The NonHuman Rights Project (“NHRP”) was summarily chastised by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe saying that the “animal-rights group had gone too far by saying she’d granted them ‘human rights,’ when she ‘merely scheduled a May 6 hearing in the case,’” according to the New York Post.

The Post reported that Justice “Jaffe issued an amended order Tuesday that crossed out the words ‘Writ of Habeas Corpus.’”

Jaffe’s amended order signifies that she did not intend to ascribe “personhood rights” to the chimpanzees-in-dispute, as originally reported in press releases issued by NHRP, in a report titled “Judge Recognizes Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons, Grants them Writ of Habeas Corpus” stating:

For the first time in history a judge has granted an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a nonhuman animal. This afternoon, in a case brought by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NHRP), Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe issued an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, who are being used for biomedical experimentation at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York.

Under the law of New York State, only a ‘legal person’ may have an order to show cause and writ of habeas corpus issued in his or her behalf. The Court has therefore implicitly determined that Hercules and Leo are ‘persons.’

After hearing from the Court, the NHRP updated its posts with the following clarification, in part:

Clarification Posted 4/21/2015, 1 pm Eastern

Within the last few hours, the Nonhuman Rights Project has become aware of certain reporting about yesterday’s ‘Order to Show Cause and Writ of Habeas Corpus’ issued by Judge Barbara Jaffe of the New York County Supreme Court that we think exaggerates or reads too much into the Judge’s Order.

Very interesting . . .

For those wondering whether the NHRP violated any procedural rules by re-filing the application for a writ in after their initial requests were denied in another jurisdiction over the very same issue, the answer is probably not, at least not according to the rule in New York (64 N.Y. Jur. 2d Habeas Corpus § 18):

… relief by way of habeas corpus is not barred by the fact that the same relief was denied or the prisoner remanded on a prior application therefor. This rule prevails because the detention of the relator continues, and the courts are under a continuing duty to examine into the grounds of his or her detention.

More to come on this, I am sure.