Federal judge won’t dismiss case over release of documents involving Duggar family members


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A federal judge declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the sisters of Josh Duggar regarding the release of police records, which the suit deemed an “invasion of privacy.”

The original lawsuit was filed by Jill Dillard, Jessa Sewald, Jinger Vuolo and Joy Duggar.

The suit was filed on May 18, 2017, alleging a number of legal causes of action against a host of defendants. The legal claims have been narrowed down, as has the pool of defendants.

The lawsuit was filed by Duggar’s sisters against the City of Springdale and Washington County, stating that action was “hastily and improperly” done.

The claims, now made against remaining defendants Maj. Rick Hoyt of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Ernest Cate, Springdale city attorney and former Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley are made under Arkansas law for outrage, invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion and invasion of privacy by public disclosure of private facts, according to a court filing.

Attorneys for O’Kelley, Cate and Hoyt argued that the claims made by the women are exactly the same as those made unsuccessfully by their brother in an earlier lawsuit.

In his response, Judge Timothy L. Brooks stated that “the state-court dismissal of Mr. Duggar’s case has no bearing on this case. Plaintiffs and Mr. Duggar are siblings, but Plaintiffs’ allegations against the City of Springdale and Washington County are factually dissimilar to their brother’s allegations.”

The defendants’ motion to dismiss was denied on November 4.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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