Henak Law Office, S.C.
  Criminal Appeals, Post-Conviction Remedies, Federal Habeas Corpus

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Milwaukee, WI 53202
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State Court of Appeals Petition of Habeas Corpus (also called a Knight Petition)


Every person convicted of a crime in state court is entitled to one appeal as a matter of right, called a direct appeal. Because a defendant only gets one appeal, that defendant is entitled to an attorney, either by hiring an attorney or by appointment of an attorney from the State Public Defender's Office. That attorney is required to provide the effective assistance of counsel.

If the appellate attorney abandons an appeal or is ineffective in pursuing an appeal, a defendant can file a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Court of Appeals asking to reinstate his right to appeal. Wis. Stat. (Rule) 809.51 requires that every petition identify the issues and provide the case's factual background, the type of relief the defendant is requesting, and the reasons why the Court should grant that relief.

There is no statutory time limit for filing a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Court of Appeals, but the sooner the better. The Court of Appeals has held that habeas relief may be barred if the defendant unnecessarily delays requesting such relief.

A Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Court of Appeals is often referred to as a Knight petition based on the name of the case (State v. Knight, 168 Wis.2d 509, 484 N.W.2d 540 (Wis. 1992)) in which the Wisconsin Supreme Court first ruled that a petition for habeas corpus was the required method for raising a claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel.
 
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