The Duggar family’s lawsuit returns to court Monday as a U.S. District Judge sets out to determine whether Jill Dillard, Jessa Seewald, Jinger Vuolo, and Joy Anna Forsyth (all nee Duggar) had their privacy rights violated when police records were released in accordance with a Freedom of Information Act request.
A reporter for KNWA shared the information on Twitter Monday morning, indicating that the judge would soon begin hearing the Duggar family’s case. Four of Josh Duggar’s sisters, who reported to police that their brother had molested them, have sued the City of Springdale, Washington County, In Touch magazine, and a list of other defendants connected to these entities. According to Courthouse News, the sisters are asking for compensation, as well as punitive damages, for their loss of privacy and for misconduct on the part of the defendants, and violation of due process, though the Duggar sisters were never charged with a crime.
When, in 2015, the Duggar family accused Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley of taking bribes or acting on an agenda in releasing the records, the City of Springdale released a statement, not only calling the accusation “outrageous and categorically false,” but detailing the process before releasing the records. This included, according to the statement, consultation with attorneys for the city and county, as well as other organizations in law enforcement and legal interpretation. All of this led to the conclusion that the report must be released, and the Duggar family was, says the city, notified every step of the way.
Although the reports were heavily redacted, those who had followed the Duggar family’s reality television careers made guesses at the identity of Duggar’s victims, based on ages and other details the victims gave in the report.
Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald then gave an interview for The Kelly File, in which they identified themselves as victims and said that they had forgiven Josh. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar also spoke with Megyn Kelly, discussing some of the safeguards they said they had put in place to protect the children after Josh Duggar returned from a brief exile helping a family friend in the construction business.
These included not allowing the kids to play hide-and-seek, since a male and female child might be alone together, and not allowing little girls to sit on the laps of any male but their father.
Now, Jill and Jessa, along with Joy and Jinger, who identified themselves in the filing, say they are suing because the names of minors should never be released.
Josh Duggar briefly attempted to join the lawsuit, but a Fox News report asserts that the sisters shut him out, asking a judge to deny his request. Josh has since filed his own suit separately, calling the series of alleged molestations a traumatic experience he has been forced to relive due to the release of the police report.
Because of the separate filings, as the Duggar family appears in court Monday, only the four sisters’ case will be heard, with Josh’s scheduled for a later date.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Instagram]