A Utah judge rescinded a restraining order that kept a private investigator temporarily away from a member of a polygamous sect and his family after determining there was not sufficient reason to keep it in place.
Fifth District Judge G. Rand Beacham lifted the temporary restraining order Tuesday on Sam Brower, who in July had been ordered to stay away from Willie Jessop.
Jessop, a spokesman for members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, had alleged Brower was harassing him and his family.
Brower has conducted investigations for attorneys Roger and Greg Hoole, who have filed numerous lawsuits against the sect. He also has been hired by Bruce R. Wisan, the court-appointed fiduciary overseeing the sect's United Effort Plan Trust, and has provided statements for a Texas attorney who represents a teenage daughter of sect leader Warren S. Jeffs.
Natalie Malonis of Flower Mound, Texas, was called as a witness in Brower's hearing but did not testify. Brower's attorney also was prepared to call as witnesses several media members who Jessop claimed had been escorted by Brower onto his private property.
"I'm just glad we didn't have to bring them out," said Brower, who had claimed Jessop sought the restraining order as retaliation for his involvement in the Texas case.
Now, "There are no restrictions on me doing my job," Brower said. "Every single case I've worked on, there is somebody on the other side of this issue who is not pleased about being investigated. This is not different."