Utah asks for more time in ‘Sister Wives’ appeal

Posted at 7:14 PM, Mar 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-26 14:38:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY — In documents filed with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Utah Attorney General’s Office is asking for more time to fight the “Sister Wives” case.

The Denver-based federal appeals court granted the request on Wednesday — but no more deadline extensions. Utah’s first brief in the case involving reality-TV polygamist Kody Brown and his wives is now due in May.

“This case is fairly novel, factually and legally complex, and relates to the constitutionality of Utah’s bigamy statutes and the legal status of polygamous practices and marriages in Utah, particularly whether such practices and marriages may be criminalized in conformity with the Constitution, and more time is necessary to adequately address the novel issues presented,” wrote Utah Federal Solicitor Parker Douglas in the motion seeking more time.

Douglas also cited a joint appendix being created by lawyers in the case which is taking time, as well as looming deadlines in a lawsuit filed by the Utah Republican Party against the state over the “Count My Vote” compromise.

He also suggested that since Utah is prohibited from prosecuting anyone for polygamy alone, there was no rush.

“The Utah statutory provisions at issue in this matter have been enjoined from enforcement and therefore Appellees are not directly prejudiced by Appellant’s requested enlargement of time to file the opening brief,” he wrote.

Read the motion by the Utah Attorney General’s Office here:

In December 2013, a federal judge in Salt Lake City ruled that Utah’s ban on polygamy was unconstitutional. It stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Kody Brown and his wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn. The polygamous family, who star on the TLC series “Sister Wives,” sued the state arguing the ban violated their First Amendment religious freedom rights, as well as their right to equal protection.

A week later, another federal judge in Salt Lake City declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.