The Brown family has challenged anti-polygamy laws in Utah
Kody Brown and his four wives, stars of the TLC show Sister Wives, have challenged anti-polygamy laws in Utah, where people can face up to five years in prison for the felony, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.
But the state says the lawsuit should be thrown out because the Browns -- Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn -- have never been charged under those laws.
They did, however, come close to being charged.
The Browns launched the legal challenge after police in the county of Lehi launched an investigation into their polygamous marriage after Sister Wives premiered in 2010.
Soon after, law enforcement backed off, closing the case without filing changes. They've since followed in the attorney general's footsteps, declaring they would not charge consenting polygamists unless another crime is involved.
Therefore, the lawsuit should be moot, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman has argued.
Not so, says the Browns' lawyer, noting the Mormon family is still considered felons in their home state.
The case could have widespread effects in the state, where a large faction of fundamentalist Mormons live.
North of the border, the BC Supreme Court upheld Canada's anti-polygamy laws in November, admitting they infringe on religious freedoms but arguing it's justified because of the harm polygamy can cause to women, children and society.
The town of Bountiful, BC, which was at the heart of the case, has been plagued with allegations of non-consensual polygamist marriages involving minors.