Fish Or Man

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Straight from Okanogan County, (my home), we find David Creveling. Not surprisingly, this man is from the Methow Valley area too. That is where the state has attempted to set the precedent that the water in your bladder belongs to the state.

These "takings" are being allowed by our courts at no cost to the state, (for the fish you know). Notice in the picture David's irrigation ditch is dry. David attempted to sue the state for these takings, but the state courts wouldn't allow a hearing. He had to beg for his case to be heard through the federal courts. The federal courts have ruled that the state must allow a hearing on lawsuit for this taking of David's property.

My mom attempted to write a story on David's case, but the issue was very confusing at the time. (David was just finding some of the case law on the issue). The Capital Press did a good job with his story. Highlights;
Citing English case law, the U.S. Constitution, mining acts, local custom and a 105-year-old ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court, the cattleman-turned-legal-scholar convinced a federal judge that his is no frivolous case and should go forward.

Creveling is asking for $700 million to pay him for the 125 fish that agents of the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Department took from his farm’s irrigation ditches. In addition to the value of the fish, which he based on various estimates he has seen quoted in news reports, the 37-year-old is asking for damages and other relief up to $2.1 billion.


So when the state sued Creveling for failure to use a fish screen, obtain a hydraulic permit and failure to maintain a fishway, he sued them right back. Instead of addressing the facts, an Okanagon County judge ruled the state couldn’t bring the charges because the statute of limitations had run out. Any violation, the court ruled, should have been brought when the state first became aware of the conditions, several decades ago.

“The state waived its ability to enforce these continuing violations by not giving notice to the Crevelings of any violations during prior contacts,” District Court Judge Christopher Culp ruled. His judgment was supported during an appeal the state made to Superior Court.

Glad I voted for Judge Culp!

Intense, with dark hair graying at the temple, Creveling brings a religious fervor to his legal arguments. With only a high school education (Brewster High School, 1986), he has taught himself how to use the legal system, both for research and filing complaints.

Although he has corresponded with others in the private property rights movement, he’s pursuing the case on his own. Since he never learned to type, he doesn’t have a computer. Instead, he prints his complaints on legal forms in a precise hand.

Wow! Gives me hope in my case. And David is winning too! I hope he gets all the 2.1 billion from the state's illegal activities. And I like his reasoning for 2.1 billion;
Anything less, he said, wouldn’t hurt the state enough.