(Editor's Note: this article was updated to include comments from Garner's attorney.)

KEARNEY, Neb. — The two counts of defamation alleged by the former Kearney High girls basketball coach against the parent of a player are dismissed.

On Thursday, Buffalo County District Court Judge John Marsh sustained a motion to dismiss filed by Amber Garner. The ruling throws out one count of slander and one count of invasion of privacy from the six-count civil lawsuit filed by JD Carson. The remaining four counts are against unnamed defendants and were not part of the motion to dismiss.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on Feb. 1, Carson accused Garner of telling a “Buffalo County citizen” in 2021 that he had an inappropriate relationship with a player. In Thursday’s ruling, Marsh said the slander allegation was outside of the one-year statute of limitations. He said Carson’s argument that the allegation was within the statute of limitations because he didn’t find out about the alleged statements until recently was not applicable. Marsh dismissed the invasion of privacy claim because it didn’t allege a non-defamatory statement, making it tied to the slander claim.

“Judge Marsh’s ruling establishes that citizens must be vigilant in the face of slander,” Carson’s attorney Nathan Bruner said in a written statement. “The past several months illustrates the damage that words can have to a community.”

Garner’s attorney, Mark Porto, denied that his client made any report or statement to anyone about wrongdoing by Carson.

“Regardless, it is extremely unfortunate that Mr. Carson chose to escalate this situation so dramatically but I know Amber and her family are eager to put all this needless drama behind them and simply move on with their lives,” Porto said in a statement.

The other four counts allege that an unnamed defendant or defendants falsely accused Carson of being in a sexual relationship with a player. Bruner says he is trying to identify who might have made the accusations.

“If any person has knowledge of the parties that made defamatory remarks about our client, J.D. Carson, related to his forced resignation as Kearney High Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, please contact the Bruner Frank Law Firm.”

The lawsuit stems from Carson’s resignation as Kearney High girls basketball coach in November. School officials said in December that they asked Carson to resign because of allegations of inappropriate behavior, including a flirtatious relationship with a player. Carson denied the accusations when speaking at a school board meeting.

Carson filed a Petition for Depositions Before Action in December in an attempt to ask school officials who brought the allegations forward. A judge also dismissed that request.

Carson remains a social studies teacher at Kearney High. The Bearcats hired Drew Danielson as the new girls basketball coach in late February.