A lawsuit filed by a Crestline woman demanding that the state recognize the Sasquatch, aka “Bigfoot,” as an official species has been dismissed.
The court dismissed the case at the request of petitioner Claudia Ackley, on March 15, court records show.
Ackley said her attorneys advised her to drop the lawsuit she filed Jan. 18 in San Bernardino Superior Court against the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state Natural Resources Agency. She plans to refile the suit so it is compliant with the rules of the court. A hearing that was scheduled for Monday, March 19, was vacated by the judge.
“The attorneys wanted me to stop it and then for them to rewrite it,” Ackley said, adding that her attorneys told her if she had gone forward with her original filing, she would have been “eaten alive.”
California woman files ‘Bigfoot is real’ lawsuit
In a March 17 Facebook post, Ackley informed her friends, “I only get one chance and I must do it correctly in order to proceed.”
Ackley, 46, teamed up with documentary filmmaker Todd Standing, the man behind the Netflix film “Discovering Bigfoot” in drafting the original lawsuit. Standing, who had a similar lawsuit filed in British Columbia, Canada, where he resides.
Standing said Tuesday that he, Ackley and a paralegal wrote the first lawsuit themselves, which was not vetted by any lawyers.
“There’s so many things a lawyer has to do appropriately. We now have a team of lawyers in the U.S. who are going to put it together,” Standing said in a telephone message. “They have to interview all the witnesses. They have a lot of work to do. The legal action is going to be enormous now.”
Ackley’s Texas-based attorney, Bobby Garcia, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ackley and Standing said they plan to present evidence proving the existence of Sasquatch, including testimony from wildlife biologists, wilderness experts and police forensic officers. They said they also will introduce fingerprint, footprint, and even DNA evidence from hair samples Standing said he obtained from a tree during a 2014 expedition.
Yet even the most devout Bigfoot aficionados have their doubts about Ackley and her lawsuit.
“I suspect it will be dismissed for lack of evidence,” said Daniel Perez, a Riverside-based Bigfoot researcher and historian who publishes the monthly Bigfoot Times newsletter. “I can’t see the matter getting any legal footing.”
Ackley’s claims of encountering three Sasquatches in Lake Arrowhead last March while hiking with her two daughters are the only documented claims on record of a Bigfoot sighting in the mountain resort community, Perez said.
“I did talk with some people at the Bigfoot Bonanza just recently who live near Claudia, and they know the area well and they reported that outside of Claudia and her claims, no one else is reporting anything like Bigfoot in the area,” Perez said. “This whole matter is bad publicity for the serious Bigfoot community, and just one more reason why a great many folks across the nation take the matter with a grain of salt.”
featured image: Crestline resident, Claudia Ackley holds a plaster mold of a footprint from Washington State she made from a possible Sasquatch, AKA Bigfoot. Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Eric Reed/For The Sun/SCNG)
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