BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Josh Duggar, formerly with TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” was requested to appear in court on a “Motion to Show Cause” and “Contempt,” on Monday, December 16, involving a real estate lawsuit, according to Benton County court records.
The original date to appear was December 9, but it was moved to the 16th of December.
Duggar was not in court but was represented by his attorney Travis Story.
Judge John Scott entered an order for contempt and sanctions.
Monday’s court hearing, filed by the Petitioner, was for an order “compelling Respondent ALB Investments to appear and show cause for failing to comply with an order to answer discovery and for sanctions,” per the court document.
Duggar has until 4 p.m. CST, December 17, to answer the questions (about 30 of them) from the Petitioner’s attorney and if the deadline is missed, “the judge said a body attachment will be issued,” said Echols’ attorney Kesha Chiappinelli, with Mostyn Prettyman, PLLC Northwest Arkansas Lawyers. “That means it’s like an arrest warrant because you must appear in court.”
Judge Scott let Story know that going forward that any reference to ALB, any motions … we expect to see in the form of Josh Dugger. The judge also ordered sanctions to be paid to the Petitioner for $3,500.
The case, Carl Echols v. ALB Investments, LLC and Edward L. Lewis, involves property purchased by Echols in 2006. “He paid $17,500 for the land,” according to Chiappinelli.
Echols did not record a deed but has lived on the property since while paying property taxes, according to court documents.
Court records show that Echols paid his cousin, Edward Lewis, and was given a signed and dated bill of sale along with the description of the property.
In 2016, back taxes were owed and Echols paid, according to his attorney.
One of the times, Echols tried to pay back property tax he was told by the State Commissioner of Lands that ALB Investments — of which Duggar is a member — is the property owner. Echols redeemed the land at one point, but the redemption deed went to Lewis who was the last owner on record, according to land records.
In 2016, Lewis then sold the land for $1,000 to ALB, according to court documents. Duggar with ALB signed this deed to purchase.
Lewis is being sued for fraud and breach of contract.
Chiappinelli said, “he [Duggar] signed the deed for the property [in 2016] as an agent of ALB; therefore his relationship with Lewis is relevant.”
KNWA requested an on-camera interview about today’s hearing, but Story denied the request.
The next court date is for the trial, April 27, 2020.
READ BELOW, IN PART, “BRIEF IN SUPPORT” CASE NO. 04 CV-19-761
Defendant has failed to respond to most of the second set of interrogatories and has not cited a legitimate reason. For example, Interrogatory 15 asks how Josh Duggar (a member of ALB Investments) knows separate defendant Edward Lewis. The answer is that “ALB Investments” has no knowledge of this.
Interrogatory 16 asks how long Josh Duggar has known Edward Lewis and the nature of the relationship. The answer given is the same.
Interrogatory 17 asks when Josh Duggar, the member of ALB Investments who signed the deed to the property in the name of ALB (see Warranty Deed in Exhibit F), found out the property was for sale. The answer is that, “ALB Investments has no knowledge of the information requested by this interrogatory.”
Contrast that with Interrogatory 20 which asks if Josh Duggar was involved with ALB’s acquisition of certain properties. The answer is “yes” he was involved with the property which is the subject of this lawsuit and another property.
Interrogatory 21 asks which members of ALB know Edward Lewis. The answer given is that Josh Duggar knows Mr. Lewis but only in his individual capacity and therefore ALB has no knowledge of the information this interrogatory seeks.
… defendant’s evasiveness in the discovery process is an abuse of the corporate form. Josh Duggar is the only member of ALB Investments. Josh Duggar bought the property at issue in the name of ALB Investments, not in his individual name. Josh Duggar had a relationship with Separate Defendant Edward Lewis who sold him the property which is the subject of this lawsuit; regardless of how he came to know him, once Josh Duggar bought the property in the name of ALB Investments, the details of his relationship with Edward Lewis became relevant to this lawsuit and thus discoverable.