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Appellate Decision in the Case of Kiko

By Lauren Choplin

The Nonhuman Rights Project issued the following press release this afternoon:

Appellate Decision Handed Down in the Case of Kiko the Chimpanzee

January 2nd, 2015: The New York State Appellate Court, Fourth Judicial Department, issued its decision this afternoon, January 2nd, 2015, in the case of Kiko the Chimpanzee.

The Nonhuman Rights Project is pleased that the Fourth Department chose not to adopt the December 4th, 2014, holding by the Third Department in Tommy’s case that a chimpanzee cannot be a legal person.

Instead, the Court wrote that “habeas corpus does not lie where a petitioner seeks only to change the conditions of confinement rather than the confinement itself. We therefore conclude that habeas corpus does not lie herein.”

But we respectfully disagree with the Fourth Department’s restriction of the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus for humans and chimpanzees. For 200 years, New York courts have used the Great Writ to move an individual from a place of less freedom to more freedom. The Nonhuman Rights Project intends to file a motion before the Fourth Department for leave for further review by the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, within a week.

Here’s what the court wrote:

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You can download a pdf copy here.

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