Legal battle involving Kingstons heats up

Family challenges woman’s claims

The nasty legal war between Mary Ann Kingston and her relatives is not even close to being over.

Three years into her $100 million lawsuit against the polygamous Kingston group and its business interests, a trial date still has not been set. Lawyers for both sides complain in court papers they have not been given discovery.

Lawyers for the Kingstons filed a 4-inch stack of papers in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court last week asking a judge to end some of Mary Ann Kingston’s claims by making a partial summary judgment.

In September, the Kingston group’s lawyers filed court papers asking the judge to toss the case and rule in their favor. They identified the 200-plus defendants as “movants” in the lawsuit.

“No Movant was in David Kingston’s vicinity the evenings the Complaint alleges David Kingston supposedly obtained sexual favors from Mary Ann,” lawyer Mark Hansen wrote in a memorandum filed Tuesday.

Mary Ann Kingston — now known as Mary Ann Nichols — is suing the Kingstons, claiming she was forced into a polygamous marriage to her uncle, David Ortell Kingston. When she fled the marriage, she said her father beat her. John Daniel Kingston pleaded no contest to charges and served jail time. David Ortell Kingston was convicted of incest and served time in prison.

In other court papers, Hansen lashes out at Nichols’ lawyers and accuses them of defaming and slandering members of the Davis County Cooperative Society and the Latter-Day Church of Christ. Those groups have been linked to the Kingstons.

Hansen also seeks judicial sanctions against Nichols’ attorneys , claiming they filed a lawsuit without having all the facts.

“Without question, the Complaint has had the effect to harass Movants and to needlessly impose on them a considerable cost of litigating a lawsuit that is clearly frivolous, without merit, and not asserted in good faith against them,” he wrote.

Attempts to reach lawyers for Nichols were unsuccessful on Tuesday. In response to some of the motions, her lawyers asked the judge to let them not respond.

“Notwithstanding extraordinary efforts by the Defendants to pursue their own discovery, they have failed to properly answer Mary Ann’s discovery requests,” lawyer Jeremy Sink wrote in a motion filed Tuesday, “and refused to even discuss setting dates for depositions of any of the defendants requested by Mary Ann.”

Hansen also went after one of the lawyers representing Nichols in a $12 million sex-abuse lawsuit filed against Nichols.

In an amended complaint filed in September, Hansen, who is also the lawyer for Krista Nelson, accused attorney John Morris of defamation for comments he made about the lawsuit.

Morris told the Deseret Morning News in July the lawsuit was “just another attempt by the Kingston organization to lash out at Mary Ann because she stood up to them.”

Morris was out of town and unavailable for comment, his office said Tuesday.

Nelson accuses Nichols, Arthur Kingston and LuAnn Cooper of sexually abusing her. Anti-polygamy activists have suggested the lawsuit is revenge against people who have left and spoken out against the Kingston group.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday October 23, 2006.
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