The Nonhuman Rights Project issued the following media alert this morning:
The NhRP Re-Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Chimpanzee Plaintiffs Used in Research
March 23, 2015—New York, NY—The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) has re-filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Hercules and Leo in the Supreme Court of New York County in Manhattan.
Last year, an appellate court in Brooklyn dismissed our appeal of the lower court’s decision on the grounds that we lacked the right to appeal. We decided to re-file their case in Manhattan rather than take the time to appeal. Because Hercules and Leo—who are used in locomotion research at Stony Brook University—are being held at a state institution, the New York State Attorney General will represent the university. We have requested an oral hearing.
“Like our other chimpanzee plaintiffs, Hercules and Leo are using habeas corpus to secure immediate release from unjust confinement and to obtain the greatest degree of freedom possible,” said NhRP President Steven M. Wise. “They have spent their lives in laboratory cages. Now they deserve their day in court and their release to Save the Chimps in Ft. Pierce, Florida where they will spend the rest of their lives living with dozens of other chimpanzees in an environment as close to Africa as can be had in North America.”
Updates in Tommy’s and Kiko’s Cases
In Tommy’s case, we filed a Motion for Leave to Appeal to the Court of Appeals directly to the Court of Appeals. This move comes after an appellate court denied our motion for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeals on January 30th. In our appeal we argue that the appellate court’s December 4, 2014 decision—in which they ruled that Tommy is not a “person” entitled to a common law writ of habeas corpus because he is unable to bear duties or responsibilities—contradicts Court of Appeals decisions and that numerous cases bestow personhood on such petitioners.
In Kiko’s case, we filed a motion for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeals with the appellate court in Rochester, NY. We argue that the court, in their January 2, 2015 decision, erred when it held that “habeas corpus does not lie where a petitioner seeks only to change the conditions of confinement rather than the confinement itself” as this statement contradicts numerous decisions of the New York courts over the last two hundred years.