How We Go About Filing Our Cases

By the end of 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project will have launched the first in a series of lawsuits that demand that American state high courts:

  1. Declare certain nonhuman animal plaintiffs to be common law “persons” who possess the capacity for such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty,
  2. Halt the violation of the plaintiff’s rights,
  3. Appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the plaintiff’s interests,
  4. Transfer the plaintiff back to the wild or, if that is not possible or feasible, to a place of rehabilitation or sanctuary.

We will rely on the common law writs of habeas corpus and de homine replegiando, which allow a third party to bring a lawsuit on behalf of one who is challenging her status as a legal “thing,” and argue that she should be recognized as a legal “person”.

We will file comprehensive supporting affidavits from prominent natural scientists that detail the plaintiff’s cognitive and complexity.

In 2014, we will litigate this first lawsuit at the trial level, while planning and researching the next lawsuits. We will litigate the appeals at the highest level in any jurisdiction. The Nonhuman Rights Project will continue to litigate as many lawsuits as it can.

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