The Nonhuman Rights Project Files Motion for Articulation in Connecticut Elephant Rights Case
Today the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a Motion for Articulation with the Connecticut Appellate Court in our elephant rights case on behalf of Beulah, Karen, and Minnie. The motion seeks clarification of the legal and factual basis for Connecticut Superior Court Judge James M. Bentivegna’s December 26, 2017 decision (which asserted that we lacked standing and that our habeas corpus petition was “wholly frivolous on its face as a matter of law”) and his February 27, 2018 decision (a denial of our Motion to Reargue, in which we detailed the initial decision’s significant errors regarding standing, frivolousness, and other issues).
Through our Motion, we are asking the Superior Court to adequately explain its reasoning with reference to specific Connecticut judicial precedent, rules, or statutes. This Motion follows our March 16, 2018 Notice of Appeal (which lets the court know we’re going to appeal and triggers various filing deadlines).
We continue to be fully confident in the social, historical, political, and legal justice of our arguments in support of recognition of the common law personhood and fundamental right to bodily liberty of elephants and other autonomous nonhuman animals. For this reason, we look forward to reviewing the Superior Court’s fully articulated reasoning.
To learn more about Beulah, Karen, and Minnie and read and download all other court filings, visit their court case page.
CASE NO.: LLI-CV-17-5009822-S: NONHUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT, INC. on behalf of BEULAH, MINNIE, AND KAREN, Petitioner, v. R.W. COMMERFORD & SONS, INC. a/k/a COMMERFORD ZOO, and WILLIAM R. COMMERFORD, as President of R.W. COMMERFORD & SONS, INC., Respondents.
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About the Nonhuman Rights Project
Founded in 1996 by attorney Steven M. Wise, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) works to secure legally recognized fundamental rights for nonhuman animals through litigation, advocacy, and education. Our mission is to change the legal status of at least some nonhuman animals from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty and those other legal rights to which evolving standards of morality, scientific discovery, and human experience entitle them. Our current plaintiffs are members of species who have been scientifically proven to be autonomous: currently, great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales. We are working with teams of attorneys on four continents to develop campaigns to achieve legal rights for nonhuman animals that are suited to the legal systems of these countries. We filed our first cases in December of 2013, and our work is the subject of the 2016 Pennebaker Hegedus/HBO documentary film Unlocking the Cage, which has been seen by millions around the world.
About NhRP President Steven M. Wise
Steven M. Wise began his mission to gain rights for nonhuman animals in 1985. He holds a J.D. from Boston University Law School and a B.S. in chemistry from the College of William and Mary. He has practiced animal protection law for four decades and is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. Professor Wise taught the first class in “Animal Rights Law” at the Harvard Law School and has taught “Animal Rights Jurisprudence” at the Stanford Law School, as well as the University of Miami, St. Thomas, and John Marshall Law Schools, and is currently teaching “Animal Rights Jurisprudence” at the Lewis and Clark Law School and Vermont Law School. He is the author of four books: Rattling the Cage – Toward Legal Rights for Animals; Drawing the Line – Science and the Case for Animal Rights; Though the Heavens May Fall – The Landmark Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery; and An American Trilogy – Death, Slavery, and Dominion Along the Banks of the Cape Fear River. His TED TALK from the TED2015 Conference in Vancouver, Canada was released in May of 2015, and has over one million views.