Legal News

Two Chimpanzees Given the Right for Writ of Habeas Corpus as Legal Persons
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Nonhuman Rights Project frees chimpanzees

Summary: Two chimpanzees used at a university for biomedical tests have been given the status of legal persons for a cause and writ of habeas corpus case.

After being dismissed in two previous courts, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) was awarded by a judge the right to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two chimpanzees being used at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York. The chimpanzees are kept for biomedical experiments.



In New York, in order to qualify for habeas corpus, one must be a legal person. Therefore, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe ruled that the chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, are legal persons.

Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

The NhRP originally filed in the Supreme Court of Suffolk County back in December 2013. The Justice of that Court and the Appellate Division dismissed the case. The NhRP then took the case to Manhattan, believing that the courts had erred.

The NhRP wants Hercules and Leo to be taken to Ft. Pierce, Florida to be cared for at the Save the Chimps sanctuary. The sanctuary has thirteen artificial islands on a large lake that are designed to mirror an environment of their natural home in Africa.

The next step in the common law writ of habeas corpus process requires Stony Brook University to provide a sufficient reason for confining the chimpanzees. The court date is set for May 6, 2015 but can be moved to later in May.

There are currently two related cases for two other chimpanzees. The decisions for both cases are pending.

Amendment: Judge Jaffe amended the order and removed the writ of habeas corpus wordage from the document on the same evening. The case will continue between the NhRP and Stony Brook University to determine the freedom of the two chimpanzees but the chimpanzees are no longer considered “legal persons”. Judge Jaffe claims she never meant to give the chimpanzees legal personhood.




NhRP photo:

Jaffe photo:


Interesting Legal Sites You May Like




Search Now

Attorney with 7-10 years of business litigation experience

USA-CA-Century City

Small to mid-size Century City law firm is seeking an attorney with 7 - 10 years of business litigat...

Apply Now

Trust and Estate Attorney with 5-8 Years Experience


Mid-sized law firm in Wellesley is seeking a trust and estate attorney with 5-8 years of experience....

Apply Now

Project Finance and Energy Attorney with 6 years of experience


Chicago office of top firm seeks class 2012 associate with energy and project finance experience.

Apply Now

IP Patent Prosecution Agent with 2-4 years of physics experience


Milwaukee office of our client seeks IP patent prosecution agent with 2-4 years of experience. The c...

Apply Now


Corporate / Commercial Attorney | Lebanon, NH


Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC seeks an experienced corporate / commercial attorney to join its Lebanon o...

Apply now

Business Law Junior Associate | Burlington, VT


Downs Rachlin Martin seeks associate attorney with 1-3 years of experience to join its Commercial an...

Apply now

Business Law Associate | Burlington


Downs Rachlin Martin is seeking an attorney with 4 to 8 years of experience to join its very busy pr...

Apply now

Trademark & Business Law Associate | Burlington, Vermont


Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC (DRM) is seeking an Associate attorney with 1-3 years of trademark and tra...

Apply now

Most Popular


To Top