Is Laches a Proper Defense to An Action In Mandamus ?
In Erway v. Wallace, 51 Pa. Commw. 561, 415 A.2d 116 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1980), this Court noted:
Laches is a proper defense to an action in mandamus.
Our Supreme Court has stated that although mandamus is classified as a legal remedy, it is a remedial process and is '"generally regarded as not embraced within the statutes of limitation applicable to ordinary actions, but as subject to the equitable doctrine of laches.'" Commonwealth ex rel. Oliver v. Wilkes-Barre, 365 Pa. 24, 26, 73 A.2d 420, 421 (1950) . . . .
Of course, the circumstances of each case must be examined to determine whether the requirements of laches are met.
The defense of laches bars relief when '"the complaining party is guilty of want of due diligence in failing to institute his action to another's prejudice.'" Leedom v. Thomas, 473 Pa. 193, 200, 373 A.2d 1329, 1332 (1977).
The "party claiming the benefit of the doctrine of laches must demonstrate prejudice due to lapse of time." Kay v. Kay, 460 Pa. 680, 685, 334 A.2d 585, 587 (1975). Id. at 117.