Bigfoot wins appeal

I never get to work on cases like this.

“The New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Bigfoot’s right to romp around Mount Monadnock – and against a state regulation governing special events at parks.

In September 2009, Jonathon Doyle decided to film himself dressed as Bigfoot atop Mount Monadnock.  “To execute his planned filming of Bigfoot, Doyle purchased a costume resembling an ape and then climbed the mountain with his girlfriend. At the top, he put on the Bigfoot costume and filmed conversations he had with other hikers.”  He did this for fun and so that he could post his video on YouTube.

Apparently happy with how his hoax went, he decided to do it a second time.  This time he publicized that he would be climbing the mountain dressed as Bigfoot.  He also brought with him Yoda and a pirate.  But when Doyle and his buddies returned to the mountain to film the YouTube video they were informed by park rangers that they needed a special-use permit and that Bigfoot, Yoda, the pirate and others would have to leave the mountain.  The permit, but the way, cost $100 and required proof of a $2 million insurance policy.

Doyle sued for his right to have fun by dressing up as Bigfoot on the mountain and filming it.

Last week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the permit requirement violated the right to free speech because it was over broad.  Free speech “does not permit such a panoptic regulation because, far from being narrowly tailored, it applies in numerous circumstances that have no relation to [the park’s] significant interests,” the court ruled.  The court noted that its ruling is narrow — “It rests on the assumption that Mount Monadnock is a traditional public forum. … [and] that it is possible that the regulation at issue here could be permissible as applied to [other] properties that are not traditional public forums, and that in any event [the park] may adopt regulations consistent with the right to free speech, which will require [the park] to take into account the character of the property it regulates.”

This is a great case and ruling.  There is absolutely no reason why an amateur filmmaker needs a $2 million insurance policy before filming in a state park.  Not to mention, fighting this guy and his ape suit is just plain stupid.  State parks are underused and underfunded.  Instead of spending time and resources litigating this case, the New Hampshire park system should have teamed up with Doyle and his ape costume and filmed some videos to promote New Hampshire parks.  That would have been awesome.

So in honor of Doyle and his ape suit, I’m planning to hike in New Hampshire this summer in full elf costume.

Random anecdote — While hiking one time, my friend spotted someone apparently dressed up as The Crow running up the side of Mount Bonnell in Austin Texas.  When my friend reached the top, there was no sign of that person.  It is stories like this that make hiking totally worthwhile.

Source —   Associated Press via How Appealing

A copy of the court’s ruling can be found at this link (via How Appealing)

~ by siouxsielaw on January 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “Bigfoot wins appeal”

  1. When you go hiking, by all means check out Mt. Monadnock. However, being originally from the state, and the Lakes Region area, I also highly recommend Mt. Major and Mt. Washington. 🙂

    Way to go, Jon- And thank you for writing about my home state, Souxsie!

  2. Cool case. The great outdoors would be little greater, if it looked more like Comic Con or Skyrim.

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