Lawyers for polygamous Brown family preparing for state's appeal
TLC, Bryant Livingston, File, Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys representing Kody Brown and his four wives are gearing up for a fight should Utah decide to appeal a judge's ruling decriminalizing polygamous living.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled last month that language prohibiting polygamous cohabitation in Utah's 1973 statute is unconstitutional.
However, bigamy — fraudulently acquiring multiple purportedly valid marriage licenses to enter into more than one legal marriage — remains against the law in Utah.
Attorney General Sean Reyes said he intends to appeal the decision but is waiting until the case is final.
The Browns' lawyer, Jonathan Turley, and his legal team are preparing to argue the case in the 10th District Court of Appeals in Denver.
"We have taken (Reyes) on his word and have assembled an appellate team," Turley said. "I'm very confident how we will do in Denver."
The polygamous family, formerly from Lehi, became famous through their reality TV show "Sister Wives." They filed the lawsuit in 2011, saying they weren't seeking legalization of plural marriage but that Utah's law violated their constitutional rights.
Both sides were back in court Friday as Waddoups questioned whether the Browns will seek damages from the state. Turley said he hasn't discussed damages with his clients, who are pleased the statute was overturned. He has 10 days to file a notice with the court.
Utah assistant attorney general Jerrold Jensen responded that because the Browns hadn't outlined specific damages in their claim, the state hadn't considered any.
- Son of murdered woman felt peace in '91, now...
- Missionary, police testify against man...
- Attorney general deciding whether to appeal...
- Parents say daughter didn't understand her...
- Police reviewing possible nightclub photos of...
- Utah mother who left 11-month-old in hot car...
- Trial ordered for Cameo Crispi, accused of...
- Judge postpones ruling in Park City Mountain...
- New poll shows many Utahns oppose and... 49
- Court allows Utah more time to file gay... 44
- Attorney general deciding whether to... 39
- Carbon monoxide leak suspected in death... 35
- Running again? Mitt Romney tells Hugh... 34
- Newborn found in trash can brings call... 34
- Audit reveals major concerns about UTA... 29
- Woman accused of leaving young son... 22