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SECTION 9. What the return shall set forth. 22. Penalty for refusing to give a prisoner 10. Return shall be signed and be under a copy of the process by which he is oath.
detained. 11. Body of the party to be brought before 23. Person refusing to obey a writ of hacourt when writ is returned.
beas corpus directed to him, to be at12. If party be so sick that he cannot be tached to compel obedience to it.
brought into court, examination to be 24. Attachment issued against a sheriff to adjourned.
be directed to some town sergeant or 13. Causes of restraint to be examined
into by court, as soon as writ is re- 25. Upon refusal to obey a writ of habeas turned.
corpus, process to be issued to some 14. Notice to be given to person interest- officer to bring the party restrained.
ed to detain party, if within certain 26. Penalty for refusing to obey writ of
distance. 15. If party be imprisoned for crime, no- 27. Penalty for transferring custody of
tice to be given to attorney general or person named in habeas corpus to the complainant.
elude service of such writ. 16. Return on the writ may be controvert. 28. Recovery of pen no bar to action ed at the examination.
for false imprisonment. 17. If no legal cause for restraint be appa- 29. No person enlarged on habeas corpus rent, party shall be discharged.
to be restrained for same cause. 18. If restrained for a cause bailable of 30. Power of supreme court to bail for any right, he shall be bailed.
cause not affected by this act. 19. If committed for want of bail in a 31. Person committed for want of bail in
civil action, amount of bail may be re- a criminal matter, to be bailed by any duced if unreasonable.
justice of court of common pleas or 20. If not entitled to be enlarged, party justice of the peace. shall be remanded.
32. Power of courts to issue habeas corpus 21. Examination may be continued from to bring before them any person as a
day to day, and party remanded or put witness, not affected by this act. under keepers.
It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows :
Section 1. Every person imprisoned in any common jail, or otherwise restrained of his liberty, by any officer or other person, except in cases mentioned in the following section, may prosecute a writ of habeas corpus, according to the provisions of this act, to obtain relief from such imprisonment or restraint, if it shall prove to be unlawful.
SEC. 2. The following persons confined in any jail shall not be entitled of right to demand and prosecute said writ:
First. Persons convicted of treason against this state, murder, rape, robbery, arson, burglary, or as accessories before the fact in either of those crimes, or committed on suspicion of being guilty of either of those crimes, or as accessories thereto before the fact, when the cause is plainly and specifically expressed in the warrant of commitment.
Secondly. Persons convicted, or in execution upon legal process, civil or criminal.
Thirdly. Persons committed on mesne process in any civil action on which they were liable to be arrested and imprisoned, unless when excessive and unreasonable bail is required.
Sec. 3. Application for such a writ shall be made to the supreme court, if in actual session in any county, and if not,
to any justice of said court, by complaint in writing, signed by the party for whose relief it is intended, or by some person in his behalf, setting forth,
First. The person by whom, and the place where, the party is imprisoned or restrained ; naming the prisoner and the person detaining him, if their names are known, and describing them if they are not known.
Secondly. The cause or pretence of such imprisonment or restraint, according to the knowledge and belief of the person applying
Thirdly. If the imprisonment or restraint is by virtue of any warrant or other process, a copy thereof shall be annexed, or it shall be made to appear that a copy thereof has been demanded and refused, or that for some sufficient reason a demand of such copy could not be made; and
Fourthly. The facts set forth in the complaint shall be verified by the oath of the person making the application, or by that of some other credible witness; which oath may be administered by the court or justice to whom the application is made, or by any justice of the peace or public notary.
Sec. 4. The court or justice to whom such complaint shall be made shall, without delay, award and issue a writ of habeas corpus; if against any sheriff, or deputy sheriff of this state, or against the keeper of any jail or prison in this state, or against any marshal or deputy marshal of the United States, it shall be substantially of the following form :
The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. [SEAL.] SC. To
greeting : We command you, that the body of
of in our prison, in your custody, (or by you imprisoned and restrained of his liberty, as the case may be,) as it is said, together with the day and cause of his taking and detaining, by whatsoever name the said shall be called or charged, you have before our supreme court, holden at within and for the county of immediately after the receipt of this writ, to do and receive what our said court shall then and there consider concerning him in this behalf; and have there this writ. Witness,
Esq., at this
in the year
And if not against such officer, it shall be substantially in the following form:
The State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations. [SEAL.] sc. To the sheriffs of our several counties and their deputies,
greeting : We command you, that the body of
of by of imprisoned and restrained of his liberty, as it is said, you take and have before our supreme court, holden at
within and for the county of immediately after the receipt of this writ, to do and receive whatever said court shall then consider concerning him in this behalf; and summon the said
then and there to appear before our said court, to show the cause of the taking and detaining of the said
and have you there this writ with your doings thereon. Witness at
Sec. 5. When the writ is issued by the supreme court in session, it shall be signed by the clerk and tested like other writs in this state ; when issued by a justice, it shall be signed
Sec. 6. If the court to which the writ is returnable shall be adjourned before its return, the return shall be made before any one of the justices of said court. If issued by a single justice and the court shall be in session before its return, he may and shall adjourn the case into court, to be there heard and determined in like manner as if it had been returned into the court.
SEC. 7. If the party is confined in a common jail, or in the custody of any civil officer, the court or justice who grants the writ, shall certify thereon the sum to be paid for the expense of bringing him from the place of imprisonment; and the officer to whom the writ is directed shall not be bound to obey it unless that sum be paid or tendered to him.
Sec. 8. Any person to whom the writ is directed shall receive it, and upon payment or tender of charges, if any demandable for the execution of it, he shall make due return thereof within three days after receiving it.
Sec. 9. If the writ be directed to any sheriff, deputy sheriff, keeper of any jail, marshal or deputy marshal, as herein provided, such officer shall state in his return thereon :
First. Whether he has or has not the party in his custody or power or under restraint.
Secondly. If he has the party in his custody or power, or under restraint, he shall set
forth at large the authority, and the true and whole cause of such imprisonment or restraint,
with a copy of the writ, warrant or other process, if any, upon which the party is detained ; and
Thirdly. If he has had the party in his custody or power, or under restraint, and has transferred such custody or restraint to another, he shall state particularly to whom, at what time, for what cause, and by what authority such transfer was made. If the writ be directed to no such officer, the person summoned shall state the same particulars in writing to the court or justice before whom the writ is returnable.
Sec. 10. The return or statement shall be signed by the person making it, and it shall also be sworn to by him, unless he is a sworn public officer, and shall make the return in his official capacity:
Sec. 11. The person who makes the return or statement, shall at the same time bring the body of the party, if in his custody or power, or under his restraint, according to the command of the writ, unless prevented by the sickness or infirmity of the party.
SEC. 12. When from the sickness or infirmity of the party he cannot, without danger, be brought to the place appointed for the return of the writ, that fact shall be stated in the return; and if it be proved to the satisfaction of the court or justice, the said court or justice may proceed to the jail or other place where the party is confined, and there make the examination ; or may adjourn the same to another time, or may make such other order in the case as law and justice shall require.
Sec. 13. When the writ of habeas corpus is returned, the court or justice shall, without delay, proceed to examine the causes of the imprisonment or restraint ; but the examination may be adjourned from time to time, as circumstances may require. Sec. 14. When it appears from the return of the writ or
. otherwise, that the party is detained on any process under which any other person has an interest in continuing his imprisonment or restraint, the party shall not be discharged until sufficient notice shall have been given to such other person or his attorney, if within the state, or within thirty miles of the place of examination, to appear and object to such discharge if he thinks fit; which notice shall be given by the party imprisoned, in the manner prescribed by the court or justice ; or in default thereof he shall be remanded to the custody of the person against whom the writ of habeas corpus issued. SEC. 15. When it appears from the return of the writ or otherwise, that the party is imprisoned on any criminal accusation, he shall not be discharged until sufficient notice shall have been given to the attorney general, or to the complainant in the matter, that he may appear and object to the discharge, if he thinks fit; which notice shall be given by the party imprisoned, in the manner prescribed by the court or justice; or in default thereof he shall be remanded to the custody of the person against whom the writ of habeas corpus issued.
Sec. 16. The party imprisoned or restrained may deny any of the facts set forth in the return or statement, and may allege any other facts that may be material in the case; and the court or justice shall proceed in a summary way to examine the causes of imprisonment or restraint, and to hear the evidence that may be produced by any person, interested and authorized to appear, both in support of such imprisonment or restraint and against it, and thereupon to dispose of the party as law and justice shall require.
Sec. 17. If no legal cause can be shown for the imprisonment or restraint, the court or justice shall discharge the party therefrom. Sec. 18. If the party is detained for any cause or offence
. for which he is bailable, of right, he shall be admitted to bail, if sufficient bail be offered ; and if not, he shall be remanded, with an order of the court or justice, expressing the sum in which he shall be held to bail, and the court at which he shall be required to appear; and any justice of the peace may, at any time before the sitting of said court, bail the party pursuant to such order.
Sec. 19. If the party is committed on mesne process in any civil action, for want of bail, and if it shall appear that the sum for which bail is required is excessive and unreasonable, the court or justice shall decide what bail is reasonable, and shall order, that on giving such bail the party shall be discharged.
Sec. 20. If the party is lawfully imprisoned or restrained, and is not entitled to be enlarged on giving bail, he shall be remanded to the person from whose custody he was taken, or to such other person or officer as by law is authorized to detain him.
Sec. 21. Until judgment be given, the court or justice may remand the party, or may bail him to appear from day to day, or may commit him to the sheriff of the county, or place him under such other care and custody as the circumstances of the case may require.