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HABEAS CORPUS (Rule 102, Rules of Court)

2 Objectives: (1) to inquire into all manner of
involuntary restraint (primary purpose); (2) to
relieve a person therefrom if such restraint is
Must be an ACTUAL and EFFECTIVE illegal
restraint (but check Moncupa vs. Enrile)
The nature of restraint must be illegal and
involuntary for the writ of habeas corpus to
Another purpose pertains to the second part of
Sec.1 which is to enable a person who is
entitled to someones custody to regain such
custody from another even if the person
subject of the custody voluntarily went with
the third person. (In this case restraint is
ULITMATE PURPOSE: to relieve a person
from unlawful restraint and as an effective
defense of personal freedom
Sec.1- Habeas Corpus extends (except as
otherwise expressly provided by law):
o All cases of illegal confinement or
detention by which any person is
deprived of his liberty
o The rightful custody of any person is
withheld from the person entitled
Analogous to a proceeding in rem when
instituted for the sole purpose of having the
person of restraint presented before the court
in order that the cause of his detention may be
inquire into
Habeas Corpus does not act upon the prisoner
who seeks relief, but UPON THE PERSON
WHO HOLDS HIM in what is alleged to be
unlawful authority. Hence the only parties
before the court are the petitioner (prisoner)
and the person holding the petitioner in
custody, and the ONLY QUESTION to be
resolved is whether the custodian has authority
to deprive the petitioner of his liberty.

The writ does not issue as a matter of right. It

is a privilege based on SOUND
Separate and distinct from the main case from
which the proceedings spring; deal simply
with the detention of the prisoner and stop
with the authority by virtue of which he is

Where to File (Who may grant the writ?-Sec.2)

Supreme Court or any Justice thereof
Instances authorized by law enforceable
anywhere in the Philippines
Sandiganbayan or any Justice thereof?
Court of Appeals or any Justice thereof
Instances authorized by law enforceable
anywhere in the Philippines
RTC or any judge thereof any day at any
time only within the courts judicial district
THE RETURN may be made before the said
courts or any member thereof or RTC or any
judge thereof for the hearing and decision on
the merits.
Petitioner (Prisoner or a person on his behalf)
Person in custody of such prisoner
Availability of the Writ
GENERAL RULE: If there is already a final
judgment of conviction or judgment/order by a
court that the restraint is valid, no writ of
habeas corpus may issue.
Exception: Writ may be granted upon a
judgment as regards the validity of the
restraint is already final when:
o There is violation of the accuseds
constitutional right
o Court trying the case has no
o The penalty imposed is excessive or
beyond what the court could legally
May not be availed of by a person released on
bail (no actual restraint of liberty)

Requisites of Application (Contents of the PetitionSec.3)

Petition must be signed and verified by the
party for whose relief it is intended OR by
some person on his behalf
Petition must contain:
o That the person in whose behalf the
application is made is imprisoned or
restrained of his liberty;
o The officer or name of the person by
whom he is so imprisoned or
o The place where he is so imprisoned
or restrained, if known; and
o Copy of the commitment or cause of
detention of such person. If it can be
procured without any legal authority,
such fact shall appear
Who makes the return? The person in whose
custody the prisoner is found
Before whom the return be made (Sec.2):
o before the SC, CA, Sandiganbayan or
any member thereof, or before RTC,
or any judge therefor (if granted by
SC, CA, Sandiganbayan)
o before the RTC, or any judge thereof
(if granted by such RTC or judge)
The return must be signed and sworn to by the
person who made it for purpose of evidence,
UNLESS the return was made and signed by a
sworn public officer IN HIS OFFICIAL
CAPACITY (Sec. 11)
Contents of Return (Sec.10):
o Whether he has or has not the party in
his custody or power, or under
o if the party is in his custody or power,
the authority and the rue and whole
cause thereof, with a capy of the writ,
order, execution, or other processes
upon which the party is held
o if the party is not produced, the nature
and the gravity of sickness of
o if the party was in his custody and has
transferred such custody or restraint to
another to whom, at what time, for

what cause and by what authority such

transfer was made
Purpose of Return (Sec. 13)
AS EVIDENCE if it appears that the
prisoner is in cutody under a warrant of
commitment in pursuance of law, the return
shall be considered prima facie evidence of the
cause of restraint
AS PLEA if prisoner in custody of a private
person, the return is only a plea of the facts
stated therein, and the party claiming the
custody MUST PROVE such facts
Habeas Corpus When NOT Applicable (Sec.4)
When the prisoner is in custody of an officer
o Under process issued by a court or
o By virtue of a judgment or order of
a court of record
o The court or judge had jurisdiction
to issue the process, render the
judgment or make the order
If the jurisdiction appears after the writ is
allowed, the person shall not be discharged by
reason of any informality or defect in the
process, judgment, or order (except non
substantial defect-Sec.9)
No discharge if the prisoner, upon a clear
showing is:
o Charged with (unless bail);
o Convicted of an offense; or
o Suffering imprisonment under
lawful judgment
Even if the detention is illegal at first,
make such detention legal at the time of filing
the application
Restrictive Custody monitoring of
movements or whereabouts of police officers
under investigation is not illegal detention. It
is a precautionary measure (PO1 Amaptuan
permanent) of detained person theres no
actual restraint (as long as there are no
conditions that will restrain freedom of

movement Check Moncupa vs. Enrile

Cancellation of bail cannot be assailed via a
petition for writ of habeas corpus


When Writ must be Granted and Issued (Sec.5)
COURTs discretion
When it appears in the petition that the writ
ought to issue if the judge is satisfied that
the petitioner is entitled to the writ (courts
How issue is made: Clerk of Court shall issue
the writ under the seal of the court; IN CASE
of EMERGENCY, the judge may issue the
writ under his own hand, and may depute any
officer or person to serve it
To Whom Writ directed, and What to Require
Officer who is in custody of the person
o Writ shall command the officer to
have the body of the person restrained
before the court designated in the writ
at the time and place stated therein
An officer directed by the court (in case of
restraint by a private individual)
o Writ shall command the officer to take
and have the body of the person
restrained before the court designated
in the writ and at the time and place
stated therein
o Writ shall SUMMON the person who
causes the restraint to show the cause
of the imprisonment or restraint
Note: Order to Produce the Body is NOT
EQUAL to grant of writ of habeas corpus
1. File a petition (signed and verified)

a. Petition must have the required

contents (although Sec.9 provides that
any defect of form may not cause the
refusal to obey the writ provided it
sufficiently appears therefrom in
whose custody or under restraint the
party imprisoned or restrained is held
and the court or judge before whom he
is to be brought)
2. Judge shall allow or deny writ (Sec.8)
3. Service of Writ (Sec.7)
a. Designation in the writ of person to be
produced by his name, if known; if
his name not known, describe or
b. Who may serve writ?
i. Sheriff
ii. Proper officer
iii. Person deputed by the court or
c. How served?
i. By leaving the original with
the person to whom it is
ii. A copy of the writ is
preserved because the return
shall be made thereon
iii. If person cannot be found or
does not have the prisoner in
custody, the sheriff is
authorized to serve the writ on
exercising such custody
4. Execution of Writ and Return (Sec.8)
a. The officer to whom the writ is
directed shall convey the detained
person before the judge allowing the
writ, or in case of his absence or
disability, before some judge of the
same court, on the day specified on
the writ, UNLESS, from sickness or
infirmity of the person detained, he
may not be produce in court, without
b. Return shall be made by the officer,
together with the day or the cause of
the caption and restraint of such
person according to the command

i. Shall be signed and sworn to

unless made by a sworn
officer in his official capacity
5. Hearing on Return (Sec.12)
a. When writ returned before one judge,
at a time when the court is in session,
he may adjourn the case into the court,
there to be heard and determined
b. The court or judge must immediately
proceed to hear and examine the
return, and such other matters as are
properly submitted for consideration
c. For GOOD CAUSE shown the
hearing is adjourned, the court shall
make such order for the safekeeping
of the person imprisoned or restrained
as the nature of the case requires
d. If the person detained is not produced,
the cour or judge shall be satisfied the
the sickness or infirmity is SO
GRAVE, before proceeding to hear
and dispose of the matter
6. Judgment (Sec.14) - When person lawfully
imprisoned recommitted, and when let to bail
a. If court or judge determines that the
detention is not valid, the detained
person shall be ordered released
b. If prisoner was (1) lawfully
committed, and (2) is charged in a
warrant of commitment with an
offense punishable by death, he shall
NOT be released, discharged, or
c. If not punishable by death, may be
recommitted to prison or admitted
to bail in the discretion of the court or
i. If admitted to bail, he shall
file a bond considering the
circumstances of the prisoner
and the nature of the offense
charged, conditioned for his
appearance before the court
ii. The court or judge shall
together with the bond, to the
proper court
iii. If such bond is not so filed,
recommitted to confinement


applicant is serving sentence
7. If court or judge is satisfied that the detention
is illegal, the court shall order the discharge
8. Discharge shall be effective upon service of
copy of the order on the officer or person
9. If officer or person detaining the prisoner does
not appeal within 48 hours form notice of
judgment (AM No. 01-01-03-S), prisoner shall
be released
Effect of Grant of Writ
Release of Prisoner if no appeal was filed
Person discharged not to be imprisoned again
for the same offense (Sec.17) UNLESS
o By lawful order or process of the court
having jurisdiction of the cause or
When Prisoner may be removed from one custody
to another (Sec.18)
By legal process
The prisoner is delivered to an inferior officer
to carry to jail
By order of the proper court or judge for the
transfer from one place to another within the
Philippines for trial;
In case of fire, epidemic, insurrection, or other
necessity or public calamity
Habeas corpus as post-conviction remedy
This is allowed, Provided that
o There has been a deprivation of
constitutional right resulting to the
restraint of the person (In here, the
petition for writ of habeas corpus
serves as a collateral attack on the
final judgment of conviction)
o Court had no jurisdiction to impose
the sentence
o Imposed penalty is excessive, thus
voiding the sentence as to such excess
Retroactive Effect of Favorable Law
Habeas Corpus may apply here as a
consequence of reducing the penalty to be

served by a new law that was passed favoring

the prisoner

Habeas Corpus and Certiorari

May be ancillary to each other where
necessary to GIVE EFFECT TO THE
COURT (only for the purpose of review)
However, the rule provides that habeas corpus
does not lie where the petitioner has the
remedy of appeal or certiorari because it will
not be permitted to perform the functions of
the writ or error or appeal for the purpose of
reviewing mere errors or irregularities in the
proceedings of a court having jurisdiction over
the person and the subject matter
Writ of habeas corpus is not intended to be a
substitute for the functions of the trial court

It has to be an exceptional case for the writ of

habeas corpus to be available to an accused
before trial
As a general rule, normal or ordinary
proceedings in court shall be followed. In the
absence of special circumstances requiring
immediate action, a court will not grant the
writ and discharge the prisoner in advance of a
determination of his case in court

Habeas Corpus in Custody cases

In the absence of a judicial grant of custody to
one parent, both parents are still entitled to the
custody of their child. The welfare of the child
shall be the paramount interest. Hence, in
Abanilla case, the writ of habeas corpus is
proper remedy because the father may not be
deprived of such custody of the child even by
the mother.