinary action. In a deposition taken in connection with the federal litigation, he testified of his intent to no longer process the disciplinary action in response to questions elicited by the city. The trial court correctly denied the officer's request for mandamus relief based on an application of equity.

The judgment of the trial court was affirmed. Appellate costs were assessed against the officer.

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