Naomi Judd’s Family Sues County, Sheriff To Prevent Release of Death Records

by Clayton Edwards
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Country music icon Naomi Judd died by suicide on April 30th. Since then, her family has been mourning and doing their best to keep coverage of her passing respectful. To this end, Ashley Judd did an interview with Good Morning America to reveal the manner of her mother’s death. Additionally, they’ve fought to keep records of her death sealed.

Earlier this month, the Judd family successfully had Naomi’s death records temporarily sealed. A Williamson County, Tennessee court granted them injunctive relief and no official documents, photos, or video pertaining to Naomi’s death will become public. However, the Judd family took their case a step further on Friday. They sued Williamson County and its sheriff to further prevent records from going public. Wynonna and Ashley Judd as well as Naomi’s husband Larry Strickland are named as plaintiffs in the case.

According to Nashville’s News Channel 5, several media outlets have requested records related to Naomi Judd’s death. Those records include video footage and photographs of the aftermath of Naomi’s death. Additionally, the records contain written police reports and audio recordings. The Judd family hopes to keep these things private to preserve Naomi’s dignity and privacy.

A hearing to make a permanent decision on the case will take place on September 12th in the Williamson County Chancery Court. At this time, the court has not assigned a judge to the case.

The Judd Family on Keeping Naomi’s Death Records Sealed

The Judd family talked about why they want Naomi’s death records sealed in a statement. “Our family continues to grieve together privately, in unity and community, recognizing our mother’s beauty and talents as a gift to the world,” the statement read. “There has been misinformation circulated as we continue to mourn and we lament that. We ask news organizations only to cover the facts.”

Their statement ended with a piece of advice. “As we recognize other families struggling as a loved one faces mental health crises, we encourage them to seek help through NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness available 24 hours a day at 800-950-6264.”

J. Michael Shipman II, the Judd family’s lawyer discussed why Naomi’s death records should be sealed in the suit filed. He said they would “suffer significant trauma and irreparable harm in the form of emotional distress, pain, and mental anguish should these records be released.” He went on to say that the pain and mental anguish would last for years because leaked information and images would “… undoubtedly live in perpetuity on the internet.”

Shipman went on to argue that his clients are still grieving their mother and wife. “Broad dissemination and public reporting” of Naomi Judd’s records he said, would be traumatic for the family.

Outsider.com