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Home | Case-Filing | Appealing a Case in the Second Circuit | How to File a Habeas Corpus Petition


The Second Circuit has prepared these materials to assist a pro se prisoner in actions or appeals challenging his or her conviction or sentence or conditions of detention in federal or state prison in this Court. The proceedings covered in these instructions include: (1) applications for a certificate of appealability ("COA") in 28 U.S.C. 2254 and 2255 proceedings; (2) applications for permission to file second or successive motions to vacate or petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. 2244; or (3) appeals challenging an adverse district court decision in cases filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 or Bivens v Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).


Every person who has filed a case in this Court must follow the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure ("FRAP"), the Court's Local Rules ("LR"), and applicable statutes and case law. FRAP and LR are posted on this Court's website at A copy of these instructions, as well as relevant forms and sample documents a party must submit, are sent by mail to a pro se prisoner at the beginning of the case. These materials are helpful reference tools for preparing a matter in this Court.



Last modified at 3/16/2012