A Short Note The On Habeas Corpus Petition

habeas corpus petition

  writ of Habeas Corpus

The evidence presented in the court was so overwhelming that the judge had no choice but to send Kevin to prison for three months. But, Emma, Kevin’s wife, was so sure about the innocence of her husband that she decided to file a habeas corpus petition in the court. The prisons in the country are already overcrowded with dangerous criminals who are serving years of imprisonment for serious crimes, and Emma was of the opinion that the state would be better served with a serious criminal behind the bars, rather than Kevin.

Although hardly a touching story, the above snippet throws light on an important part of our legal system: habeas corpus. The writ of habeas corpus definition is given below, and it should remove all the confusion surrounding the habeas corpus petition, and the writ of habeas corpus. The court, in the case of Kevin, obviously thought the world would be a better place to live in with Kevin behind the bars, but as clearly demonstrated above, there are ways with the help of which even convicted criminals are able to get out of prison. However, getting out is not that easy.

Habeas corpus petition

If you feel that a person is incarcerated without sufficient reasons, then you can file a habeas corpus petition in a court of law. The main purpose of the habeas corpus petition is to give a chance to those who are wrongly incarcerated, to get themselves released.

The writ of habeas corpus definition

habeas corpus

     Habeas Corpus law

Not to be confused with the habeas corpus petition, the writ of habeas corpus is a court order that demands the transport of a prisoner to the court room, so that the court can determine whether to release that person or not.

Petitions in the court

Once the habeas corpus petition is filed in the court, the court needs to be convinced that the person was incarcerated based on factually incorrect evidence, or a legal error. If the court feels that, the petition has some basis that supports it, then the prisoner may be released from custody.

Not everyone can file a habeas corpus petition in a court of law. It needs to be noted that, the habeas corpus petition is usually filed by those who have spent a considerable amount of time in jail.

Habeas Corpus Writ Explained

Writ of habeas corpus definition

Writ of habeas corpus explained

According to the writ of habeas corpus definition, this writ is a court order addressed to a custodian, warden or prison official in charge of the detainee to present the latter before court on a chosen date and time so that the court can determine the legality of the detention. The custodian is required to present proof of authority before the court. Nevertheless, if it is proved that the custodian does not have any legal reasons for detaining the person, then he/she will be allowed to go free.

The term Habeas Corpus has been derived from a Latin phrase that means ‘we command that you have the body.’ This legal principle was designed in order to protect people from any harm inflicted by an unjust judicial system. Extreme situations such as invasion, rebellion and in the interest of public safety are the only exceptions where suspending the writ of habeas corpus is allowed. This does not mean that any prisoner who wants to skip out on his sentence can use the writ easily. The Habeas corpus writ can only be invoked when the legitimacy of the detention is in question and is applicable only in the case of civil proceedings.

The scope of the habeas corpus writ is designed to grant all federal courts with the right to issue this writ. According to the writ of habeas corpus definition, a prisoner in custody can be released if he/she satisfies any one of the below given conditions.

Habeas corpus writ

    Invoking the writ of habeas corpus

  • Is in custody under the authority of the US or is committed before some court for trial,
  • The custody is in violation of the U.S. constitutional laws and treaties,
  • Is in custody for an act that was committed or omitted in pursuance of an Act of Congress, or a process, or an order, judgment or a decree of a court or judge of the US,
  • Is a citizen of another state and detained in custody for an act done or omitted under any alleged right, protection, authority, privilege, or exemption claimed under the commission, order or sanction of another state, the effect and validity of which is dependent on the laws of that nation.

That was some information about the writ of habeas corpus and the circumstances wherein an individual will be released from prison. Availing the services of an experienced attorney is very important while filing a petition for this writ in the court.

Habeas Corpus Writ Against Unlawful Detention

Writ of habeas corpus definition

 Habeas corpus writ to prevent unlawful detention

In Latin, the term Habeas Corpus means ‘have the body.’ The concept of this legal action or writ traces its origin back to the Middle Age England and is literally an order to produce the body. According to the writ of habeas corpus definition, any individual who has been detained can resort to this writ in order to seek justice against illegal detention. The writ of habeas corpus, also known as the ‘great writ’ protects a person against any harm that may be caused due to the unfair actions of the legal system. In modern times, any individual who believes that he has been held down illegally may file the writ of habeas corpus so that he is brought before the court to determine whether or not the detention is a valid and justified one or not.

The writ may be filed by the prisoner or any other individual who comes for his aid. A judge issues a habeas corpus order within the legal district where an individual has been detained. This order is served on the person, generally a warden who is in charge of the facility where the prisoner is being held. The order requires the warden, a police officer, the custodian, or any person in charge to produce the claimant in court on the specified date and time for a hearing to determine whether the individual was incarcerated on valid legal grounds or not.

Grounds for unlawful detention

According to the writ of habeas corpus definition, a detention can be considered as unlawful in the below mentioned circumstances.

  • The detention was made in violation of the laws
  • The procedures adopted for detaining an individual is not as per those set down by the law.

The writ of habeas corpus is a powerful legal principle to put a check on unjust and unlawful detention by the people in power. The court may decide to release an accused if it believes that he/she was detained without any legal justification. Therefore, this writ acts as protection to prevent the innocent from being wrongly punished.

Great writ

             Legal definition of habeas corpus writ

That was some information regarding the writ of habeas corpus and its legal aspects. For more info on this legal principle, refer online legal resources or go through the law section of your local library. Avail the services of an experienced attorney if someone you know ha been detained on illegal grounds.

Cases Of Interest: Burr And McCardle

Writ Of Habeas Corpus Definition

       Definition of habeas corpus

As a student of law, you will be required to go through a lot many cases, scrutinizing judgments and try to reach an understanding of the thought process the judge followed. There are a few cases among these that could be termed as “cornerstone” cases. Such cases have influenced laws as well as the understanding of terms, such as the writ of habeas corpus definition, prohibition, exclusionary rule, punitive damages and the like.

In the present article, we hope to present to the reader a few of such cases in simple layman’s terms, with special focus on separation of powers.

The Aaron Burr Trials

Some may know Aaron Burr as the man involved in a duel with Alexander Hamilton which resulted in the death of the latter. After this incident, the practice of dueling was banned in the nation. The man was also charged with treason once in a separate case. At that time, Burr alleged that he was being framed by the then President and political rival, Thomas Jefferson. In the case, the defense argued that letters that were in the possession of the then President could prove his innocence but Jefferson contended that the court had no jurisdiction over him and did not hand evidence over. That was when the court issued a warrant or a subpoena demanding that such letters as claimed by the defense and in possession of the President be admitted before it, and the President acquiesced. This is a landmark case, for it showed that no authority could withhold evidence that could prove the innocence of a man.

The Case of McCardle

Separation of powers

           The writ issued to present detainee

This case is often cited by legal experts as a perfect example of the issue of the writ of habeas corpus definition. William McCardle apparently published matter which opposed laws that were enacted by the Congress in the year 1868. That was in the middle of the reconstruction era in the USA. He was then placed under arrest by the military. Using the habeas corpus writ, McCardle appealed to the Supreme Court. In the middle of the review, however, the Congress suspended its jurisdiction over the matter.

These two cases are classic examples of how the Courts’ power can be extended to the Executive, while at the same time can be curtailed by the same through legislations and powers vested by the Constitution. The arguments used then are cited even today by top lawyers during litigations.

A Short Note On Writ Of Habeas Corpus

Writ of Habeas Corpus definition

                             Definition of Habeas Corpus

David and Rita had been living in separate houses from the moment they decided that both had higher priorities than keeping their marriage alive. Both were successful in their respective fields – Rita a highly placed surgeon, and David the regional manager of a multi national company. Unfortunately both had forgotten that they had a 7 year old son to take care of, and he became the victim in their latest tug of war. It all began when Rita decided it was best for her son to grow in the loving care of her parents, far from the “poisonous” atmosphere surrounding his father, as she put it. When David came to know about this, he had to file a writ of Habeas Corpus in court, to ask his wife to produce their son.

Writ of Habeas Corpus definition

The above example will go a long way in helping you understand the definition of the term ‘writ of Habeas Corpus’. There are plenty of writ of Habeas Corpus definitions available, but most are likely to lead you to further confusions.

The writ is directed by a judge at a person or persons, who is prima facie at fault for detaining another person, demanding the presence of the detained person at a specified time to a specified place for a specified purpose. Although, this writ is mainly seen as a method to release a person who has been kept captive unlawfully, it can be also used in cases such as the one involving David and Rita mentioned above. In their case, Rita’s actions were not certainly against the law, as keeping a child at his grandparents is not at all against the law. But, as his father, David can file the Habeas Corpus writ, demanding him to be presented.

Habeas Corpus Act

                 Habeas Corpus writ defined

Origins of the Habeas Corpus

The origins of writ of Habeas Corpus definition are rather vague, but there is evidence of it being used as early as in 14th century England. It was formalized as an act in 1679, when the Habeas Corpus Act was formed. It was later brought to America by the British Colonialists, and has been used here since.

The writ of Habeas Corpus is one of the strongest tools that can be used against unlawful captivity. These are the types of laws that uphold the personal liberty of any individual.

Legal Aspects Of The Writ Of Habeas Corpus

Writ of habeas corpus definition

Definition of writ of habeas corpus

The Writ of habeas corpus is a civil proceeding that traces its origins back to Fourteenth century England. It is available in both the State and Federal Courts and is a legal instrument introduced to question the legality of any imprisonment. Despite being available in both the State and Federal courts, there are numerous rules surrounding the circumstances when and where this writ can brought to court.

This writ is brought before a Supreme Court Judge in New York state courts and can be used for a variety of reasons such as to request a reduction in bail, to challenge one’s detention, to remedy one’s treatment while imprisoned and the like. Any individual under the state’s custody can seek this remedy.

The writ of habeas corpus definition has been subjected to a great deal of legislation and litigation in the Federal courts. The statutes detailing the circumstances and the reasons for bringing this writ to court are complex, especially with respect to when it can be brought. The Anti terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act that was passed in the year 1996 brought with it various limitations regarding when this writs can be brought in a federal court.

According to the Title 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1), application for the writ of habeas corpus by an individual in custody is subject to a 1 year limitation in accordance with the judgment of a State court. The writ of habeas corpus definition specifies that this period of limitation starts either from the date on which the judgment was made final by conclusion of the direct review or the expiry date of the period for seeking such a review, whichever comes first.

Legal instrument

When can the writ of habeas corpus                            be used?

The term ‘when the judgment is final’ is interpreted according to the State jurisdiction and the appeals process followed. In the instance where you or your client is imprisoned unreasonably, consult an experienced attorney right away, as there are important restrictions on the statutes for challenging the legality of an imprisonment.

That was some information about the writ of habeas corpus and its legal aspects. This legal principle is an important part of the criminal justice system to check the illegal imprisonment of innocents. For more information about this writ, check out online legal resources. Students of law are encouraged to go through previous cases where this writ was brought to court to get a better understanding of this legal proceeding.

A Short Note On Habeas Corpus

Writ of habeas corpus definition

Writ of habeas corpus definition given

Anybody who has seen court room movies or even read court room novels is likely to have come across the term ‘habeas corpus’. And a lot of you would be wondering what the term means. Habeas corpus is a Latin word and it means “you shall produce the body”. The writ of habeas corpus definition is simpler once you know the origin of the phrase. This writ is one of the most important aspects of criminal law, as it is directly linked to the protection of a person from wrongful detention or imprisonment.

Writ of habeas corpus definition

The definition of habeas corpus, and the writ of habeas corpus have been mentioned briefly above. Here is some more information which will help you with understanding the subject a bit more deeply. A habeas corpus  writ is one of the best tools a person can use to fight against wrongful detention or imprisonment. The petition for such a writ can be filed in a court of law by the person who is kept under illegal detention, or by another person, acting on behalf of the person under imprisonment.

The writ of habeas corpus, once obtained, can be produced by the person before  a prison official, jailer or custodian, to bring the person under custody to a court. The court will then determine whether the person is being kept under illegal imprisonment or not. The writ should mention that an error was made in keeping the person under imprisonment. It ranks high among the basic individual rights in the country. The Supreme Court has taken several measures to ensure that the writ of habeas corpus is not abused by prisoners.

wrongful detention

        habeas corpus explained

Functions of habeas corpus

The beginning of the writ of habeas corpus can be traced back to the English common law. During those times in England, the monarchs had the right to know why any of the people under his or her protection were being detained or imprisoned. The English common laws had provisions for enabling the monarchs to the writ of habeas corpus. In the United States, once it became a constitutional republic, the people of the state replaced the monarchs, granting every individual the right to habeas corpus.

Unlawful punishment by the authorities responsible for upholding the constitutional rights of the individual in question, can only be tackeld effectively with the help of writ of habeas corpus.

Understanding The Writ Of Habeas Corpus

Writ of habeas corpus definition

                    Illegal detention of a prisoner

The history of the habeas corpus writ dates back to the thirteenth or fourteenth century when it was first used in the common law courts of England. These courts, consisting of legal professionals were rivals of the feudal courts that were under the control of local land owners. The feudal courts were in dire need of procedural consistency and on this account, the common law courts started issuing writs demanding the release of prisoners that they had imprisoned. The common law courts utilized the writ to demand the release of people imprisoned by the royal courts like the Admiralty and Chancery during the late fifteenth to the seventeenth century.

The modern habeas corpus writ is designed as a response against as illegal and unjust imprisonment by the criminal justice system. According to the writ of habeas corpus definition, this legal instrument usually requires a person, generally the prison warden to produce the prisoner and justify with reasonable and solid evidence. The court may order the prisoner’s release if he can successfully argue that his detention was in violation of his constitutional right. This writ can also be used to release an insane person or a person who has an infectious disease or is a drug addict. It can also be used for gaining child custody.

The habeas corpus writ is an extraordinary legal principle as it endows a court with the power to release a prisoner who had undergone trial in the criminal justice system and all its appeals and procedural safeguards. According to the Writ of habeas corpus definition, initially, it is up to the petitioning prisoner to prove that his/her detention is in violation of the constitutional rights. But if he can come up with sufficient solid evidence, then the focus shifts to the warden who will be required to justify his/her imprisonment.

Courts authorize the writ

                 Violation of the Constitutional right

Federal courts as well as all state courts authorize the writ of habeas corpus. To request for the writ, an individual who is held prisoner in a state or federal prison files a petition with the court that sentenced him or her. Federal court and majority of state courts allow the inmates to present a short oral argument during a hearing in court. To establish evidence for the petition, he/she may be permitted an evidentiary hearing.

As you now know, this law guarantees that no citizen is detained illegally. Refer online legal resources for further info about this writ.

Latest Procedural Rules For Habeas Corpus Petitions

Writ of Habeas Corpus definition

                         Prevent illegal detention

Derived from a Latin word, the term Habeas Corpus means ‘have the body.’ Having originated in England, this writ or legal action is designed to save an individual from illegal detention. According to writ of habeas corpus definition, this writ protects an individual against any harm that may be caused as a result of unfair decisions by the legal system. A major purpose of introducing this legal action is to check unlawful and unjust detention orders which the legal authorities may issue, thereby following the “Innocent until proven guilty” principle. The Court may release an accused if it thinks that he had been detained without any reasonable legal justification.

The new procedural laws for Habeas Corpus petitions are intended on speeding up the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Exhaustions petition. This should be done without unfairly limiting petitioners from raising new justifiable claims.

A brief description of the new procedural rules

  1. An individual sentenced to death can still petition a Habeas Corpus petition. The initial petition has no limitation regarding its length. All later petitions have a limit of up to 50 pages, or if drafted on a computer, a limit of 14,000 words, subject to a good cause exception.
  2. Accompanying the petition should be a table or chart, which should clearly and frankly specify all the following information. This will not be counted in the 50 page limit and should not be more than 10 pages long. The information to be disclosed include:
  • The claims that have been previously raised and rejected, and where (either on the Habeas Corpus, or on appeal along with citations).
  • The claims that could have been raised previously, and also the reason why they weren’t.
  • The claims that have not been presented before the Supreme Court already.
  • The claims that have been considered as unexhausted by the federal court, and which are now raised for the purpose of exhaustion, supported with copies of federal court orders.

    Procedural rules

                           Writ of Habeas corpus

3. A petitioner can choose to submit some or all of the claims that have been considered unexhausted by the federal court, in a table or a chart, for the Supreme Court’s consideration. This presentation can include a brief description of the issue, and also the reasons that state why the procedural bars are not applicable.

These are the new procedural rules that have been included as part of the writ of Habeas Corpus definition. For more information about the procedures, consult an experienced lawyer.

Steps to File A Petition For Habeas Corpus

writ of habeas corpus definition

How to File a Petition for Habeas Corpus

The term Habeas Corpus is a Latin word which actually means “you have the body.” Nowadays it guards the rights of each citizen when it comes to unlawful custody. No one has the right to hurt your physical integrity by keeping you in custody without fair and solid evidence. The writ of habeas corpus definition is a legal instrument that proves time and again to be confusing to most of us. The accused prisoner or his lawyer files a petition of habeas corpus when he would like the court to issue hear a case against the detention of a person. The court will then have to decide if the detention is permissible under law. Habeas corpus petitions are treated by court with higher priority than any other civil case and are placed at the top of court dockets.

Learning how to file a habeas corpus petition is simple once you familiarize yourself with how the legal system works. In this article, you will learn step by step procedure to file a habeas corpus petition!

Instructions to file a petition for habeas corpus:

introduction to habeas corpus

introduction to habeas corpus

  • First you need to make sure that the habeas corpus form you have acquired is authentic. You can purchase the original habeas corpus form from either the federal court or the state court.
  • Study the form thoroughly. In the form you will find provisions to enter the details of the prisoner and those of the person representing him.
  • The habeas corpus petition can be filed in cases where a person has had to suffer illegal imprisonment, when probation is unfairly denied or when bail is due. Depending on the issues of the case, prepare a statement that is to be addressed to the court.
  • As the next step the court will either issue a writ of habeas corpus definition that includes a hearing of the petition filed with the presence of the detaining authority and the detainee or decline the petition altogether. The authority against which the writ has been issued needs to respond within 10days.

So it is always safe to have a good idea of the legal system before applying habeas corpus petition and in fact, any other legal adventure for that matter. You can avail more information about the topic online. Students of law need to go through this very important aspect of law in detail by going through previous judgments on the same.