The writs that remain today are generally called extraordinary writs. The main ones in Texas are:
- habeas corpus,
- prohibition, and
- quo warranto.
The most important ones for our purposes are habeas corpus and mandamus. Let's get through the others briefly. Generally, certiorari is a writ by which a superior court takes a matter from an inferior court. This is the manner in which the vast majority of cases get to the United States Supreme Court. Texas county courts can also do it to justice courts in the county. In certain circumstances, especially probate matters, district courts can take cases from the county courts provided over by the county judge, who may not be a lawyer. Procedendo is the writ by which a higher court can force a lower court to proceed to judgment, etc. in a matter. Prohibition keeps a court, usually a lower court, writ considering a matter being considered by another court. Quo warranto allows acts of a corporation or public official to be attacked as being beyond that entity or person's powers.
By far, the most important extraordinary writs are mandamus and habeas corpus. We party had some discussion of habeas corpus in this blog, and will have some discussion of mandamus a little later