Appellate Court Enters Two Orders re. Tommy Lawsuit
During the week of July 6, 2014, the State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department entered two orders that favor the Nonhuman Rights Project in Tommy’s case.
Injunction to Prevent Tommy Being Moved Out of State
The NhRP was concerned when it learned that Patrick Lavery, the man who owns Tommy, had publicly stated he intended to move Tommy outside the state of New York. Such a move might have destroyed the ability of the NhRP to prosecute its appeal. And more importantly, Tommy could be moved to a place of worse conditions.
The NhRP contacted the Laverys’ lawyer and reiterated its long-standing offer to assist in moving Tommy to a NAPSA (North America Primate Sanctuary Association) sanctuary. When the Laverys’ refused the NhRP’s offer and also refused to agree not to remove Tommy from New York, the NhRP sought a preliminary injunction in the Third Department to prevent Lavery from moving Tommy without further order from the Court. The Laverys intentionally waived their right to file an opposing brief and engage in oral argument.
To obtain that preliminary injunction, the NhRP was required to demonstrate:
- that it was likely to prevail on the merits of the appeal,
- that there was danger it could suffer irreparable injury if the injunction was not granted, and
- the general balance of all the equities favored the NhRP.
After reviewing the arguments presented by the Nonhuman Rights Project, the Third Department granted the preliminary injunction.
While this is open to interpretation it’s reasonable to conclude that this is good news for the Nonhuman Rights Project because it looks like the court is interested in hearing our arguments and is open to deciding the case on the merits of the personhood issues that are involved.
Denial of Motions by Attorney to Argue on Behalf of Tommy’s ‘Owner’
The next day, the same court denied the motions of a California lawyer to appear pro hac vice (for Tommy’s case alone), to file an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of the Laverys, and to engage in oral appellate argument.