In re the Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc., on behalf of Tommy, Petitioner-Appellant,
Patrick C. Lavery, etc., et al., Respondents-Respondents. Laurence H. Tribe, Richard L. Cupp Jr. and Samuel R. Wiseman, Amici Curiae. In re the Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc., on behalf of Kiko, Petitioner-Appellant,
Carmen Presti, etc., et al., Respondents. Justin Marceau, Samuel R. Wiseman and Laurence H. Tribe, Amici Curiae.
appeals from the judgment (denominated an order) of the
Supreme Court, New York County (Barbara Jaffe, J.), entered
January 29, 2016, declining to sign an order to show cause
seeking the transfer of Kiko, a chimpanzee, to a primate
sanctuary, and the judgment (denominated an order) of the
same court and Justice, entered July 8, 2016, effective nunc
pro tunc as of December 23, 2015, declining to sign an order
to show cause seeking such relief on behalf of Tommy, a
Office of Elizabeth Stein, New Hyde Park (Elizabeth Stein of
counsel), and Steven M. Wise, Coral Springs, FL, of the bar
of the State of Massachusetts, admitted pro hac vice, of
counsel, for appellant.
Marceau, Denver, CO, amicus curiae pro se.
R. Wiseman, Tallahasse, FL, amicus curiae pro se.
Laurence H. Tribe, Cambridge, MA, amicus curiae pro se.
Richard L. Cupp, Jr., Malibu, CA, amicus curiae pro se.
T. Renwick, J.P., Angela M. Mazzarelli, Sallie
Manzanet-Daniels, Paul G. Feinman, Troy K. Webber, JJ.
seeks reversal of the motion court's judgment declining
to extend habeas corpus relief to two adult male chimpanzees,
Tommy and Kiko.
is a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation whose stated mission
is "to change the common-law status of at least some
nonhuman animals from mere things, ' which lack the
capacity to possess any legal rights, 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" to certain fundamental
rights which include entitlement to habeas relief.
petition as to Tommy was brought in December 2015. It is
alleged that Tommy, who is owned by respondents Circle L
Trailer Sales, Inc. and its officers, is in a cage in a
warehouse in Gloversville, New York. The petition as to Kiko
was brought in January 2016. Kiko, who is owned by
respondents the Primate Sanctuary, Inc. and its officers and
directors, is allegedly in a cage in a cement storefront in a
crowded residential area in Niagara Falls, New York.
are not the first petitions for habeas relief filed by
petitioner on behalf of Tommy and Kiko. In December 2013,
petitioner filed a petition on behalf of Kiko, in Supreme
Court, Niagara County. There, the trial court declined to
sign an order to show cause seeking habeas relief and the
Fourth Department affirmed (Matter of Nonhuman Rights
Project, Inc. v Presti, 124 A.D.3d 1334');">124 A.D.3d 1334 [4th Dept 2015],
lv denied 26 N.Y.3d 901');">26 N.Y.3d 901 ).
December 2013, petitioner brought a habeas proceeding on
behalf of Tommy, in Supreme Court, Fulton County. There, the
trial court declined to sign an order to show cause and the
Third Department affirmed the decision (People ex rel.
Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v Lavery, 124 A.D.3d 148');">124 A.D.3d 148
[3d Dept 2014], lv denied 26 N.Y.3d 902');">26 N.Y.3d 902 ).
has also brought a habeas petition seeking the release of two
chimpanzees not at issue here, Hercules and Leo, who,
according to petitioner are confined for research purposes,
at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In that
proceeding, Supreme Court, Suffolk County, declined to sign
an order to show cause and in 2014, the Second Department