WillySteed*ChristineMarie*KolleneSnow*AudienceMember*EdKociela AuthorPlygsAnswersQuestions *JewelryAtGuilt* DickJaneFlipbook*Spoilers*Tweets*RebeccaMusser*My5WivesGreat Stories*BuyTeamKolleenTshirtTodayDon'tMissOut!!!Review!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

'Sister Wives' say bigamy probe harms their family

The family from cable television's polygamous Sister Wives reality show has told a federal judge in Utah how much they've been hurt by the threat of prosecution under the state's bigamy law.
Kody Brown and his wives wrote in new court papers that they've lost jobs, were forced to move to Nevada, and suffered harm to their reputations after police launched an investigation last year after the fall 2010 launch of their TLC show.
In July, Brown and wives Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn filed a lawsuit challenging Utah's bigamy law in Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court. They contended the law is unconstitutional and unfairly applied to polygamists.
"Because the Browns are open about their polygamist lifestyle, the criminal bigamy statute has the effect of publicly labeling them as presumptive felons," the Browns' Washington-based attorney, Jonathan Turley, wrote in court papers filed Monday. "The statute further brands them as immoral and societal outsiders."
The papers were a response to a petition filed by the Utah Attorney General's Office asking a federal judge to dismiss the case. It wasn't clear Tuesday whether a judge would issue a decision based on the court pleadings or schedule a hearing for oral arguments.
State prosecutors contend the Browns, who haven't been charged, aren't facing real harm and won't likely face prosecution, because the state has rarely prosecuted individuals for bigamy without also prosecuting underlying crimes, such as underage marriages, abuse, or welfare fraud.
But the Browns said that the harms to their family are real and that the public statements of Utah County prosecutors actually support their contention that prosecution remains a threat. In one magazine article, for example, Deputy Utah County Attorney Donna Kelley said "the Browns have definitely made it easier for us by admitting to felonies on national TV."
Turley contended such statements had had a "chilling effect" on the family's right to free speech, influencing what they can say publicly or on their TV show, and curtailing their ability to practice their religion.
Affidavits from Kody, Meri, and Janelle Brown detailed financial impacts on the family. Those included a loss of sales accounts for Kody Brown and the termination of Meri Brown's employment because her bosses were concerned about the criminal investigation and the public statements suggesting she was a felon.
Our continued labeling as presumptive felons has proven a barrier in finding new positions for the adults in Nevada," Kody Brown stated in his affidavit. Other financial impacts included a loss of health insurance, moving expenses, increased housing expenses, and travel expenses because the Browns must travel back to Utah if they want to attend their church.
The Browns also stated that their children, more than a dozen of them, had also suffered at school, where some had endured remarks about their family being labeled criminals.
Under Utah law it is illegal for unmarried persons to cohabitate, or "purport" to be married. A person is also guilty of bigamy if he holds multiple legal marriage licenses.
The third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in state prison. Both men and women can be prosecuted under the law, which also applies to unmarried, monogamous couples who live together.
Like most polygamists in Utah, Brown is legally married only to his first wife, Meri. He subsequently "wed" Janelle, Christine, and Robyn in religious ceremonies.

(Source: Courtesy of:


  1. (rubbing eyes)

    It hurt me to pay $50 fine for expired license WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    It's illegal. the gal of these people.

  2. They went on tv by their own choice, basically daring the authorities to come after them. They are, after all, lawbreakers by their own admission. I just want TLC to remove them and then I'll pretend I didn't waste any if my life watching the show. They are manipulative clowns.

  3. Healthy looking bunch. Even the teens.
    i want to drink what they are!

  4. These folks will take this to the Supreme Court- you watch.
    Sadly, to me it's ass backwards. File for the law to be changed first.
    Not whine you "might" be arrested and manipulate TLC shows to show a lie.

  5. The good thing is, they will get a bunch of vitamin drinks that are healthy.

    And, a bunch of other people will buy this crap, and they will make money.

  6. Who brought the probe on?
    Who KNEW they were being illegal, but instead of living a simple life in their community, they chose the big bucks and fame?
    WHO didn't get arrested?
    Why are they complaining?

  7. They are complainers that seem to think they deserve a free ride.


  8. Here is inconsistency for you. One time that Mykelti wore a similar top, the "moms" jumped all over her like she was going to burst into flames on the spot. In this photo, not so much. I am so confused as to what they really believe and enforce.

    I am neither a prude nor a libertarian. I think the older kids should, to a certain extent, be allowed to experiment with clothing WITHIN legal limits and school dress codes. However, I don't believe in sexualizing young girls with you-know-what kind of clothing. Let them wear what they want within reason. Ridicule from peers has much more effect than parental nagging ever could.

  9. This struck me : "...Kody Brown stated in his affidavit... Other financial impacts included a loss of health insurance"

    Excuse me ?
    Isn't it true that he did not provide health insurance for some of the children while he was employed in Utah ? Isn't that why his daughter's doctor was stiffed when Christine filed for bankruptcy ?

  10. This struck me as well : "The Browns also stated that their children, more than a dozen of them, had also suffered at school, where some had endured remarks about their family being labeled criminals."

    How do they know that those who labeled the Browns as "criminals" weren't commenting on their abuse of food stamps, or the serial bankruptcy filings while shifting the assets, or their lying on bankruptcy applications?

  11. I don't think that many people said anything to the kids. I really don't. Not in their home town.

  12. Why is Kody never in charge of the kids? Or holding Truely? oh, right,
    he likes making them, not taking them.

  13. I never go over to TLC, but happened to tonight to look up something. On the videos, there is a category now called Robyn's Moments. No Meri's moments, etc. I guess she is special!

  14. because Truely cries for mama cause she doesn't know this strange man holding her. Hunter, yes. Daddy, no.

  15. Well, get off the show and hush up!

  16. Good point Terrasola ..., not to mention the younger daughter wearing a tank top too! Also I wonder if dress code is double standard for the boys bc Logan looks mighty comfortable shirt less...
    Manipulating clowns....that's hilarious FrontalLobe :) Quite fitting too since the traveling SW Circus has come to town & coming soon to a town near U w/ special appearances by Liv International products...lol

  17. LMAO Princess Layla ....he likes making them, not taking them :) Yes indeed!!

  18. That could me a song... The boy likes making them.. he ain't keen of taking them nowheres....LOL

  19. They knew that they would be exposed by having their lives shown on TV. They cannot have their cake and eat it too. I for one do not have any sympathy for the adults as they made this choice. However, dragging their children along for the ride is the most damning part of their decision. "They reap what they sow". Not too many reality TV show couples/families/ etc., make it after the bright lights of Hollywood have disappeared. Gosselin's proved the destructiveness of filming every aspect of their life, and then they bark and moan about how their "fans" caused their break up. I just hope the children do not suffer any more than what is being shown now.

  20. I really hope they do not get any $$ for this. Two points bother me, the jobs and the loss of being able to practice thier faith.

    They moved to Vegas, an area of the country with high unemployment. It is not like any of them includung Janelle has a work experience/education that might be in need in Vegas. No one is a bi-lingual that we know of? or a nurse, teacher, or in the healthcare field(Meri 1 year with at risk youth isn't that marketable). So you have a guy who sold signs, one wife who worked with at risk youth for 1 year, a wife that worked in human resource field and 2 wives that were stay at home moms and you go to a high unemployment rate area and expect to find jobs and then blame it on being labeled a felon? It is because besides Janelle, they are uneducated for the job market. Why didn't they move to North Dakota and Kody go work in the oil fields? Plenty of work in other areas of the county.

    Next the I can't practice religion whining. I would think Kody coming from rural Wyoming would not pull this card and I hope they get him on this because this is the issue he might win on. The AUB has a church in southern Utah. he could drive his family the 2 hours to church on sunday. Some people might think 2 hours is alot. Oddly in southern Utah the catholic church had only one spainish speaking priest until a few months ago. The retired population includes alot of residents who are catholic from back east and guess what Kody these senior citizens had to drive to Nevada for church every week. Did they complain, saying the illigal immigrants forced them out because of Utah liberal laws on residency? No. The catholic population went to Nevada for church every weekend, some made a day of it getting a buffet or shopping. Also where Kody grew up in rural Montana and Wyoming mainstream LDS have to travel hours to get to church and sometimes in very bad weather.

    I would love to know if Kody got some great job offer in NYC if he would whine that there was no church for him to practice his faith. I mean he picked a faith that only has like 10 churches.

    I just hate this whole thing is wasting taxpayer dollars.