A privacy lawsuit filed by four Duggar sisters over documents that revealed their brother Josh molested them has been dismissed.
Jill Duggar, Jessa Duggar, Jinger Duggar, and Joy-Anna Duggar filed the lawsuit following the release of a 2006 police report that detailed Josh Duggar’s inappropriate touching of his sisters.
When the report was released, it opened up a can of worms which led to the sisters’ identities being revealed as victims and caused TLC to cancel the long-running Duggar show, 19 Kids and Counting.
Judge rules on Duggar sisters’ lawsuit
According to KNWA Fox, Judge Timothy L. Brooks dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice — which means the sisters can’t file the same lawsuit again in the same court.
The ruling comes just days before a settlement conference was due to be held as part of the case.
The judge said, “the Court finds that Plaintiffs have not presented any direct proof or reasonable interference…and for this reason, the entire claim must be dismissed.”
He went on to say that he believed the police documents, which were obtained by a magazine as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, were released because officials thought they were bound to hand them over to comply with the law.
“Although profoundly wrong about the law, Defendants were motivated by a belief that they were legally obligated to release these reports, and to do so quickly,” he said.
“By the time Chief O’Kelley from Springdale and Major Hoyt from Washington County discovered the existence of the FOIA requests, the three-day response deadline had already passed.
“Chief O’Kelley testified she was ’embarrassed’ that her department had missed the request and deadline, and Major Hoyt testified that his first glimpse at the request revealed ‘we were over our limit of time.’
“It is undisputed that Defendants’ actions were motivated by fear of possible legal consequences for a missed deadline. In other words, they worried exclusively about compliance with one part of the FOIA and failed to investigate the other parts (and other relevant state law).”
The fallout of the police report release
Once the police report was released, the Duggar empire began to crumble. While it was redacted to protect the victims, it was easy to identify the sisters based on other information.
Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna Duggar said they suffered “extreme mental anguish and emotional distress” following the documents’ release, which led to the subsequent cancellation of their show, 19 Kids and Counting.
The Duggars were later given a spinoff, originally titled Jill & Jessa: Counting On, which then morphed into the recently-canceled Counting On after Jill Duggar walked away in 2017.
On the show, the sisters discussed their experiences with Josh and how they had forgiven him. Parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar also talked about the incident alongside Jill and Jessa in an interview with Megyn Kelly.