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Utah judge blocks order on FLDS property trust


ReligionNewsBlog.com • Tuesday April 12, 2011

A Utah state judge is squaring off with her federal counterpart over state control of a polygamous sect’s property trust, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

In a rare move, 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg on Monday ordered the court-appointed trust administrator not to comply with a federal court order giving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints temporary control of the trust.

The state took over the trust six years ago amid allegations of mismanagement, but U.S. District Judge Dee Benson ruled in February the takeover was illegal.

Lindberg ordered administrator Bruce Wisan not to turn over any assets, documents or “anything else pertaining to the trust” until outstanding legal questions are answered and an appeal of Benson’s ruling is complete. [...]

On Thursday, Benson signed an order requiring the state to temporarily turn over control of the trust to the church’s legal entity, which is also the subject of an internal power struggle. [...]

Calling the order “quite historic,” Wisan attorney Jeff Shields said it would prevent the trust from coming under the control of leader Warren S. Jeffs, who is now in jail in Texas awaiting trial on sexual assault and bigamy charges related to alleged underage marriages.

Overview of the battle between the State of Utah and the FLDS sect over the UEP trust

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