Judge changes trial date of Duggar sisters’ lawsuit

Northwest Arkansas News

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A federal lawsuit filed by four Duggar sisters against the City of Springdale, Washington County, and others, has a new trial date.

According to the U.S. District Court for Western District of Arkansas, the trial has been rescheduled from September 20, 2021, to December 9, 2021.

The lawsuit was filed by Jill Dillard, Jessa Sewald, Jinger Vuolo, and Joy Duggar on May 18, 2017, in Fayetteville.

The lawsuit claims that in 2006, they were interviewed about the molestation [involving their older brother, Josh Duggar] when they were minors and were told the documents would only be shared with police officials and child services.

The sisters filed a lawsuit when police reports were released in May 2015 that revealed Josh Duggar committed acts of child molestation as a teenager, some of his sisters among the victims.

FILE – This photo provided by the Washington County (Ark.) Jail shows Joshua Duggar. On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, a judge ordered that former reality TV star Duggar be released as he awaits trial on charges that he downloaded and possessed child pornography. District Judge Christy Comstock ordered Duggar confined to the home of family friends who have agreed to serve as custodians during his release. (Washington County Arkansas Jail via AP, File)

Six defendants were dismissed from the lawsuit in 2017. The remaining defendants are the City of Springdale, Washington County, Kathy O’Kelley, Rick Hoyt, Steve Zega, and Ernest Cate.

Since the filing of the initial complaint, the defendants had filed multiple motions to dismiss with and without prejudice.

Judge Timothy Brooks dismissed the claims under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act but denied a motion for supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state-law torts and dismiss them without prejudice.

Per Judge Brooks’ opinion, “the court has invested significant time and resources over the years familiarizing itself with the facts and legal issues relevant to the case.”

The opinion continued, “the court finds no compelling reason to decline supplemental jurisdiction and, in fact, finds that retaining jurisdiction would best serve the interests of judicial economy, convenience, and fairness to the litigants.”

The remaining state law claims will be preserved for trial.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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