As reported last week, four Duggar sisters are suing their hometown over the release of documents pertaining to the Josh Duggar molestation case.
Now, the Arkansas town is firing back.
Jill (Duggar) Dillard, Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo and Joy-Anna Duggar all filed a lawsuit against the city of Springdale.
The Duggar girls are suing the police and city officials and In Touch Weekly magazine, as well, in regard to the release of this information.
According to the lawsuit, the Counting On stars claim that the city was wrong to release official documents that contained their statements.
Jinger, Joy-Anna, Jill and Jessa spoke to police back in 2006, when they were minors, about Josh molesting them years before that.
By releasing these docs to In Touch, which published the details, the four girls say the defendants exposed them on a global scale.
The City of Springdale sees this differently, however.
“The claims and allegations in this lawsuit are without merit and are false," the statement reads in part, disputing the girl's central point.
“[The suit] claims that the release of a heavily redacted police report pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act Request was somehow unlawful."
"We are confident that the Federal Court will take the time to carefully hear the facts and arguments in this matter.”
“It is unfortunate that now, at this late date, the Plaintiffs have chosen to file a misguided lawsuit," said the city in its response.
Springdale lamented the case being brought "against dedicated public servants and seeking damages from public tax dollars."
Implicit here is the accusation that the Duggars are doing this two years after the scandal broke as a money-making endeavor.
The Duggar girls counter that they're only taking legal action now in order to help prevent other child victims from such "reckless reporting."
“This case is solely about protecting children who are victims of abuse,” Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna Duggar said in their statement.
“Revealing juvenile identities under these circumstances is unacceptable, and it’s against the law," the four siblings added.
By suing, they hope that "media and custodians of public records who let these children down must be held accountable."
"This case has vast implications for all our children. We hope that by bringing this case to the public’s attention, all children will be protected.”
They do have a point in one important sense:
While the police documents released were redacted to remove the victims’ names and other identifying information, as the city claims.
However, enough information was left in the documents that it was obvious that the victims in the case were Josh’s four younger sisters.
What's the point of redacting anything then?
If the goal is to protect minors, but officials willingly disseminate information that fails to achieve this, then there should be consequences.
It's also not clear if the fact that the victims were no longer minors at the time of the 2015 story's publication has any impact legally.
This case may well hinge on that, as well as exactly what officials are required to redact and whether they met a reasonable threshold.
For her part, Jill is not backing down from her side of the story, tweeting a link to an article about the suit, along with a message.
“We hope our lawsuit will send a clear message that releasing the names of juveniles is never OK,” the eldest of the four wrote.