8 June 2017

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nora Constance Marino 516-829-830; nora@marinojustice.com

Court Rules on Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos v. City of New York Appeal

NEW YORK, June 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - On June 6, 2017, the New York State Appellate Division, First Department, rendered a decision with respect to the appeal regarding Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos v. New York City Police Department, et al, a lawsuit seeking a writ of mandamus to compel the NYPD and other city agencies to enforce the fifteen laws that are violated by the Jewish ritual known as Kaporos. Kaporos involves the slaughtering of 60,000 chickens on public streets. The lower court dismissed the action, and the Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s decision. The appeal was filed by Alliance attorney Nora Constance Marino in June of 2016.

The central issue of the lawsuit hinges on whether or not the city agencies have “discretion” to enforce the laws they choose. Plaintiffs claimed that the health codes and animal cruelty statutes are mandatory, meaning there is no discretion, and enforcement is mandatory. Defendants claimed they do in fact have discretion, and enforcement is not mandatory. Three of the five appellate justices on the panel agreed with defendants, and due to the majority, the lower court decision was affirmed. Two of the justices, however, dissented, and filed a separate opinion. In the dissenting opinion, it was noted that the “plaintiffs have a right to the relief they seek.”

The 28-page decision, encompassing both the majority and dissenting opinions, can be read here: http://nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2017/2017_04408.htm

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos and other plaintiffs allege, with extensive evidence, that the chickens used in the Kaporos ritual are mistreated in the days leading up to, during, and after Kaporos. Thousands of birds are crammed into transport crates and forced to sit, uncared for, for days in their own waste without food, water, or shelter. During the ritual, practitioners rotate the chickens cruelly by their legs or wings over their heads while reciting a chant about transferring their sins and punishment to the chickens who are then slaughtered in open-air tents. Plaintiffs argue via a toxicologist expert that this creates massive health risks for New York City residents.

Alliance attorney Nora Constance Marino said, “The fact that there were two dissenting judges allows us to seek appeal in New York State’s highest court, The Court of Appeals. We intend to press on.”