Habeas Corpus In Family Law Cases
A person who claims a superior right to possession of a child to that of the person in actual physical possession of the child may file a petition for habeas corpus in either the court of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction or in a court in a county where the child may be found. If the right to possession of the child is governed by a court order, then the court must compel the return of the child to the person filing the action for habeas corpus if the court finds that the person seeking habeas corpus is entitled to possession of the child under the order.
But, if the court finds that the previous order was granted by a court which did not give the contestants reasonable notice of the proceeding or an opportunity to be heard (an ex parte proceeding), the court may not render an order requiring the return of the child based on the order presented.
If the court declines to return the child to the person seeking habeas corpus relief, it may issue temporary orders if a suit affecting the parent-child relationship is pending and the parties have received notice of a hearing on temporary orders set for the same time as the habeas corpus proceeding.
The court may also render a temporary order if there is a serious immediate question concerning the welfare of the child.
If the person seeking the return of the child by means of a habeas corpus action is not a resident of Texas, then that person while in Texas for the sole purpose of the habeas corpus hearing is not subject to service of civil process upon the person nor is the person subject to the jurisdiction of any civil court in Texas other than the one in which the habeas corpus proceeding is filed.
Mr. Sutherland has successfully litigated both the prosecution and defense of habeas corpus actions in Texas.