Certain checks and balances exist in our legal system to protect the rights of those who face arrest. One such thing that protects the rights of citizens who get arrested is habeas corpus. If you faced an unreasonable detained by the police, the habeas corpus law might apply to you. You can learn more about habeas corpus and what it can do for you here. If you believe that the police have detained you in an unfair manner, contacting an attorney is the best way to get the justice that you deserve.
What is Habeas Corpus?
Habeas corpus got implemented in the Magna Carta. This happened in 1215. Since then, it has been a pillar of European and American law. Habeas Corpus started to prevent kings from locking up citizens indefinitely without giving them a fair trial.
Habeas corpus started in American law in the first article of the Constitution. This writ protects any person who gets arrested from staying in custody for no good reason. It forces law enforcement or governing bodies to show good cause of keeping a person in custody. If no just cause exists to keep a person incarcerated, they should get released under the writ of habeas corpus.
If you believe that your incarceration is illegal, you can challenge it. You can do this by filing a writ of habeas corpus. The writ is a court order for a governing body to give you the opportunity to speak your mind in court. The police, a prison warden, or an agency must honor this writ and allow you to make your case in court. They will bring you before an impartial judge, who will hear your side of the story.
If you can prove in court that you are being held on improper jail conditions, the judge can order that you get released from custody. But, keep in mind that just because you challenge your incarceration before a judge does not mean that a judge will grant your release. You need to use concrete evidence to prove that your incarceration is unjust.
The petitioner has a qualified right to appeal an adverse decision on the habeas petition. General Statutes § 52-470(g) states: “No appeal from the judgment rendered in a habeas corpus proceeding brought by or on behalf of a person who has been convicted of a crime in order to obtain such person’s release may be taken unless the appellant, within ten days after the case is decided, petitions the judge before who the case was tried or, if such judge is unavailable, a judge of the Superior Court designated by the Chief Clerk Administrator, to certify that a question is involved in the decision which ought to be reviewed by the court having jurisdiction and the judge so certifies.” See also Practice Book § 80 -1 (petition for certification must be filed within ten days after habeas case is decided).
The appeal must get filed “within twenty days from the issuance of the notice of decision on the petition for certification, unless an application for waiver of fees, costs and security gets filed pursuant to § 63-6, in which event the appeal shall get filed within twenty days from the decision on the application.” Practice Book § 80-1. The appeal gets governed by Practice Book §§ 60-5 and 61-1, et seq. to 80-1, et seq.
Also, if the habeas court denies the petition for certification, the petitioner must establish on appeal, as a threshold matter, that the denial was an abuse of discretion. Also, see Simms v. Warden , 229 Conn. 178, 186-87 (1994)(Simms I). In addition, this is done by demonstrating on appeal “‘that the issues are debatable among jurists of reason; that a court could resolve the issues; or that the questions are adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.’” Simms v. Warden, 230 Conn. 608, 616 (1994)(Simms II)(quoting Lozada v. Deeds, 498 U.S. 430, 432 (1991)); see Castonguay v. Commissioner, 300 Conn. 649, 657-58 (2011)(same).
This necessarily requires the Connecticut Appellate Court or Connecticut Supreme Court, as the case may be, to “‘consider the merits of the petitioner’s underlying claims to determine whether the habeas court reasonably determined that the petitioner’s appeal was frivolous.’” Castonguay v. Commissioner , 300 Conn. at 658 (quoting Taylor v. Commissioner, 284 Conn. 433, 449 (2007)); see also Paulino v. Commissioner, 155 Conn. App. 154, 159-60, cert. denied, 317 Conn. 912 (2015).
This is where an attorney can help you. If you get in touch with an attorney and explain to them your situation, they can help you establish a case that you can use in court. This can prove that you should not face imprisonment.