CHAPTER 589. HABEAS CORPUS
Table of Sections
|589.01||WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS; WHO MAY APPLY.|
|589.02||PETITION; TO WHOM AND HOW MADE.|
|589.03||APPLICATION FOR WRIT IN ANOTHER COUNTY; PROOF REQUIRED.|
|589.04||STATEMENTS IN PETITION.|
|589.05||FORM OF WRIT; REQUIREMENTS.|
|589.06||CONTENTS OF WRIT; WHEN SUFFICIENT.|
|589.07||REFUSAL TO GRANT; PENALTY.|
|589.08||RETURN TO WRIT; CONTENT REQUIREMENTS.|
|589.09||PRODUCING PERSON REQUIRED EXCEPT WHEN SICK.|
|589.10||ENFORCING THE WRIT.|
|589.11||PETITIONER HELD IN CUSTODY BY SHERIFF.|
|589.12||PROCEEDINGS ON RETURN OF WRIT.|
|589.14||SENDING PETITIONER BACK TO CUSTODY.|
|589.15||DISCHARGING PETITIONER HELD UNDER CIVIL PROCESS.|
|589.16||WHEN BAIL OR REMAND OR DISCHARGE ALLOWED.|
|589.17||REQUIRING PETITIONER TO BE HELD IN CUSTODY UNTIL JUDGMENT.|
|589.18||NOTICE MUST BE GIVEN TO COUNTY ATTORNEY OR ATTORNEY GENERAL.|
|589.19||DENIAL OF RETURN; NEW MATTER.|
|589.20||PROCEEDINGS IN CASE OF SICKNESS OF PETITIONER.|
|589.21||ENFORCING ORDER OF DISCHARGE.|
|589.22||CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH DISCHARGED PETITIONER MAY BE INCARCERATED.|
|589.23||TRANSFERRING OR CONCEALING PERSON; FORFEITURE.|
|589.24||REFUSING TO FURNISH COPY OF DOCUMENT AUTHORIZING DETENTION.|
|589.25||PERSON SERVING WRIT; BOND.|
|589.26||MANNER OF SERVICE OF WRIT.|
|589.27||WHEN RETURN TO WRIT MUST BE MADE.|
|589.28||POWER OF COURT NOT RESTRAINED.|
|589.30||HEARING ON APPEAL; COSTS; PAPERS.|
|589.35||RELEASE OF INSTITUTIONALIZED PERSONS FOR JUDICIAL PURPOSES.|
589.01 WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS; WHO MAY APPLY.
A person imprisoned or otherwise restrained of liberty, except persons committed or detained
by virtue of the final judgment of a competent tribunal of civil or criminal jurisdiction, or by
virtue of an execution issued upon the judgment, may apply for a writ of habeas corpus to obtain
relief from imprisonment or restraint. For purposes of this section, an order of commitment
for an alleged contempt or an order upon proceedings as for contempt to enforce the rights or
remedies of a party is not a judgment, nor does attachment or other process issued upon these
types of orders constitute an execution.
History: (9739) RL s 4573; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
Subdivision 1. In this chapter.
In this chapter, the words listed in this section have the
meanings or inclusions given them here.
Subd. 2. Detaining authority.
"Detaining authority" includes a state or local correctional
agency or officer or employee of that agency or any other public or private agency or person that
is alleged in the writ of habeas corpus to have restrained or imprisoned the petitioner.
Subd. 3. Petitioner.
"Petitioner" means a person who is imprisoned or otherwise restrained
of liberty and who applies for a writ of habeas corpus to obtain release.
History: 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.02 PETITION; TO WHOM AND HOW MADE.
A person may apply for a writ of habeas corpus by petition addressed to the Supreme Court,
Court of Appeals, or to the district court of the county where the petitioner is detained. The
petition must be signed and verified by the petitioner or some person applying on the petitioner's
behalf. If there is within the county a judge of the court to which the petition is addressed, that
judge may grant the writ. If there is no judge within the county capable of acting and willing to
grant the writ, it may be granted by a judge in an adjoining county.
History: (9740) RL s 4574; 1983 c 247 s 198; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.03 APPLICATION FOR WRIT IN ANOTHER COUNTY; PROOF REQUIRED.
When application for a writ of habeas corpus is made to a judge whose chambers are not
located within the county where the prisoner is detained, that judge shall require proof, by the
oath of the applicant or other evidence:
(1) that there is no judge in the detaining county authorized to grant the writ;
(2) that judges authorized to grant the writ are absent from the detaining county;
(3) that judges in the detaining county for reasons specified are incapable of acting; or
(4) that judges in the detaining county have refused to grant the writ.
If the proof required by this section is not produced, the application must be denied.
History: (9741) RL s 4575; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.04 STATEMENTS IN PETITION.
A petition for a writ of habeas corpus must contain information set forth in paragraphs
(a) to (e):
(a) It must state that the person on whose behalf the writ is applied for is imprisoned or
restrained of liberty, the name of the officer or person by whom the person is imprisoned or
restrained, and the place where that person is imprisoned or restrained.
(b) It must name the restrained and the restraining person if their names are known, or
describe them if they are not.
(c) It must state that the restrained person is not committed or detained under process,
judgment, decree, or execution, as specified in section
(d) It must state the basis of the confinement or restraint, according to the knowledge or
belief of the party verifying the petition.
(e) If the confinement or restraint is under warrant, order, or process, the petitioner
shall attach a copy of the document authorizing the confinement or restraint to the petition.
The petitioner shall also attach copies of all papers which are attached to or accompany the
warrant, order, or process to the petition. If the confinement results from conviction of a crime
and sentence, the petitioner shall include a transcript of the proceedings taken at the time of
arraignment and sentence in the court which imposed the sentence. If the petitioner is unable to
attach the documents required by this paragraph, the petitioner shall state the reasons for not
doing so. Documentation is not required when:
(1) the petitioner is removed or concealed before application for a writ was made; or
(2) a demand for documentation was made but the person to whom the demand was made
refused to supply the document requested.
(f) If the imprisonment is alleged to be illegal, the petition shall state in what the illegality
If the imprisonment which is claimed to be illegal is under a district court judgment or
sentence, the judge before whom the petition is pending may examine the official files and
records of the court issuing the warrant of commitment, including any official transcript of the
proceedings taken at the time of the arraignment and sentence. A judge before whom a petition is
pending may take judicial notice of official records or transcripts to determine the sufficiency of
the petition or the propriety of issuing the writ of habeas corpus.
History: (9742) RL s 4576; 1961 c 613 s 1; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.05 FORM OF WRIT; REQUIREMENTS.
A writ of habeas corpus must be under the seal of the court, and substantially in the
"The State of Minnesota, to the Sheriff of, etc. (or to A.B.):
You are commanded to bring C.D., who is imprisoned and detained by you, by whatever
name C.D. is called or charged, before E.F., judge of the ..................... court, at .......................,
on ........... (or immediately after the receipt of this writ), to receive the court's judgment on the
legality of the detention. Bring this writ to the hearing and be prepared to tell the court the time
and cause of imprisonment and detention.
History: (9743) RL s 4577; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.06 CONTENTS OF WRIT; WHEN SUFFICIENT.
The writ may not be disobeyed because of any defect of form. A writ is sufficient if the
petitioner and the person to whom the writ is directed are designated in it with reasonable
certainty, by name, description, or otherwise. Either the petitioner or the person to whom the writ
is directed may be designated by an assumed name if the true name is unknown or uncertain.
The person served with the writ is considered to be the person to whom it is directed, although
the name or description is wrong, or is that of another person.
History: (9744) RL s 4578; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.07 REFUSAL TO GRANT; PENALTY.
If a judge authorized to grant writs of habeas corpus willfully refuses to grant the writ when
legally applied for, the judge shall forfeit to the party aggrieved $1,000 for each offense.
History: (9745) RL s 4579; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.08 RETURN TO WRIT; CONTENT REQUIREMENTS.
The detaining authority upon whom a writ of habeas corpus is duly served shall state in the
return, plainly and unequivocally, the information specified in paragraphs (a) to (c):
(a) The return shall state whether the detaining authority is detaining or has at any time in the
past detained the petitioner. If the petitioner was detained before or after the writ was issued, the
detaining authority shall indicate the date and time of detention.
(b) If the petitioner is being detained, the detaining authority shall state the reason for
detention and authority under which the person is being detained.
(c) If the detaining authority has detained the petitioner at any time before or after the date of
the writ, but has transferred custody to another, the return must state particularly to whom, at what
time, for what cause, and by what authority, the transfer took place.
If the petitioner is detained under writ, warrant, or other written authority, a copy of the
document authorizing detention must be attached to the return. On the return of the writ to the
judge before whom the writ is returnable, a copy of the original document authorizing detention
must be produced and exhibited.
The person making the return must sign it and except where the person is a sworn public
officer, and makes the return in an official capacity, verify it by oath.
History: (9746) RL s 4580; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.09 PRODUCING PERSON REQUIRED EXCEPT WHEN SICK.
The person on whom the writ is served shall bring the person being detained, according to
the command of the writ, to the judge named on the writ except when the detained person is
sick, as provided in section
History: (9747) RL s 4581; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.10 ENFORCING THE WRIT.
If the person upon whom the writ is served refuses or neglects to produce the person
named in it and make a full return of the writ at the time and place required and does not give
sufficient excuse, the judge before whom the writ is returnable, upon proof of service of it, shall
immediately issue an attachment against the person, directed to the sheriff or coroner of any
county. The attachment must direct the sheriff or coroner to apprehend the person upon whom the
writ is served as soon as possible and bring that person before the judge before whom the writ is
returnable. The judge before whom the writ is returnable shall commit the person apprehended
under the attachment to the county jail until that person makes the return and complies with
all other orders made by the judge.
History: (9748) RL s 4582; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.11 PETITIONER HELD IN CUSTODY BY SHERIFF.
The judge who issues an attachment under section
may also, at the same time or
afterward, issue an order to the sheriff or other person to whom the attachment was directed,
commanding the bringing of the petitioner before that judge immediately. After that, the petitioner
must remain in the custody of the sheriff or other person until discharged, bailed, or remanded, as
the judge may direct.
History: (9749) RL s 4583; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.12 PROCEEDINGS ON RETURN OF WRIT.
Immediately after the return of the writ, the judge before whom the petitioner is brought shall
examine the facts set forth in the return, the cause of the imprisonment or restraint, and whether
the cause was upon commitment for a criminal charge or not.
History: (9750) RL s 4584; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.13 DISCHARGING PETITIONER.
If the judge, under section
, finds no legal cause to support imprisonment or restraint
of the petitioner, the judge shall discharge the petitioner.
History: (9751) RL s 4585; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.14 SENDING PETITIONER BACK TO CUSTODY.
The judge shall immediately send the petitioner back to the detaining authority if it appears
that the petitioner is detained in custody:
(1) under process issued by a court or judge of the United States, in a case where the court
or judge has exclusive jurisdiction;
(2) under final judgment of a competent court of civil or criminal jurisdiction, or under an
execution issued upon a judgment of either of those courts; or
(3) for contempt of court, specially and plainly charged in the commitment, by a court having
authority to commit for the contempt so charged.
The judge shall also immediately send the petitioner back to the detaining authority if it
appears that the time during which the person may be legally detained has not expired.
History: (9752) RL s 4586; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.15 DISCHARGING PETITIONER HELD UNDER CIVIL PROCESS.
If it appears on the return that the petitioner is in custody under a valid civil process of a
court, the petitioner can be discharged only in the following cases:
(1) if the jurisdiction of the court has been exceeded, either as to matter, place, sum, or person;
(2) if, though the original imprisonment was lawful, yet, by some act, omission, or event
which has taken place afterward, the person is entitled to be discharged;
(3) if the process is defective in some matter of substance required by law, rendering it void;
(4) if the process, though in proper form, has been issued in a case not allowed by law;
(5) if the person having the custody of the petitioner under the process is not the person
empowered by law to detain the petitioner; or
(6) if the process is not authorized by a judgment or order of a court, or by a provision of law.
History: (9753) RL s 4587; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.16 WHEN BAIL OR REMAND OR DISCHARGE ALLOWED.
If the petitioner has been legally committed for a criminal offense, or if upon hearing it
appears by the testimony offered with the return that the petitioner is guilty of the offense,
although the commitment is irregular, the judge before whom the petitioner is brought shall allow
release on bail, if good bail is offered, or, if not, the judge shall immediately send that petitioner
back to the detaining authority. In other cases the petitioner must be placed in the custody of the
person legally entitled to custody, or, if no one is so entitled, the petitioner must be discharged.
History: (9754) RL s 4588; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.17 REQUIRING PETITIONER TO BE HELD IN CUSTODY UNTIL JUDGMENT.
Until judgment is given upon the return, the judge before whom the petitioner is brought
may either commit the petitioner to the custody of the sheriff of the county, or place the petitioner
in other custody as the petitioner's age and other circumstances require.
History: (9755) RL s 4589; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.18 NOTICE MUST BE GIVEN TO COUNTY ATTORNEY OR ATTORNEY
In criminal cases, if the petitioner is confined in a county jail or other local correctional
facility, notice of the time and place at which the writ is returnable must be given to the county
attorney of the county from which the petitioner was committed, if the county attorney is within
the petitioner's county. If the petitioner is confined in a state correctional facility, the notice of
the time and place at which the writ is returnable must be given to the attorney general, and the
attorney general shall appear for the person named as respondent in the writ. In other cases, notice
of the time and place at which the writ is returnable must be given to any person interested in
continuing the custody or restraint of the petitioner.
History: (9756) RL s 4590; 1915 c 227 s 1; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1979 c 102 s 13; 1985
c 265 art 9 s 1
589.19 DENIAL OF RETURN; NEW MATTER.
At the hearing on the return of the writ, the petitioner may, on oath, deny any of the material
facts alleged in the return, or allege any fact to show either that the imprisonment or detention is
unlawful, or that the petitioner is entitled to discharge. The judge shall proceed, in a summary
way, to hear allegations and admit relevant evidence in support or against imprisonment or
detention and, at the conclusion of the hearing, dispose of the petitioner in accordance with law.
History: (9757) RL s 4591; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.20 PROCEEDINGS IN CASE OF SICKNESS OF PETITIONER.
When the petitioner is so sick or infirm that the petitioner would be endangered if brought
before the judge before whom the writ is returnable, the person having the petitioner in custody
may state that fact in the return. If the judge finds that the statement is true, and the return is
otherwise sufficient, the judge shall decide upon the return and dispose of the matter in accordance
with law. The petitioner under this section may appear by attorney and plead to the return as if
present. If the petitioner is illegally imprisoned or restrained of liberty, the judge shall order those
having custody to immediately discharge the petitioner. If the petitioner is legally imprisoned or
restrained and is not entitled to be released on bail, the judge shall dismiss the proceedings.
History: (9758) RL s 4592; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.21 ENFORCING ORDER OF DISCHARGE.
The judge may enforce obedience to an order for the discharge of the petitioner by
attachment, as provided in section
, directed to the person disobeying the order. If a person
disobeys an order, that person shall forfeit to the petitioner $1,000 in addition to any special
damages sustained by the petitioner.
History: (9759) RL s 4593; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.22 CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH DISCHARGED PETITIONER MAY BE
A petitioner who has been discharged upon a writ of habeas corpus may be incarcerated
again for the same conduct only under the following circumstances:
(1) if, after discharge for defect of proof or for a material defect in the commitment in a
criminal case, the petitioner is arrested again on probable cause and detained in accordance
(2) if the petitioner fails to post bond;
(3) if the petitioner is indicted for the conduct and detained pending criminal proceedings; or
(4) if the petitioner is convicted and sentenced for the conduct.
History: (9760) RL s 4594; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.23 TRANSFERRING OR CONCEALING PERSON; FORFEITURE.
A person who has custody of a petitioner entitled to a writ of habeas corpus and who, with
intent to elude the service of the writ or to avoid its effect, (1) transfers the petitioner to the
custody or places the petitioner under the power or control of another person, (2) conceals the
petitioner, or (3) changes the place of confinement, shall forfeit $400 to the petitioner, recoverable
in a civil action.
History: (9761) RL s 4595; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.24 REFUSING TO FURNISH COPY OF DOCUMENT AUTHORIZING
An officer or another who detains a person and refuses to deliver a copy of an order, warrant,
process, or other authority by which the person is detained to any one who requests the copy and
who offers to pay the reproduction costs, shall forfeit $200 to the person detained.
History: (9762) RL s 4596; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.25 PERSON SERVING WRIT; BOND.
The writ can be served only by a legal voter of the state. The judge granting it may require a
bond to the state in a sum not more than $1,000, conditioned for the payment of all costs and
expenses of the proceeding, and the reasonable charges of restoring the petitioner, if sent back to
custody, to the person from whose custody the petitioner was taken. The bond must be approved
by the judge issuing the writ, and be filed with the court administrator.
History: (9763) RL s 4597; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 82
589.26 MANNER OF SERVICE OF WRIT.
The writ of habeas corpus may be served by delivering it to the person to whom it is directed,
or, if that person cannot be found, by leaving it at the jail or other place in which the petitioner
is confined, with any correctional officer or other person of proper age having charge of the
petitioner. If the person upon whom the writ should be served hides, or refuses admittance to the
party attempting to serve the writ, it may be served by affixing the writ in some conspicuous place
on the outside either of the dwelling house, or of the place where the party is confined.
History: (9764) RL s 4598; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 444
589.27 WHEN RETURN TO WRIT MUST BE MADE.
If the writ is returnable on a certain day, the person to whom the writ is directed shall make
the return and produce the petitioner at the time and place specified in the writ. If the writ is
returnable immediately, and the place of return is within 20 miles of the place of service, the
return must be made and the petitioner produced within 24 hours. Twenty-four additional hours
are allowed for return for each additional 20 miles of distance between the place of return and
the place of service.
History: (9765) RL s 4599; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.28 POWER OF COURT NOT RESTRAINED.
Nothing in sections
is to be construed to prevent a court from issuing a
writ of habeas corpus necessary or proper to bring an inmate before it or an inferior court for
trial, an omnibus hearing, arraignment, appearance, or to be examined as a witness in a civil or
criminal action or proceeding.
History: (9766) RL s 4600; 1969 c 198 s 1; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
A party aggrieved by the final order in proceedings upon a writ of habeas corpus may appeal
to the Court of Appeals as in other civil cases, except that no bond is required of the appellant.
Upon filing notice of appeal with the court administrator of the district court, and payment of
filing fees, the court administrator shall make, certify, and return to the clerk of the appellate
courts copies of the petition, writ, return of respondent, answer, if any, of the relator, and the
order appealed from.
History: (9767) RL s 4601; 1983 c 247 s 199; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1; 1986 c 3 art 1 s 82
589.30 HEARING ON APPEAL; COSTS; PAPERS.
Either party in a proceeding upon a writ of habeas corpus may appeal a final order by
applying to the Court of Appeals. The clerk of appellate courts shall serve the order fixing the
time of hearing on the adverse party at least five days before the date fixed for the hearing. The
hearing must be held not less than six nor more than 15 days from the date of application. No
costs or disbursements may be allowed any party to the appeal, nor may any of the papers used on
the hearing be required to be printed.
History: (9768) RL s 4602; 1961 c 660 s 1; 1983 c 247 s 200; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1
589.35 RELEASE OF INSTITUTIONALIZED PERSONS FOR JUDICIAL PURPOSES.
Subdivision 1. Order.
Except as provided in this chapter and chapter 590, a court requiring
the appearance of a person confined in a state correctional facility, mental hospital, or other
institution after criminal conviction, civil commitment, or under court order, may order the
confining institution to release the person into the temporary custody of the court. The order
(1) the reason for the person's appearance;
(2) to whom the confined person may be released; and
(3) the date and time of the release.
Subd. 2. Costs.
The court shall, without any cost to the releasing institution, determine
and implement a cost-effective and convenient method for obtaining the person's appearance,
including requiring the parties to the proceedings to pay all or a part of the costs as otherwise
provided by law.
Subd. 3. Compliance.
Upon receipt of a court order for release under this section, the chief
executive officer of the confining institution shall take appropriate steps to comply with the order
in a manner which is consistent with public safety.
History: 1982 c 611 s 1; 1985 c 265 art 9 s 1