The 27-year-old Co Tyrone teacher, the only daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte, was strangled in her room in the Legends hotel in Mauritius last January.
In the wake of a high- profile murder trial this summer, which saw two former hotel workers acquitted of the crime, the Mauritian Sunday Times printed police crime scene photos that showed the honeymooner’s body lying in the room.
The family has now launched a civil action against the newspaper’s publisher and editor for damages, claiming the publication outraged Mrs McAreavey’s dignity and compromised the police investigation into the crime.
The paper has no connection to the UK and Ireland Sunday Times.
The McAreavey family’s lawyer Dick Ng Sui Wa said legal papers have been lodged with the Supreme Court in Mauritius and a date for the first court appearance has been set for Jan 10. He said any damages would be donated to The Michaela Foundation.
After the publication in July, newspaper editor Imran Hosany was charged with outraging public and religious morality. He denies the charges.
The legal development comes after the relatives launched a civil case against the hotel where Mrs McAreavey died for damages that could top £1m. The basis for that case will be that the hotel failed to provide a safe place for Mrs McAreavey.