View Full Version : Georgia State Habeas Corpus Overview


Paralegal USA
08-04-2011, 02:21 PM
STATE HABEAS CORPUS IN GEORGIA:


I. INTRODUCTION

A state habeas corpus action is by far the most important postconviction remedy available to an individual under conviction and sentence. An underlying premise of these materials is that most criminal defense attorneys never prepare or litigate a state habeas corpus petition. One purpose of these materials is to explain how criminal defense attorneys play a critical role in laying the foundation for a successful state habeas corpus action.

Another purpose of these materials is to provide the reader with a basic understanding of state habeas corpus actions and to familiarize the reader with the basic statutes and doctrines pertaining to the filing and litigation of a state habeas corpus action. There are many nuances pertaining to this area of the law, and the materials herein do not attempt to address all of those nuances. Additionally, these materials do not address the filing and litigation of a state habeas corpus petition which challenges a death sentence.

The format of these materials in Sections II, III, IV, and V will be to first pose a relevant question concerning state habeas corpus actions; to provide the reader with a succinct answer to the question; to provide the reader with the text of the statute relevant to the question if there is such a statute; and finally in some instances to provide the reader with practice suggestions concerning the filing and litigation of state habeas corpus actions.

II. WHAT IS HABEAS CORPUS?

Literally speaking, habeas corpus is Latin for “that you have the body”. A writ of habeas corpus is employed most frequently to bring an imprisoned person before a court in order to ensure that the person’s imprisonment is constitutional. In Georgia, habeas corpus actions are governed by the provisions of O.C.G.A. 9-14-40 through 9-14-53.

III. WHY STATE HABEAS CORPUS ACTIONS ARE IMPORTANT TO TRIAL ATTORNEYS

When a trial attorney’s client is convicted and sentenced based upon a trial which was unfair and unconstitutional, and the client’s conviction and sentence are affirmed on direct appeal, a state habeas corpus action provides that client with the best opportunity to vacate the conviction and sentence, to vindicate the client’s constitutional rights, and to provide the client with a new trial.

PRACTICE NOTE: State habeas corpus actions in most cases represent the client’s last opportunity to call witnesses and develop a record in order to demonstrate that the client’s conviction and sentence are unconstitutional.

IV. WHY TRIAL ATTORNEYS ARE IMPORTANT TO STATE HABEAS ACTIONS

Obviously the goal of a trial attorney is to win the client’s case at trial. A secondary goal is to preserve the record in case the client does not prevail at trial and a direct appeal is necessary. A further goal of the trial attorney should be to protect the record for a possible state habeas corpus action in case the client’s direct appeal is not successful.

When a client’s case is reviewed during a state habeas corpus action or during a federal habeas corpus action, that review will be limited to a determination of whether the client's state or federal constitutional rights were violated during the client’s trial or during the client’s direct appeal. Consequently, trial counsel, in preserving error, should base their objections on state and federal constitutional grounds when appropriate.

PRACTICE NOTE: Always consider filing a motion for new trial in order to constitutionalize issues in the motion for new trial which were not constitutionalized during the trial.

V. STATE HABEAS CORPUS ACTIONS: BASIC DOCTRINES AND STATUTES

A. PERSONS ELIGIBLE TO SEEK RELIEF

1. Individuals Who Are In Physical Custody

Relief may be sought by the filing of a state habeas corpus application by any individual imprisoned based upon a sentence imposed by a Georgia court who contends that the individual is in custody as the result of the denial of the individual’s state or federal constitutional rights.

9-14-42(a): Any person imprisoned by virtue of a sentence imposed by a state court of record who asserts that in the proceedings which resulted in his conviction there was a substantial denial of his rights under the Constitution of the United States or of this state may institute a proceeding under this article.

2. Individuals Who Are Not In Physical Custody

Relief may also be available to an individual who is not in physical custody but who is suffering from adverse collateral consequences (e.g., being on probation, not being able to vote) as a result of the individual’s conviction and/or sentence. See Hardison v. Martin, 254 Ga. 719, 334 S.E.2d 780 (1989).

B. STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE FILING OF A STATE HABEAS CORPUS PETITION

1. State Statute Of Limitations

a. Felony convictions which have become final[1] (http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=1338#_ftn1) on or before July 1, 2004

For felony convictions which became final on or before July 1, 2004, the action must be filed on or before July 1, 2008.

b. Felony convictions which have become final subsequent to July 1, 2004

For felony convictions which become final subsequent to July 1, 2004, the action must be filed within four years of the conviction having become final.

c. Misdemeanor convictions

For most misdemeanor convictions, the actions must be filed within one year of the conviction becoming final. For misdemeanor convictions of traffic offenses, the actions must be filed within 180 days of the date the conviction becomes final.

9-14-42(c): Any action brought pursuant to this article shall be filed within one year in the case of a misdemeanor, except as otherwise provided in Code Section 40-13-33, or within four years in the case of a felony, other than one challenging a conviction for which a death sentence has been imposed or challenging a sentence of death, from:

(1) The judgment of conviction becoming final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review; provided, however, that any person whose conviction has become final as of July 1, 2004, regardless of the date of conviction, shall have until July 1, 2005, in the case of a misdemeanor or until July 1, 2008, in the case of a felony to bring an action pursuant to this Code section.

9-14-42(d): At the time of sentencing, the court shall inform the defendant of the periods of limitation set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section.

40-13-33(a): Any challenge to a misdemeanor conviction of any of the traffic laws of this state or the traffic laws of any county or municipal government which may be brought pursuant to Chapter 14 of Title 9 must be filed within 180 days of the date the conviction becomes final.

PRACTICE NOTE: At the time of sentencing, counsel should be certain that their client has been advised of the applicable state statute of limitation. If the sentencing court has not so advised, counsel should remind the sentencing court of its obligation to do so under 9-14-42(d)

2. Federal Statute Of Limitations

There is a one year statute of limitations for seeking federal habeas corpus relief. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (hereinafter the "AEDPA") became effective on April 24, 1996 and amended 28 U.S.C. 2244(d) by imposing a one-year statute of limitations for the filing of a federal habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. 2254. The practical effect of this provision is to require an individual in state custody who seeks federal habeas corpus relief to file the individual’s federal habeas corpus petition within one year of the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review. Before an individual in state custody can pursue federal habeas corpus relief, that individual must exhaust state remedies, which is usually the filing and the litigation of a state habeas corpus action. While the individual in state custody exhausts the available state remedies, the one-year statute of limitations set forth in 28 U.S.C. 2244(d) is tolled. Attached hereto as Appendix 4 is a timeline depicting the effect, under 28 U.S.C. 2244(d), of the filing of a state habeas corpus action on the deadline for the filing of a federal habeas corpus petition.

28 U.S.C. 2244(d):

(1) A 1-year period of limitation shall apply to an application for a writ of habeas corpus by a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. The limitation period shall run from the latest of --

(A) the date on which the judgment became final by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review;

(B) the date on which the impediment to filing an application created by State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States is removed, if the applicant was prevented from filing such State action;

(C) the date on which the constitutional right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if the right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review; or

(D) the date on which the factual predicate of the claim or claims presented could have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence.

(2) The time during which a properly filed application for State post-conviction or other collateral review with respect to the pertinent judgment or claim is pending shall not be counted toward any period of limitation under this subsection.

PRACTICE NOTE: In order for a client to receive the benefit of newly decided case law, counsel can extend the time of the conviction becoming final by: (1) always filing the appropriate type of appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia and (2) by filing a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States. Keep in mind that "final" is defined as the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review.

C. JURISDICTION OVER AND VENUE FOR A STATE HABEAS CORPUS ACTION

Superior courts have exclusive jurisdiction of habeas corpus actions. If the petitioner is in custody in the State of Georgia, venue lies in the county in which the petitioner is being detained. If the petitioner is in custody in another state or under the authority of the United States, venue lies in the county in which the conviction was imposed. If the petitioner is not in custody, venue lies in the county in which the conviction was imposed.

9-14-43: A petition brought under this article must be filed in the superior court of the county in which the petitioner is being detained. The superior courts of such counties shall have exclusive jurisdiction of habeas corpus actions arising under this article. If the petitioner is not in custody or is being detained under the authority of the United States, any of the several states other than Georgia, or any foreign state, the petition must be filed in the superior court of the county in which the conviction and sentence which is being challenged was imposed.

PRACTICE NOTE: Counsel for a petitioner incarcerated in the State of Georgia has some ability to control the venue in which the state habeas corpus action is litigated.


D. LIMITATIONS ON NUMBER OF STATE HABEAS CORPUS ACTIONS MAY BE FILED

With a few exceptions, a petitioner only has one opportunity to obtain relief through a state habeas corpus action. Any grounds not raised in the original petition or the amended petition will be waived.

9-14-51: All grounds for relief claimed by a petitioner for a writ of habeas corpus shall be raised by a petitioner in his original or amended petition. Any grounds not so raised are waived unless the Constitution of the United States or of this state otherwise requires or unless any judge to whom the petition is assigned, on considering a subsequent petition, finds grounds for relief asserted therein which could not reasonably have been raised in the original or amended petition.

PRACTICE NOTE: While counsel should advise individuals not to proceed pro se in a state habeas corpus action if the individual might be able to proceed with counsel at a later date but within the applicable state statute of limitations, this course of action creates the danger that by following such advice, the individual will lose the right to seek relief in federal court at a later date as a result of the statute of limitations under the AEDPA. (See Section V (B)(2) above).

E. THE FORM THAT MUST BE USED FOR FILING A STATE HABEAS CORPUS PETITION, THE REQUIRED ATTACHMENTS THERETO AND OPTIONAL SUPPORTING LEGAL ARGUMENTS THAT MAY ACCOMPANY ITS FILING

Form HC-1 from the Administrative Office of the Courts must be utilized when filing a state habeas corpus petition. That form is available online at www.georgiacourts.org (http://www.georgiacourts.org). (Use the drop down menu for “Court Forms”; select “Inmate Forms”, and at the bottom there will be a section entitled, “Inmate/Habeas Corpus Forms”). This form must be signed by the petitioner in the presence of a notary public.

If the petitioner is requesting to proceed in forma pauperis, a motion to proceed in forma pauperis must be filed with the petition and must include a print-out of the petitioner’s prison account.

9-14-44: A petition brought under this article shall identify the proceeding in which the petitioner was convicted, give the date of rendition of the final judgment complained of, clearly set forth the respects in which the petitioner's rights were violated, and state with specificity which claims were raised at trial or on direct appeal, providing appropriate citations to the trial or appellate record. The petition shall have attached thereto affidavits, records, or other evidence supporting its allegations or shall state why the same are not attached. The petition shall identify any previous proceedings that the petitioner may have taken to secure relief from his or her conviction and, in the case of prior habeas corpus petitions, shall state which claims were previously raised. Argument and citations of authorities shall be omitted from the petition; however, a brief may be submitted in support of the petition setting forth any applicable argument. The petition must be verified by the oath of the applicant or of some other person in his or her behalf.

PRACTICE NOTE: The contents of the petition can be amended by the petitioner at any time prior to the hearing on the petitioner’s state habeas corpus action. See O.C.G.A. 9-11-15(a); Nelson v. Zant, 261 Ga. 358, 359, 405 S.E.2d 250 (1991).

F. PARTIES TO BE SERVED WITH HABEAS PETITION AND SUPPORTING PAPERS

If the petitioner is in custody, the petition must be served upon the person having custody of the petitioner (typically, the warden of the petitioner’s institution). If the petitioner is under the custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections (hereinafter, the GDOC), an additional copy of the petition must be served upon the Attorney General of Georgia. If the petitioner is under the custody of some authority other than the GDOC, an additional copy must be served upon the district attorney of the county in which the petition is filed.

9-14-45: Service of a petition brought under this article shall be made upon the person having custody of the petitioner. If the petitioner is being detained under the custody of the Department of Corrections, an additional copy of the petition shall be served on the Attorney General. If the petitioner is being detained under the custody of some authority other than the Department of Corrections, an additional copy of the petition shall be served upon the district attorney of the county in which the petition is filed. Service upon the Attorney General or the district attorney may be had by mailing a copy of the petition and a proper certificate of service.


PRACTICE SUGGESTION: Check with the clerk of court to make sure that you have complied with that county’s particular service requirements for service upon the warden of the petitioner’s institution, if the petitioner is in custody.

G. TIME FOR RESPONDENT TO ANSWER THE PETITION

Unless the time is extended by the superior court, the respondent must answer the petition within twenty days of the filing and docketing of the petition.

9-14-47: Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 9-14-47.1 with respect to petitions challenging for the first time state court proceedings resulting in a sentence of death, within 20 days after the filing and docketing of a petition under this article or within such further time as the court may set, the respondent shall answer or move to dismiss the petition. The court shall set the case for a hearing on the issues within a reasonable time after the filing of defensive pleadings.

H. ENTITLEMENT TO A NON-EVIDENTIARY HEARING

The petitioner is entitled to a non-evidentiary hearing on the issues raised in the petition. The superior court is required to schedule the hearing within a reasonable amount of time after the filing of defensive pleadings. (See OCGA 9-14-47 in Section G above). With respect to the petitioner’s right to an evidentiary hearing, see Section V(N) below.

PRACTICE NOTE: Keep in mind that there is some flexibility as to when the state habeas corpus action is litigated. If the petitioner is not prepared to proceed at the time of the hearing, the petitioner can move to dismiss the action without prejudice and can re-file the state habeas corpus action at a later date. See O.C.G.A. 9-11-41(a).

I. DEFENSES LIKELY TO BE ASSERTED BY THE RESPONDENT

1. Procedural Default

The respondent may assert that the petitioner failed to make a timely motion or objection to the constitutional error or otherwise failed to comply with Georgia procedural rules at trial or on appeal.

9-14-48(d): The court shall review the trial record and transcript of proceedings and consider whether the petitioner made timely motion or objection or otherwise complied with Georgia procedural rules at trial and on appeal and whether, in the event the petitioner had new counsel subsequent to trial, the petitioner raised any claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel on appeal; and absent a showing of cause for noncompliance with such requirement, and of actual prejudice, habeas corpus relief shall not be granted. In all cases habeas corpus relief shall be granted to avoid a miscarriage of justice. If the court finds in favor of the petitioner, it shall enter an appropriate order with respect to the judgment or sentence challenged in the proceeding and such supplementary orders as to rearraignment, retrial, custody, or discharge as may be necessary and proper.

2. Res Judicata

The respondent may assert that the petitioner raised the issue on direct appeal, that the decision was decided on direct appeal adversely to the petitioner, and that the issue, therefore, is precluded from review during the state habeas corpus action. Hall v. Vargas, 278 Ga. 868, 608 S.E.2d 200 (2005).

J. OVERCOMING THE RESPONDENT’S DEFENSES

1. Procedural Default: Cause and Prejudice

The defense of procedural default may be overcome if the petitioner demonstrates that there was adequate cause for the noncompliance with the Georgia procedural rules and that there was actual prejudice from the constitutional error. (See OCGA 9-14-48(d) in Section V(I)(1) above).

2. Res Judicata: New Facts Or New Case Law

The defense of res judicata may be overcome if the petitioner demonstrates that the petitioner can carry the burden of proof based upon a change in the facts or a change in the case law which have occurred since the issue was decided on direct appeal. See Bruce v. Smith, 274 Ga. 432, 434, 553 S.E.2d 808, 810 ( 2001).

3. Miscarriage Of Justice

The petitioner is entitled to relief regardless of the defenses asserted by the respondent if the petitioner can demonstrate that the failure to grant relief will result in a miscarriage of justice. See OCGA 9-14-48(d). See also Valenzuela v. Newsome, 253 Ga. 793, 795-797, 325 S.E.2d 370, 373-374 (1985)(“we must not become so engrossed in the searching out of procedural faults which sometimes intrude in convicting the guilty that we forget the core purpose of the writ--which is to free the innocent wrongfully deprived of their liberty. Hence, on rare occasion, the writ must pass over procedural bars and the requirements of cause and prejudice, when that shall be necessary to avoid a miscarriage of justice”).

K. THE BURDEN OF PROOF AND WHO SHOULDERS IT

In a habeas corpus proceeding, the burden of proof is on the petitioner. The petitioner must prove by a preponderance of evidence that the conviction under attack is invalid because a constitutional right was violated. Gaither v. Gibby, 267 Ga. 96, 97, 475 S.E.2d 603 (1996).

L THE METHODS OF PROOF

The case may be proven through the utilization of depositions, oral testimony, sworn affidavits, or other evidence.

9-14-48:

(a) The court may receive proof by depositions, oral testimony, sworn affidavits, or other evidence. No other forms of discovery shall be allowed except upon leave of court and a showing of exceptional circumstances.

(b) The taking of depositions or depositions upon written questions by either party shall be governed by Code Sections 9-11-26 through 9-11-32 and 9-11-37; provided, however, that the time allowed in Code Section 9-11-31 for service of cross-questions upon all other parties shall be ten days from the date the notice and written
questions are served.

PRACTICE NOTE: Keep in mind that there is a fair amount of flexibility in how to prove the petitioner’s case during the state habeas corpus action.

M. CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH ADDITIONAL AFFIDAVITS ARE ADMISSIBLE AFTER FILING OF PETITION

A superior court judge may resolve disputed questions of fact based upon sworn affidavits standing alone. In order for the affidavits to be admissible, however, the petitioner must adhere to the strict requirements of O.C.G.A. 9-14-48(c).

9-14-48(c): If sworn affidavits are intended by either party to be introduced into evidence, the party intending to introduce such an affidavit shall cause it to be served upon the opposing party at least ten days in advance of the date set for a hearing in the case. The affidavit so served shall include the address and telephone number of the affiant, home or business, if known, to provide the opposing party a reasonable opportunity to contact the affiant; failure to include this information in any affidavit shall render the affidavit inadmissible. The affidavit shall also be accompanied by a notice of the party's intention to introduce it into evidence. The superior court judge considering the petition for writ of habeas corpus may resolve disputed issues of fact upon the basis of sworn affidavits standing by themselves.

PRACTICE NOTE: Affidavits provide the petitioner with the ability to prove the case in an economical and controlled manner. Of course, the respondent may choose to subpoena the affiant, but the petitioner will have committed the affiant to the information contained in the affiant’s affidavit.

N. PETITIONER’S RIGHT TO AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING

A state habeas corpus petition may be dismissed without an evidentiary hearing only when the petition is without merit on its face. See Rickett v. State, 276 Ga. 609, 581 S.E.2d 32 (2003); Mitchell v. Forrester, 247 Ga. 622, 278 S.E.2d 368 (1981).

An evidentiary hearing is usually required when a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel has been raised, because such claims usually cannot be resolved based upon the content of the petition. Zant v. Dick, 249 Ga. 799, 294 S.E.2d 508, 509 (1982).

PRACTICE NOTE: Keep in my mind that certain claims are usually not procedurally defaulted prior to the filing of a state habeas corpus action. These include claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, violations of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), prosecutorial misconduct, juror misconduct, and judicial misconduct. With respect to claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, the habeas attorney investigate and assess all such claims, including claims concerning trial counsel, motion for new trial counsel, and direct appeal counsel. Oftentimes claims of ineffective assistance of counsel can be utilized as conduits to other constitutional errors that may be procedurally defaulted.

O. THE DECISION BY THE SUPERIOR COURT

In rendering a decision, it is incumbent upon the superior court to make written findings of fact and conclusions of law upon which the decision is based.

9-14-49: After reviewing the pleadings and evidence offered at the trial of the case, the judge of the superior court hearing the case shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law upon which the judgment is based. The findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be recorded as part of the record of the case.

PRACTICE NOTE: With the superior court’s permission, it is usually a good idea to prepare proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law which set forth the reasons as to why the petitioner is entitled to relief.

P. COURT POSSESSING JURISDICTION ON APPEAL FROM THE DECISION OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

The Supreme Court of Georgia has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals in habeas corpus actions brought pursuant to O.C.G.A. 9-14-40 et seq..
9-14-52(a): Appeals in habeas corpus cases brought under this article shall be governed by Chapter 6 of Title 5 except that as to final orders of the court which are adverse to the petitioner no appeal shall be allowed unless the Supreme Court of this state issues a certificate of probable cause for the appeal.

Q. PETITIONER’S RIGHT TO APPEAL SUPERIOR COURT DENIAL OF HABEAS PETITION NOT ABSOLUTE

The petitioner does not have an absolute right to an appeal from an adverse decision by the superior court. Within thirty days from the entry of the order denying relief, the petitioner must file a notice of appeal with the clerk of the superior court and, also within that timeframe, must file a written application for a certificate of probable cause (“CPC”) to appeal with the clerk of the Supreme Court of Georgia. If the CPC is granted, the decision by the superior court will be reviewed by the Supreme Court of Georgia. If the CPC is denied by the Supreme Court of Georgia, the decision by the superior court will not be reviewed on appeal by the Supreme Court of Georgia.

9-14-52(b): If an unsuccessful petitioner desires to appeal, he must file a written application for a certificate of probable cause to appeal with the clerk of the Supreme Court within 30 days from the entry of the order denying him relief. The petitioner shall also file within the same period a notice of appeal with the clerk of the concerned superior court. The Supreme Court shall either grant or deny the application within a reasonable time after filing. In order for the Supreme Court to consider fully the request for a certificate, the clerk of the concerned superior court shall forward, as in any other case, the record and transcript, if designated, to the clerk of the Supreme Court when a notice of appeal is filed. The clerk of the concerned superior court need not prepare and retain and the court reporter need not file a copy of the original record and a copy of the original transcript of proceedings. The clerk of the Supreme Court shall return the original record and transcript to the clerk of the concerned superior court upon completion of the appeal if the certificate is granted. If the Supreme Court denies the application for a certificate of probable cause, the clerk of the Supreme Court shall return the original record and transcript and shall notify the clerk of the concerned superior court and the parties to the proceedings below of the determination that probable cause does not exist for appeal.

R. RESPONDENT’S RIGHT TO APPEAL SUPERIOR COURT GRANTING OF HABEAS PETITION IS ABSOLUTE

If the decision by the superior court is adverse to the respondent, the respondent has an absolute right to an appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

9-14-52(c): If the trial court finds in favor of the petitioner, no certificate of probable cause need be obtained by the respondent as a condition precedent to appeal. A notice of appeal filed by the respondent shall act as a supersedeas and shall stay the judgment of the superior court until there is a final adjudication by the Supreme Court; provided, however, that, while such case is on appeal, the petitioner may be released on bail as is provided in criminal cases except when the petitioner has been convicted of a crime which the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to consider on direct appeal. The right to bail and the amount of bond shall be within the discretion of the judge of the superior court in which the sentence successfully challenged under this article was originally imposed.

S. PETITIONER’S RIGHT TO PETITION THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

The petitioner, within 90 days from the final order entered by the Supreme Court of Georgia, can file a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States. (See Rule 13.1 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States). The filing of a petition for writ of certiorari continues to toll the one year statute of limitations under the AEDPA. (See Section V(B)(2)).

VI. CONCLUSION

In most cases, the most important postconviction remedy available to an individual under conviction and sentence is a state habeas corpus action. Hopefully the preceding materials have impressed the reader with this fact and have provided the reader with information which will be helpful in representing clients at trial and in state habeas corpus actions.


[1] (http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=1338#_ftnref1) A conviction becomes final “by the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review…” O.C.G.A. 9-14-42(c)(1).

haroldsenior
04-29-2013, 10:36 PM
thanks for posting that. When I saw your screen name as "Paralegal USA" I wondered if the information would be general, or relevant to the federal system only, but it's very state-specific to Georgia too. It looks like excellent coverage of this topic.

I heard that Habeas actions aren't just for people physically in custody. They can be used when your freedom is limited by any past conviction or sentence, even for collateral consequences that don't rear their heads and become problems until later.

But then, how would the 4-year state Statute of Limitations work? By the time somebody does their time and gets out of prison and then discovers some other right that they've lost, the time to sue for Habeas will be up.