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Venue for Fresno Case to be Determined Soon

By Jake Davis

On Wednesday, the NhRP filed a “Reply in Support of Motion for an Order Returning Matter to San Francisco County Superior Court” (or, “Reply” for short) in our first California nonhuman rights case, which seeks to #FreeTheFresnoElephants to a sanctuary.

As the Reply’s full caption notes, the NhRP continues to petition the Fresno Superior Court to return this case to the San Francisco Superior Court. The NhRP makes this argument on the grounds that the reason given by the San Francisco Superior Court for transferring this case to Fresno was improper.

California law makes clear that absent a specific showing as defined by the California Rules of Court, a petition for writ of habeas corpus must be resolved in the court where it was filed, regardless of which court that is. Since this showing was not made, the NhRP seeks the petition’s return to San Francisco, the court where this case was originally filed.

On Sept. 14th, the NhRP will argue these very points in front of Judge Mark Cullers of the Fresno Superior Court. If Judge Cullers follows the law, this case will return to San Francisco. If Judge Cullers denies the NhRP’s transfer back request, the case will play out in Fresno. Either way, come Sept. 14th, the dispute on where this case will be heard should come to an end. When that happens, the petition itself can be reviewed in earnest. This means either Judge Cullers or a judge in San Francisco will decide whether Amahle, Nolwazi, and VusmusiĀ should be sent to a sanctuary where they can (finally) exercise their autonomy while living a life as close to what nature intended as is possible for them in the United States.

For a detailed timeline of Nolwazi, Amahle, and Vusmusiā€™s case, court filings, and decisions, visit this page.Ā Find all the latest on the fight for Nolwazi, Amahle, and Vusmusiā€™s freedom and ways to take action on our #FreeTheFresnoElephants campaign page.

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