Well that didn't take long! As predicted, a San Francisco judge has rejected an effort by the Nonhuman Rights Project, a group with no apparent connection with San Francisco, to…
Credit: Deror Avi (CC BY-SA) What stereotypes come to mind when you think of San Francisco? It's full of hippies! It has open-air drug markets! It is the home of…
A federal court grants an ex parte 1782 application brought by ... some of Pablo Escobar's Colombian hippopotamuses.
In a short decision, a New York appellate court affirmed the denial of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus brought by Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project on behalf of Happy the Elephant. This was no surprise, particularly because the same court had reached the same decision in a case brought by the same lawyers just three years ago. Indeed, Mr. Wise sought to have the case heard in another part of the state in order to get around the court’s earlier rejection of his theories, claiming, in a bit of refreshing candor, that the case should be heard in remote Orleans County, which had no connection at all with the case, because the courts in the Bronx, where Happy lives, “aren’t amenable to his arguments.” (more…)
As everyone but Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project expected, a judge in the Bronx dismissed a habeas corpus petition brought on behalf of Happy the Elephant on the grounds that an elephant is not a person with standing to invoke the writ. Before turning to the decision, I’d like to set the stage by talking about another famous New York City habeas corpus case. (more…)
It will surprise no one except Steven Wise that in today’s case, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc. (Conn. App. Ct. 2019), the court affirmed dismissal of a habeas corpus petition brought on behalf of three elephants in a zoo on jurisdictional grounds, as the elephants are not persons with standing to petition for writs of habeas corpus. I’ve written about the case twice before, at its inception and following the lower court’s decision denying the petition as frivolous. (more…)
Springtime in the Bronx! The spring is sprung, / the grass is riz, / I wunna wheah the boidies is? The lawyers who purport to represent Happy the Elephant on a petition for a writ of habeas corpus have failed in their quest to have the case heard in remote Orleans County rather than in the Bronx. Never has so much time been spent litigating a question of venue for the “benefit” of an elephant. And rarely has forum shopping been so blatant. As I reported in December, Steven Wise, the lead lawyer, said that the reason he chose such an out-of-the-way venue was that “local courts aren’t amenable to his arguments.” In other words, the appellate court in the Bronx has already considered and rejected Wise’s arguments. Wise lost the venue argument, of course, and then sought reconsideration and also leave to appeal. (more…)
Happy the Elephant has very strong views about venue for her, ah, quixotic habeas corpus case. As I noted in December, a judge in Orleans County, New York, ordered the case transferred to the Bronx, where Happy lives at the Bronx Zoo. Recently, Happy has filed a motion to reconsider and a motion for leave to appeal. All of the papers are available on the website of the Nonhuman Rights Project. (more…)
I noticed several days ago that Karen Hinton, the PR representative of Steven Donziger and the Lago Agrio plaintiffs, was also the representative of Steven Wise’s Nonhuman Rights Project. What are the chances? I tweeted about the coincidence of her involvement in two cases I’ve been following very closely, which was probably a bad idea, as it got me embroiled in my least favorite kind of argument—a Twitter argument. It’s 2018 and I should know better. It also drew in a writer named Linda Monk, who accused me of “mansplaining,” broke the first rule of HLS (don’t talk about HLS), and engaged in a meta-argument with me about what is or is not an ad hominem argument. You can look up the argument on Twitter if you feel that you want to squeeze the last dregs of misery out of 2018. But Karen and Linda made a point I want to respond to. “What a hypocrite!” they say. “You think that Chevron (by which they mean Chevron Canada) is a legal person that should enjoy the benefits of limited liability in the Lago Agrio case, but you think that Happy the Elephant is not a person and has no right to issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.” So what’s the deal? (more…)
Steven Wise is very keen on treating animals like people, but he also seems to treat rural people like unsophisticated rubes. As you’ll recall, Wise and his group, the Nonhuman Rights Project, brought a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Happy, an elephant at the Bronx Zoo. He brought the case in rural Orleans County, New York instead of, you know, the Bronx:
Curiously, the case was filed in Orleans County, on the shore of Lake Ontario. The county’s largest town, Albion, had a population of 8,468 as of the last census. Why there? Because, Wise told the Post, “local courts aren’t amenable to his arguments.” Apparently this is consistent with New York’s statutes on venue in habeas corpus cases. We’ll see how the judge in Albion feels about Wise bringing the circus, or the zoo, to his or her courtroom.