Connecticut Judicial Branch
Habeas Corpus in Connecticut Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is habeas corpus?
  2. The literal meaning of habeas corpus is "you should have the body".

    Commonly referred to as "the Great Writ," habeas corpus is most often associated with an action asserting ineffective assistance of counsel by petitioners challenging the legality of their conviction, but there are several other uses.

    Under Connecticut case law, habeas corpus is not a substitute for a direct appeal.

    Habeas corpus is a remedy for violations of constitutional rights, such as ineffective assistance of counsel.

  3. Who may file a habeas corpus petition?
  4. Where do I file a writ of habeas corpus?
    • An application for writ of habeas corpus filed on behalf of an inmate or prisoner confined as a result of a conviction of a crime must be filed in the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Tolland.

    • Connecticut General Statutes § 52-466(a)(1)

    • An application for a person held on something other than a criminal conviction, such as an adjudication of not guilty by reason of insanity or a juvenile delinquency commitment, must be filed in the judicial district where that person is confined.

    • Connecticut General Statutes § 52-466(a)(2)

    • An application for writ of habeas corpus challenging involuntary conservatorship or guardianship may be filed in either the Superior Court or Probate Court.

    • Connecticut General Statutes § 45a-705a(c)

  5. How do I file a writ of habeas corpus?
    • To petition for writ of habeas corpus, please complete the appropriate form

    • Each form contains a section for you to request that costs and fees be waived.

    • Each form contains a section where you may request that a lawyer represent you.

    • You must sign the form (petition) and have it notarized.

    • All questions must be answered clearly and concisely in the appropriate space on the form.

    • You should keep an additional copy of the petition for your own records. All copies must be identical to the original.

  6. Is there a fee to file a habeas petition?
    • Yes, if you have not requested that costs and fees be waived, you will need to provide the Clerk with $360, which is the fee to file your petition.