New Petition Filed on Behalf of Kiko in New York
New York, NY– On Nov. 1, 2016, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in New York’s First Department appellate court, seeking to compel a judge of that court to grant Kiko his right to have his appeal heard there. To date, the court has refused to allow the NhRP to pursue its case on behalf of Kiko, stating that it does not have a right to appeal.
You may recall that the NhRP had no such problem getting its appeals heard in two other New York appellate courts in previous habeas corpus cases (Tommy, in the Third Department, and a previous case on behalf of Kiko in the Fourth Department).
A writ of mandamus is appropriate where—as we argue here—a public official (here, the judge) refuses to carry out a non-discretionary duty; in our petition we cite to numerous authorities which we believe establish that the right to appeal the denial of a habeas corpus petition is absolute and, as such, non-discretionary.
Below, in chronological order, are the decisions issued by the court and relevant facts to date in Kiko’s case, as well as the papers filed by the NhRP on his behalf.
- On Jan. 7, 2016, the NhRP filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus and order to show cause on behalf of Kiko with the Supreme Court, New York County (you can read more about that filing and view all the papers submitted here). As in our previous lawsuits, we asked the court to find that Kiko is a “legal person” for the purposes of a common law writ of habeas corpus and that he possesses, at least, the right to bodily liberty. We also demanded that Kiko be sent to a suitable chimpanzee sanctuary where his right to bodily liberty would be respected.
- On Jan. 29, 2016, the court entered an order denying the Habeas Petition, which stated “declined to sign.” You can read more about that decision, and the order itself, here.
- On May 18, 2016, the NhRP filed its appeal of this denial in the First Department appellate court (you can read more about that filing and view all the papers submitted here).
- The NhRP’s counsel was subsequently contacted by the First Department Clerk’s Office and informed that the NhRP did not have a proper order from which an appeal could be taken and that the NhRP did not have an appeal as of right from the lower court’s refusal to issue the order to show cause or writ of habeas corpus.
- On May 20, 2016, the NhRP requested that the lower court enter an appropriate order from which an appeal may be taken, which the court issued on the same date (you can view that order here).
- On May 26, 2016, the NhRP filed with this Court a Motion to Appeal as of Right.
- On July 5, 2016, the NhRP filed a motion with the lower court for an order stating that the final order of May 20, 2016 be issued nunc pro tunc to the original order of Jan. 29, 2016, which was granted the following day (you can view that order here).
- On July 28, 2016, Justice Webber entered an order in which she sua sponte converted the NhRP’s Motion to Appeal as of Right into a Motion for Leave to Appeal, then denied this motion, which NhRP neither filed, nor intended to file as it has an absolute right to appeal, nor was given an opportunity to oppose. This decision forms the basis for the NhRP’s petition for a writ of mandamus, seeking to compel Justice Webber to grant our right to appeal.
- On Aug. 19, 2016, the NhRP filed with this Court a Motion to Reargue or, in the alternative, for Leave to Appeal to the Court of Appeals from the order of July 28, 2016.
- On Oct. 25, 2016, the Court entered an order denying the NhRP’s Motion to Reargue.
- On Nov. 1, 2016, the NhRP filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus with the First Department, including the following papers: 1) Notice of Petition; 2) Petition for Writ of Mandamus; 3) Memorandum of Law in Support, and; 4) Attorney Affirmation.
The NhRP’s petition for mandamus is noticed to be heard on Nov. 28, 2016. Please stay tuned for updates as we continue to fight to win Kiko his day in court.
To learn more about Kiko’s case, visit his Court Cases page.