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Fatir v. Governor of the State

Superior Court of Delaware

January 10, 2019

AMIR FATIR, Petitioner,
v.
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondent.

          Submitted: December 21, 2018

         Upon Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Granted.

         Upon Petition for Writ of Mandamus. Denied.

          Amir Fatir, pro se Petitioner.

          ORDER

          William L. Witham. Jr., Resident Judge

         Before this Court is the Petitioner's, Amir Fatir[1] ("Petitioner), application for a Writ of Mandamus stemming from a past application for a pardon. For the forthcoming reasons, the Petitioner's petition is DENIED.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         1. Petitioner Amir Fatir is an inmate incarcerated at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center under the supervision of the Delaware Department of Correction. He is currently serving a life sentence without parole as a result of his conviction in 1975.

         2. Initially the Court will grant the Application to Proceed In Forma Pauper is and review the Petition for Writ of Mandamus. Petitioner complains that the Governor of the State of Delaware officially failed to act upon his 1991 application for a pardon. He claims his 1991 application, which was not supplied to the Court, received a 4 - 0 vote from the Delaware Board of Pardons ("Pardons Board") on December 19, 1991 recommending to the Governor that his sentence be commuted to life with the possibility of parole.

         3. According to the Petitioner, the Pardons Board filed its recommendation with the Delaware Secretary of State, who in turn forwarded the recommendation to the Governor. His petition asserts that the Governor failed to act on the Pardons Board's 1991 recommendation.

         LEGAL STANDARD OF REVIEW

         4. A writ of mandamus is an extraordinary remedy issued by this Court to compel a lower court, agency, or public official to perform a nondiscretionary or ministerial duty.[2] The issuance of a writ is within the Court's sound discretion; it is not a matter of right.[3]

         5. Before a writ is issued, "the Petitioner must demonstrate that: he [or she] has a clear legal right to the performance of the duty; no other adequate remedy is available; and the [lower body] has arbitrarily failed or refused to perform that duty."[4] A nondiscretionary or ministerial duty must be "prescribed with such precision and certainty that nothing is left to discretion or judgment."[5] If the duty is discretionary, the right is doubtful, the power to perform the duty is inadequate ...


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