Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–1901. Petition; issuance of writ.

(a) A person committed, detained, confined, or restrained from his lawful liberty within the District, under any color or pretense whatever, or a person in his behalf, may apply by petition to the appropriate court, or a judge thereof, for a writ of habeas corpus, to the end that the cause of the commitment, detainer, confinement, or restraint may be inquired into. The court or the judge applied to, if the facts set forth in the petition make a prima facie case, shall forthwith grant the writ, directed to the officer or other person in whose custody or keeping the party so detained is returnable forthwith before the court or judge.

(b) Petitions for writs directed to Federal officers and employees shall be filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

(c) Petitions for writs directed to any other person shall be filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 583, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 560, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 145(h)(1).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1901.

1973 Ed., § 16-1901.

Cross References

Mentally retarded persons’ rights, see § 7-1301.02 and 7-1301.03.

Representation of indigents in criminal cases, see § 11-2601.