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an act performed according to explicit directions (often embodied in a statute) by a subordinate official, allowing no judgment or discretion on the part of that official.
see mandamus
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; ©
"A duty or act is defined as ministerial when there is no room for the exercise of discretion, and the performance being required is directed by law."
"The facts of this case demonstrate the ministerial nature of the court's responsibility:

both parties understood that interest had been awarded;

both parties understood that West Virginia law set the rate of prejudgment interest at ten percent; and

both parties understood the time frame for computation.
The court's only task was to do the calculation and make the amount official. We simply do not believe that by performing this function the court altered or amended the judgment. Rather, we are persuaded that the court, in undertaking such a task, merely supplies a figure to the judgment, the amount of which already had been fixed at the time of the entry of judgment. This omission is the type of error that is properly within the scope of Rule 60(a)."
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