California Court Case to Prove Existence of Bigfoot Put on Pause

Claudia Ackley holding paperwork filed with the California court system.

Claudia Ackley holding paperwork filed with the California court system.

A petition filed by Bigfoot researcher Claudia Ackley in California court on behalf of Todd Standing was dismissed March 15th.  The petition, scheduled to be heard March 19th in San Bernadino County's Superior Court, was dismissed at Ackley's request on the advice of her lawyers. 

The lawsuit filed by Ackley alleged that Bigfoot is a real species that deserves protection, that denial of the creature's existence has impacted the research and livelihood of those who study it, and that a failure to acknowledge the species has created a serious public safety risk.

According to Ackley, she dismissed the suit in order to refile it in a way that is compliant with the court's rules after her lawyers advised her that if she filed it as is she would be “eaten alive.”

“The attorneys wanted me to stop it and then for them to rewrite it,” Ackley told San Bernadino news outlet The Sun.

Todd Standing, creator of the documentary Discovering Bigfoot, admitted on Tuesday that he and Ackley had written the lawsuit themselves with only the help of a paralegal.

“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 to The Sun. “They have to interview all the witnesses. They have a lot of work to do. The legal action is going to be enormous now.”

The duo have reportedly retained Texas-based attorney Bobby Garcia as legal counsel.  Garcia has yet to comment publicly on the case.

Standing claimed to have captured "significant" evidence during a visit to California, which, in addition to the contents of Discovering Bigfoot, will be used in the lawsuit; although he first plans to release the evidence as a sequel to the 2017 documentary.

"While I was there [in California] I went on an expedition, and actually was able to get some footage of a Sasquatch, some evidence of a Sasquatch," he said.  "There is a significant amount of footage, from tracks to an altercation to a Sasquatch actually getting, grabbing an apple--and the whole thing was captured on video."

"There's a great deal of footage," Standing continued.  "I'm going to save most of it for Discovering Bigfoot part two."

Ackley and Standing claim to have a preponderance of evidence to add to the case beyond the footage, including testimony from wildlife biologists, wilderness experts, and police forensic officers; in addition to fingerprint, footprint, and DNA evidence from hair samples reportedly obtained from a tree during a 2014 expedition.

Controversy has plagued Standing since the release of his purported documentary Discovering Bigfoot; from accusations of silencing critics to profiteering to skepticism of the motivation behind two lawsuits claiming to prove the existence of Sasquatch.  The latest accusation leveled against Standing came in the form of an article by Tyler Huggins which asserted that the participants in Todd Standing's various video enterprises were aware that what they were participating in was a deliberate mockumentary.  Huggins later issued a statement challenging Standing to "release any and all participants in any of [Standing's] efforts surrounding Sasquatch, of any confidentiality agreements they signed."

Standing has yet to comment on the allegations.

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