2020 Georgia Code
Title 9 - Civil Practice
Chapter 14 - Habeas Corpus
Article 2 - Procedure for Persons Under Sentence of State Court of Record
§ 9-14-47. Time for Answer and Hearing

Universal Citation: GA Code § 9-14-47 (2020)

Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 9-14-47.1 with respect to petitions challenging for the first time state court proceedings resulting in a sentence of death, within 20 days after the filing and docketing of a petition under this article or within such further time as the court may set, the respondent shall answer or move to dismiss the petition. The court shall set the case for a hearing on the issues within a reasonable time after the filing of defensive pleadings.

(Code 1933, § 50-127, enacted by Ga. L. 1967, p. 835, § 3; Ga. L. 1995, p. 381, § 4.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1995, p. 381, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that "this Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Death Penalty Habeas Corpus Reform Act of 1995.'"

Ga. L. 1995, p. 381, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides for legislative intent and purpose for this Act.


Failure of respondent to file timely answer not grounds for release.

- Failure of the respondent to file an answer within 20 days of the filing of a petition does not provide grounds for release of the prisoner. Gooding v. Dudley, 232 Ga. 321, 206 S.E.2d 490 (1974).

Default judgment in prisoners favor.

- Failure of state to respond to a habeas corpus petition within 20 days as required by this section does not require habeas corpus court to grant a default judgment in the prisoner's favor. Huddleston v. Ricketts, 233 Ga. 112, 210 S.E.2d 319 (1974).

Disobedience of respondent may subject respondent to contempt.

- Disobedience of respondent to writ of habeas corpus requiring the respondent to answer within 20 days may subject the respondent to punishment for contempt, but does not require release of the prisoner. Bailey v. Baker, 232 Ga. 84, 205 S.E.2d 278 (1974).

Late answer held harmless to petitioner.

- Since the petitioner made no objection to the lateness of an answer, was given time to read the answer, and was afforded an opportunity to prepare and file a traverse to it, no harm to the petitioner appeared from the answer's lateness. Beavers v. Smith, 227 Ga. 344, 180 S.E.2d 717 (1971), overruled on other grounds, Holloway v. Hopper, 233 Ga. 615, 212 S.E.2d 795 (1975).

There is no requirement that traverse to respondent's answer state any facts or law. Beavers v. Smith, 227 Ga. 344, 180 S.E.2d 717 (1971), overruled on other grounds, Holloway v. Hopper, 233 Ga. 615, 212 S.E.2d 795 (1975).

Petitioner out-of-state.

- Habeas court erred in failing to hold a hearing on the prisoner's petition for relief; the fact that the prisoner was incarcerated in Florida was of no consequence as the prisoner was responsible for providing the necessary evidence at the hearing or be subject to the same sanctions as could be imposed against any other petitioner for civil relief. Rickett v. State, 276 Ga. 609, 581 S.E.2d 32 (2003).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 39 Am. Jur. 2d, Habeas Corpus and Postconviction Remedies, §§ 102, 154, 155.


- 39A C.J.S., Habeas Corpus, §§ 310, 311.

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