Kiko Chain and Padlock

New York Supreme Court Judge Denies Kiko’s Second Habeas Corpus Bid

You may recall that, on July 29, 2015, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe refused to discharge Hercules and Leo after issuing an Order to Show Cause. While Justice Jaffe agreed with much of the NhRP’s argument, she stated she was bound by the decision of the Third Department intermediate appellate court that had earlier denied Tommy’s first petition for habeas corpus on the ground that chimpanzees are incapable of shouldering social duties and responsibilities and therefore do not qualify for personhood.

The NhRP had spent months gathering about 60 additional pages of affidavits from five of its prior experts, plus Jane Goodall. These made clear that chimpanzees routinely shoulder duties and responsibilities both in chimpanzee communities and in human/chimpanzee communities. We then filed Tommy’s second habeas corpus petition in Manhattan in early December, 2015 and again were assigned Justice Jaffe.

Justice Jaffe this time refused to issue the requested Order to Show Cause for Tommy. As her brief decision stated, she did so on the grounds that the NhRP had not offered any new facts. Since we had offered 60 new pages of affidavits, we were uncertain whether Justice Jaffe had seen them or whether she still felt absolutely bound by the earlier Third department decision.

In early January, the NhRP filed a second habeas corpus petition on behalf of Kiko in which we made clear that we were again filing 60 new pages of affidavits. This case, too, was assigned to Justice Jaffe. On January 29, 2015, Justice Jaffe denied that second petition, too, making clear that she had seen the 60 pages of new affidavits, but was not going to take further action.

The second Kiko ruling is available to view in its entirety here.

The Nonhuman Rights Project is appealing both Tommy’s and Kiko’s rulings to the First department in Manhattan, which is the only intermediate appellate court in New York in which the NhRP has not yet filed an appeal.

Below is the exact Jan. 29, 2016 ruling of the court in the Second Kiko case, with citations omitted for brevity (all citations available in original decision at link above):

I decline to sign the order to show cause filed by petitioner for the following reasons:

While successive petitions for a writ of habeas corpus based on the same ground are permissible, “orderly administration would require, at least, a showing of changed circumstances.” (Citations omitted).

Here, between 2013 and 2014, petitioner filed four identical petitions with four state trial courts, each in a different county. With each petition, it offered the same nine affidavits. It then recently filed another two petitions in New York County which are identical to those previously filed, except for the addition of affidavits from five of the nine original affiants, along with a sixth from a member of its board of directors [Dr. Jane Goodall]. All of the new affidavits rely on studies and publications that, with few exceptions, were available before 2015, and petitioner offers no explanation as to why they were withheld from the first four petitions.

In any event, whether evidence of the ability of some chimpanzees to shoulder certain kinds [of] responsibilities is sufficiently distinct from that offered with the first four petitions, and whether that evidence would pass muster in the Third Department, the decisions of which remains binding on me, are determinations that are best addressed there. (Citation omitted).

7 Responses to “New York Supreme Court Judge Denies Kiko’s Second Habeas Corpus Bid”
  1. This is disgusting for a living creature, they have nothing wrong to be imprisoned like this!
    Please let them live out their existing life with their own kind! Inhumane and cruel life!!!

  2. @jewelnature says:

    What a croc decision! A disappointingly lame and gutless ruling from Justice Jaffe, who appears to have been influenced by conservative thinkers or vested interests threatened by the prospect that a ruling in favor of these exploited and probably scientifically tortured chimpanzees could open the floodgates for lawsuits on behalf of overworked carriage horses or kidnapped dolphins. She has proven herself to be entrenched in outmoded anthropocentric bigotry and speciesism. Consequently, Nonhuman Rights Project should insist that another judge hear upcoming cases.

  3. Deyait Watson-Irvine says:

    Please reconsider this decision! All beings need a real chance at life. This is not living for these animals. I hope you will grant them freedom.

    Thank you.

  4. Please replace my previous comment with the following if you can/want to
    Dear Judge Barbara Jaffe
    Your initial ruling in favour of granting Habeas Corpus to primates being held in unfair captivity was the right one as you well know and chose to agree to given the justified evidence and arguments submitted to the court by the Non Human Rights Project. Your later decision not to grant full acknowledgement of Habeas Corpus could be likened to a similar ruling by a judge in the 1960’s who was courageous enough to be the first to have acknowledged equality for blacks in the USA, yet soon after not re-addressing Habeas Corpus for them as they weren’t deemed responsible beings and you didn’t know how this would better their circumstances or affect your society by letting irresponsible beings with full equal rights onto your streets!
It seems clear that your initial decision was one made from both your head and your heart which you were then chastised for from your powers above and they are now leaving you to take the brunt of the ever growing pressure to make radical changes in favour of other beings who have every right to a good life on our planet. It does not belong to the Judiciary of New York nor to the Judiciary of any court in the world. It doesn’t belong to the white man , nor the black, it belongs to every living being that shares this planet with us. Instead of being caught in the middle of this struggle, why not do as you began to do and stick to your initial decision; come clean about who and why you are now left to fight against a cause which you know yourself to be right. Resign your post as a judge and join this cause in order to re-adjust the balance of power that has been abused by human beings for far too long now. Your name will go down in history now either way. As it stands it will be for very good judge that was used as a pawn to buffer an archaic system that upheld centuries of crime and cruelty against the animals that we share our planet with. For the sake of the 5 or so years you may have left as a judge does it not make sense to take a bold and honest step right now and do what is just for these animals and be revered as the judge that put her neck on the line to put a stop to these crimes? Be remembered as the judge who fought for the rights of animals rather than one who let herself be pressured into fighting to uphold a system that continued to torture and imprison them. Chimps rock and the rest of the world would love to see the New York State Unified Court System rock with them. Currently the rest of the world can only see a New York court system that keeps animals imprisoned in inhumane and unregulated conditions without a having committed any crime and without any trial whatsoever. Look around you, beyond New York, beyond the USA where courts across the world are ruling in favour of our fellow animals. The USA is lagging behind and it is not good PR for a country that claims to be at the pinnacle of justice and democracy.

  5. What is wrong with mankind…..Have you lost your Heart and soul….no room for compassion …these are living breathing beings….,get real

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