‘Sister Wives’ Stars Could Face Legal Trouble In Arizona For Practicing Polygamy

Meri Brwon, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Brown speak duinrg the 'Sister Wives' panel.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Stars of the TLC series Sister Wives could potentially face legal trouble in their new home of Arizona for practicing polygamy, a fear they believed they had left behind when they fled Utah, the state where the family was originally based, in 2011.

Radar Online reported that two Arizona-based attorneys weighed in on the reality television family and revealed some interesting information about the potential for arrest for any member of the practicing Brown polygamists in their new home state.

Radar allegedly spoke to legal expert Monica Lindstrom, who reportedly revealed to the outlet, “If Arizona wanted to arrest and ultimately prosecute those on the show, the footage [from the family’s television show] is strong evidence.”

“Polygamy is unlawful in Arizona,” Lindstrom said in an interview with Radar. “Arizona’s Constitution specifically addresses polygamy and states in Article 20, section 2, ‘Polygamous or plural marriages, or polygamous co-habitation, are forever prohibited within this state.’ Under Arizona’s Constitution, living with one wife and a spiritual wife, or two or three, etc., could meet the definition of ‘polygamous co-habitation,’ which is prohibited.”

Shortly after Sister Wives premiered on TLC almost 10 years ago, the family fled Utah to escape reported prosecution from their local authorities for practicing polygamy.

The family, who had lived in secret for years with three wives Meri, Christine and Janelle Brown, and husband Kody, added a fourth wife to their family in 2011, Robyn Brown. After announcing their intent to move out of Utah, the family packed up their supersized home (at the time all three wives had their own wings in one shared home and all the children lived under the same roof) and fled to Las Vegas, Nevada, where they hoped to be able to be free to live and practice their Fundamentalist Mormon religion the way they wished. Together with his wives, Kody Brown is the father of 19 children.

Brown decided to share his family’s story on television to show that polygamists raise loving, caring families and to put a stop to the stigma surrounding the practice.

After years of searching for the right area where the family could build homes on a cul de sac near one another, it took months of acclimating to their new surroundings in Las Vegas for their children to become settled in school. The clan seemed to finally be settled in their new lives when Kody Brown decided it was time for the family to move once again, this time to Flagstaff, Arizona.

Brown found that his children did not want to be uprooted once again and his older children, who had married and started families of their own, did not want to make the move, effectively splitting the family even further in distance.

The family moved to Flagstaff Arizona, and live in rental homes until they can build homes on the property they purchased in the area. Kody Brown claimed the move was driven by a financial need to unload the homes he and his wives purchased in Nevada while the housing market was in an upswing. Today, according to Cheat Sheet, only two of the homes have sold in the family’s cul de sac: Robyn’s and Janelle’s. It took two price drops before Janelle Brown’s house finally sold, reported Cheat Sheet.

Christine and Meri Brown’s homes still remain on the market.

Sister Wives airs Sundays on TLC.