Who Should Use This Form

You should use this form if

  • you are a federal prisoner and you wish to challenge the way your sentence is being carried out (for example, you claim that the Bureau of Prisons miscalculated your sentence or failed to properly award good time credits);
  • you are in federal or state custody because of something other than a judgment of conviction (for example, you are in pretrial detention or are awaiting extradition); or
  • you are alleging that you are illegally detained in immigration custody.

Who Should Not Use This Form

You should not use this form if

  • you are challenging the validity of a federal judgment of conviction and sentence (these challenges are generally raised in a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255);
  • you are challenging the validity of a state judgment of conviction and sentence (these challenges are generally raised in a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254); or
  • you are challenging a final order of removal in an immigration case (these challenges are generally raised in a petition for review directly with a United States Court of Appeals).

Preparing the Petition

The petition must be typed or neatly written, and you must sign and date it under penalty of perjury. A false statement may lead to prosecution.

Answer all the questions

You do not need to cite law. You may submit additional pages if necessary. If you do not fill out the form properly, you will be asked to submit additional or correct information. If you want to submit any legal arguments, you must submit them in a separate memorandum. Be aware that any such memorandum may be subject to page limits set forth in the local rules of the court where you file this petition. If you attach additional pages, number the pages and identify which section of the petition is being continued. All filings must be submitted on paper sized 8½ by 11 inches. Do not use the back of any page.

Supporting Documents

In addition to your petition, you must send to the court a copy of the decisions you are challenging and a copy of any briefs or administrative remedy forms filed in your case.

Required Filing Fee

You must include the $5 filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). If you are unable to pay the filing fee, you must ask the court for permission to proceed in forma pauperis – that is, as a person who cannot pay the filing fee – by submitting the documents that the court requires.

Submitting Documents to the Court

Mail your petition and copies to the clerk of the United States District Court for the district and division in which you are confined. For a list of districts and divisions, see 28 U.S.C. §§ 81-131. All copies must be identical to the original. Copies may be legibly handwritten.

If you want a file-stamped copy of the petition, you must enclose an additional copy of the petition and ask the court to file-stamp it and return it to you.

Change of Address

You must immediately notify the court in writing of any change of address. If you do not, the court may dismiss your case.