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How to File a Petition for Habeas Corpus

published June 16, 2009

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( 440 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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Habeas corpus is a Latin legal term. It means "you have the body." The purpose of a habeas corpus is to fight against unlawful detention. When a habeas corpus is filed it is asking the court to make a judgment about whether or not the prisoner is being unlawfully detained. The right to file habeas corpus is considered an essential right that helps to ensure that nobody in this country is unlawfully detained.
 
How to File a Petition for Habeas Corpus


Either a prisoner or an attorney on the prisoner's behalf can file for habeas corpus. The process starts with getting the correct legal form from the proper court. If the prisoner is filing on his own behalf, then he should be able to get the forms through the prison. The prison is required to offer such legal forms to their prisoners.

The form will ask for general information, such as the prisoner's name and personal information, the prison name and location, and when the court hearing is requested to take place. The issues and reason for the filing of the habeas corpus must also be stated. There must be a valid reason for filing. Usually such things as a denial of due process, excessive bail, or probation unjustly denied are used when filing.

Once the form is completely filled out it must be filed with the correct court. Again, the prison should offer assistance to a prisoner who needs to file any paperwork with the court.

Once the habeas corpus is filed the court will then decide upon it. It will either be denied, granted, or a hearing will be scheduled. If the habeas corpus is granted, the prison will be issued an order to bring the prisoner to court, usually within 10 days.

The right to file a habeas corpus is taken very seriously. When a habeas corpus is filed it is given priority with the court. The decision is made very quickly and without delay. However, the right can be suspended during a national emergency. Most recently, the right to file habeas corpus was suspended after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Most filings are denied. Many denials are related to errors when filing or not taking the proper channels to resolve issues at lower court levels first. That is why it is important to ensure that every step of the process is done carefully. It is advisable to seek assistance from an attorney just for the fact that the attorney will know what steps to take and how to ensure all steps at lower levels are taken before filing the habeas corpus.

For an attorney, filing habeas corpus can take time and dedication. There are many opportunities, though, to work solely in this area of law. An attorney looking to specialize might be able to make their living solely filing habeas corpus on behalf of prisoners.

This would involve working mostly outside of the office and largely at a prison due to the fact that the attorney would have to meet with prisoners. An attorney has the ability, though, to be able to work more closely with clients and spend less time in the court room when he or she dedicates their practice to filing habeas corpus.

This is one career option for an attorney who is looking for steady work and who wants to narrow down to a specialty of law. With experience in filing habeas corpus, an attorney can build up a great reputation for their services and could eventually become a highly sought after attorney for prisoners filing habeas corpus.

It is worth considering because there is much proof that the level of crime and the number of prisoners being held in prison is rising and will continue to rise. It is a profitable area of law that could lead to further specializations in helping prisoners file appeals and handle other legal matters while in prison.

The right to file habeas corpus is something that is very important within our country's legal system. It is a process that helps to protect those who feel they have been the victim of unjust treatment under the law. Without habeas corpus there is little a person can do to protect themselves when they feel they have been unjustly detained.

published June 16, 2009

( 440 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.