The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) has filed a Motion for Leave to Appeal to the Court of Appeals directly with the Court of Appeals in the case of Tommy the chimpanzee.
On December 4, 2014, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department declared that Tommy is not a “person” entitled to a common law writ of habeas corpus because he is unable to bear duties or responsibilities. On December 18, 2014, the NhRP filed a motion for permission with that court seeking leave to appeal to New York’s highest court on the grounds that this decision contradicts decisions of the Court of Appeals and that numerous cases bestow personhood on petitioners who are unable to bear duties or responsibilities. On January 30, 2015, the Third Judicial Department denied our motion for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeals. The NhRP is therefore seeking permission to appeal directly from New York’s highest court.
The respondents—Tommy’s “owners”—will have until March 9th to reply to our motion. The Court of Appeals is likely to issue its decision by early May.
We’ll post updates as soon as we have them.
To view and download the legal documents filed by the NhRP, click here and here.
To view and download the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department Decision and Order on Motion, click here.