Question: What is the process in filing a habeas corpus petition at the federal and state levels in Wisconsin?

Answer: In order to file a federal habeas, a person with a state case must exhaust their state remedies. If a person doesn’t exhaust state remedies, the court will throw the case out. That means the person must have appealed their conviction. After he or she has done so, he or she can file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus with a federal district court that has jurisdiction over him or her. For example, a petitioner in Madison would file a petition with the Western District of Wisconsin. There are occasionally other procedural hoops to jump through, besides exhausting state remedies. If the petitioner is bringing a Fourth Amendment claim, he or she needs to show he or she did not obtain a full and fair hearing on the constitutional issue in the state court.

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