County Clerk Karen Phillips files multi-million dollar lawsuit against Smith County

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 5:50 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips has filed a lawsuit against Smith County, its sheriff and multiple Smith County Sheriff’s Office deputies, demanding millions of dollars.

The suit, filed on May 30, alleges that Smith County deputies made multiple false statements and violated multiple Constitutional rights of Karen Phillips when her son, Derek Phillips, was arrested on March 28. The suit asserts that Karen Phillips’ arrest on April 4 for allegedly interfering with her son’s arrest is erroneous and that she committed no crime. Additionally, it also asserts that her Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights were violated in the process. Furthermore, Karen Phillips also claims that, in the wake of her personal information being released via video footage provided to the media by Sheriff Larry Smith, she and her family have been subject to multiple instances of harassment in the form of drivers honking their horn for five minutes outside her house, threatening phone calls and vulgar emails sent to her place of work, all of which she alleges has caused her mental distress, depression, headaches and experiencing night terrors.

As such, Karen Phillips is suing Smith County for a sum of $10 million.

Derek Phillips also has filed suit against the county as he too claims multiple Constitutional rights were violated during the March 28 incident.

Derek Phillips’ suit alleges that deputies violated First and Fourth Amendment rights during the incident. The suit also claims that Cody Voss, a co-defendant in the filing, was kidnapped by deputies.

Derek Phillips’ suit is asking for $150,500,000 in damages.

Previous reporting:

Smith County Clerk arrested, accused of interfering with arrest of son

Smith County Sheriff’s Office releases video in connection with county clerk’s criminal charge

Sheriff: Video shows Smith County Clerk trying to grab deputy during son’s arrest