What is Prerogative Writ?

Legal Definition
A prerogative writ is a writ (official order) directing the behavior of another arm of government, such as an agency, official, or other court. It was originally available only to the Crown under English law, and reflected the discretionary prerogative and extraordinary power of the monarch. The term may be considered antiquated, and the traditional six comprising writs may also be identified as an extraordinary writ or extraordinary remedy.

Six writs are traditionally classified as prerogative writs:

  • certiorari, an order by a higher court directing a lower court to send the record in a given case for review;
  • habeas corpus, demands that a prisoner be taken before the court to determine whether there is lawful authority to detain the person;
  • mandamus, an order issued by a higher court to compel or to direct a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory duties correctly;
  • prohibition, directing a subordinate to stop doing something the law prohibits;
  • procedendo, to send a case from an appellate court to a lower court with an order to proceed to judgment;
  • quo warranto, requiring a person to show by what authority they exercise a power.

Additionally, scire facias, one of the extraordinary writs, was once known as a prerogative writ.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Those issued by the exercise of the extraordinary power of the crown (the court, in modem practice) on proper cause shown; namely, the writs of procedendo, man-damus, prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and certiorari.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
In English law, the name is given, to certain' judicial writs issued by the courts only upon proper cause shown, never as a mere matter of right, the theory being that they involve a direct interference by the government with the liberty and property of the subject, and therefore are justified only as an exercise of the extraordinary power (prerogative) of the crown. In America, a theory has sometimes been advanced that these writs should issue only in cases publici juris and those affecting the sovereignty of the state, or its franchises or prerogatives, or the liberties of the people. But their issuance is now generally regulated by statute, and the use of the term "prerogative," in describing them, amounts only to a reference to their origin and history. These writs are the write of mandamus, procedendo, prohibition, quo warranto, habeas corpus, and certiorari. See 3 Steph. Comin. 629; Territory v. Ashenfelter, 4 N. M. 93, 12 Pac. 879; State v. Archibald, 5 N. In 359, 66 N. W. 234; Duluth Elevator Co. v. White, 11 N. D. 534, 90 N. W. 12; Attorney General v. Eau Claire, 37 Wis. 400.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A writ issued in cases of public right and those affecting the sovereignty of the state, its franchises and prerogatives, or the liberties of its people. See 1 N. D. 88, 26 Am. St. Rep. 609, 8 L. R. A. 282, 45 N. W. 33.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
a special court action issued under special circumstances. See habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus.