In Re: David F. Potter, Petitioner, 74 F.3d 1233 (4th Cir. 1996)

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit - 74 F.3d 1233 (4th Cir. 1996)

Submitted Dec. 14, 1995. Decided Jan. 18, 1996

David F. Potter, Petitioner Pro Se.

Before ERVIN, Chief Judge, and WIDENER and WILKINS, Circuit Judges.


David Potter, a North Carolina prisoner, filed a petition for writ of mandamus seeking to have this court order the district attorney and the Superior Court of Wayne County, North Carolina, to act on his petition for post-conviction relief.

This court gains its extraordinary writ jurisdiction from 28 U.S.C. § 1651 (1988), which exists for the sole purpose of protecting the jurisdiction of the federal courts.1  Federal courts are without jurisdiction to issue writs compelling action by state courts and officials.2 

Accordingly, although we grant leave to proceed in forma pauperis, we deny the petition for writ of mandamus. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process.



Gurley v. Superior Court of Mecklenburg County, 411 F.2d 586, 587 (4th Cir. 1969)