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St. Mary's Law Journal

Publisher

St. Mary's University School of Law

Abstract

Writs of habeas corpus, anchored both in the common law and Constitution of Texas, are vitally important to secure the freedom of those wrongfully imprisoned. However, minimal literature on the subject exists to assist attorneys who must prepare and present an application for writ of habeas corpus to the Supreme Court of Texas. To address the gap in literature, this article lays out the process attorneys should follow when filing a writ of habeas corpus. The most important items which should be brought before the Court are: (1) a motion for leave to file the application; (2) the application for writ; (3) a brief in support of the alleged grounds of illegal restraint; (4) the filing fee and additional fee if motion for leave is granted; (5) proof that the party is illegally restrained; (6) a transcript of relevant orders, judgments and commitment; (7) a transcribed statement of facts in certain cases; and (8) provision for an adequate bond in the event the writ is granted. It is crucial that attorneys understand how to properly file a writ of habeas corpus in order to advance its vital function. Writs of habeas corpus provide a prompt and efficacious remedy for the party intolerably restrained. History proves that the writ of habeas corpus is inextricably intertwined with the expansion of fundamental rights of personal liberty. A discussion of the relevant statutes and case law makes abundantly clear its continuing importance in a civilized society. Writs of habeas corpus ensure that the government is held accountable for a person’s improper imprisonment and make certain that the party has been afforded due process of the law.

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