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.