The case was between Todd Standing, a filmmaker (the plaintiff) against British Columbia (defendant). The plaintiff, in this case, sought that the court should declare sasquatch, also referred to as Bigfoot, as a primate or hominoid and that the creature is an engendered mammal resident within BC. in addition, the plaintiff sought a declaration that there was a willful neglect of duty on the part of the defendant in recognizing and also protecting the bigfoot. The court held that the plaintiff wasn’t entitled to any of the reliefs sought.
Till date, Standing’s only film is a Bigfoot documentary and he claims to be upset about BC’s neglect of duty to recognize as well as protect Bigfoot. Standing had connections with a lawsuit of a similar nature in California even though he wasn’t the plaintiff. In that case, the plaintiff voluntarily dropped the case for unknown reasons. However, Standing pushed through with his case and although the court didn’t give a ruling immediately, the presiding judge finally dismissed the case on the 31st of August.
Reasons For Dismissal
One of the reasons the court gave for the dismissal is that the plaintiff had no standing. The presiding judge, Justice Ball, stated that a court is expected to grant a dismissal motion if a sufficiently reasonable cause is not disclosed in the pleadings, on the assumption that all the facts pleaded are true. However, the court has no duty to raise such assumptions concerning the truth of allegations that are speculation-based.
However, it has been opined that this case wasn’t in that category. In essence, the issue wasn’t that the existence of Bigfoot could not be proven or otherwise disproven like other cases where that reason was given. Rather, it was in the fact that the existence of Bigfoot has not yet been proven in the first place.
Thus, the issue the plaintiff faced, in this case, was that the court doesn’t have the jurisdiction for scientific proof, and in all cases can only resolve any dispute arising between parties. In essence, the court cannot declare that a scientific fact as binding.
On the determination of whether or not Standing possessed the standing to institute the action, the judge held that the court doesn’t have the duty to answer certain questions regardless of how important the question appears to be. The role of the judge is basically to determine if a plaintiff in any given case has a legal and enforceable right which the other party infringed upon. In this case, Standings arguments were first that the dereliction of dirty in the part of BC was a violation of his own civil rights.
Firstly, he argued that the failure of British Columbia to provide Bigfoot with a protected status stood as a violation of his (Standing) right to freely express himself. He noted that the failure made him unable to completely impart ideas and information concerning certain locations where Bigfoot has been sighted because he feared that a person could go there to kill one. However, the court found that keeping the location secret would fully be at Standing’s discretion. It wasn’t something to be mandated by the provincial government.
Also, Standing further claimed that the inaction of British Columbia concerning the issue was in a way making him subject to unusual and cruel punishment. The court on that issue also found that given the fact that BC wasn’t particularly carrying out any action to the plaintiff, there was no way it could have said to be punishing him let alone punishing him in an unusual or cruel way.
Further, he made reference to an argument raised in the similar California case that ignoring his pleas for Bigfoot stood as discrimination based on political or any other belief. The court also held that this argument failed since Standing did not allege that British Columbia carried out any action let alone a discrimination between people who believe in the existence of Sasquatch and people who don’t share such beliefs.
Further, the court added that the belief in question isn’t the kind to be protected by the constitution because the protection offered by the constitution is against discrimination based on immutable characteristics such as religion, disability or race and not this kind of belief.