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Habeas Corpus

Definition - What does Habeas Corpus mean?

Habeas corpus is a Latin term that means you may have the body. In the context of the U.S. legal system, habeas corpus refers to a court order (writ) that mandates that a person be brought before the court in order to determine if they have been unlawfully detained or imprisoned.

Justipedia explains Habeas Corpus

The right of habeas corpus was originally used in the English legal system, but has since been adopted in many countries. In the United States, people can file a habeas corpus petition with a court to object to their detention or the detention of someone else. The writ of habeas corpus is addressed to the warden or custodian and asks them to bring the defendant to the court; the custodian needs to furnish proof in order for the court to determine if the custodian has the authority under law to detain the defendant.

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