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Nonhuman Rights Project on behalf of Tommy

Plaintiff's Attorney:   Elizabeth Stein and Steven M. Wise

Topic: Primate Issues

Jurisdiction:   New York

Year Case Filed:   2013

Printible Version

This set of pleadings is from the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP). The NhRP filed the first-ever lawsuit on behalf of captive chimpanzees in New York in December 2013. The suit includes a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, demanding that the chimps be released from private captivity to a sanctuary that is part of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA).

The supporting affidavits offer support from scientists around the world that chimpanzees are self-aware and autonomous and should therefore be recognized as legal "persons."

About the plaintiffs, Nonhuman Rights Project:

The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) is the first and only legal organization demanding that, based on scientific evidence, courts recognize the entitlement of certain nonhuman animals to such basic rights as bodily liberty and bodily integrity. Comprised of attorneys, legal experts and scientists, the Nonhuman Rights Project is focused on raising awareness and educating the public about rights for nonhuman animals. The organization uses the common law, not legislation, to gain legal rights for great apes, elephants and cetaceans (dolphins and whales).

For more on this lawsuit, see the NhRP's Press Release at

Included legal pleading materials:

Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus for Tommy (12/02/2013)

Memorandum of Law in Support of Order to Show Cause and Writ of Habeas Corpus and Order Granting the Immediate Release of Tommy (12/02/2013)

Trust Document attached as “Exhibit A – Trust” (11/15/2013)

Affidavit of James R. Anderson (11/20/2013)

Affidavit of Sarah Baeckler Davis (11/26/2013)

Affidavit of Christophe Boesch (11/19/2013)

Affidavit of Jennifer M.B. Fugate (11/22/2013)

Affidavit of Mary Lee Jensvold (11/21/2013)

Affidavit of James King (11/21/2013)

Affidavit of Tetsuro Matsuzawa (11/23/2013)

Affidavit of William C. McGrew (11/21/2013)

Affidavit of Mathias Osvath (11/19/2013)

Affidavit of Emily Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (11/22/2013)

Affidavit of Steven M. Wise (12/02/2013)



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