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Featured Case

Leave to Appeal Denial of Habeas Corpus Relief for Two Chimpanzees Denied; Thoughtful Concurring Opinion Questions the Analysis Used by the Appellate Division and Suggests Recognizing the Chimpanzees’ Right to Liberty

The Court of Appeals denied the motion for leave to appeal in a case seeking habeas corpus relief for two chimpanzees alleged to be confined by their owners to small cages in a warehouse and a cement storefront in a crowded residential area. Judge Fahey wrote a thoughtful concurring opinion questioning the rationale used by the Appellate Division to deny relief: “The Appellate Division’s conclusion that a chimpanzee cannot be considered a ‘person’ and is not entitled to habeas relief is in fact based on nothing more than the premise that a chimpanzee is not a member of the human species ... . ... The better approach in my view is to ask not whether a chimpanzee fits the definition of a person or whether a chimpanzee has the same rights and duties as a human being, but instead whether he or she has the right to liberty protected by habeas corpus.”. Matter of Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Lavery, 2018 N.Y. Slip Op. 03309, CtApp 5-8-18

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New York appellate courts release, on average, between 150 and 200 decisions per week. The CasePrepPlus service summarizes the most significant decisions, which include substantive discussions of the facts and the law, into one-paragraph summaries, which are prefaced by succinct headings, allowing the reader to quickly decide whether a case is of interest. Each summary is linked to the full decision. Keeping up with the decisions released the week before, a process which could easily take an individual attorney numerous hours every week, takes only minutes with CasePrepPlus.

Summaries are written by Rochester-based attorney Bruce Freeman. For his bio, click here.