FLDS leadership dispute moves closer to court

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A leadership dispute within a polygamous sect took a step closer to a courtroom Thursday, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Utah Division of Corporations officials said in a statement that neither jailed leader Warren S. Jeffs nor challenger William E. Jessop has presented “clear evidence” of a right to head the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ legal entity.

The two men have until Aug. 3 to either both sign a document agreeing on a leader or get a court order determining who is in authority, division officials stated.

“While Mr. Jessop would prefer to avoid resorting to the courts, he is holding open all of his options,” his attorney, Mark James, said Thursday. […]

“The Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code will never determine who is president of the FLDS church,” officials wrote in Thursday’s statement. “The division is only seeking to establish who has authority to make changes to the principals on either of the two corporations sole belonging to the FLDS church.”

On one of the corporate disputes, the agency sided with jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, Fox 13 says:

“William Jessop did not provide any response to the question of whether he was authorized to make changes to the principals of that corporation.  Therefore, with the deadline passed, the corporation sole has been returned to active status with the changes presented on 15 February 2011 showing Warren Jeffs as authority and Boyd Knudsen as registered agent,” the department said.

The other corporation, however, remains in dispute. The Division of Corporations is requiring more documentation to decide who is president of that corporate entity. The Utah Department of Commerce set an Aug. 3 deadline, meaning that it will likely end up in court.

Meanwhile Jeffs remains in a Texas jail awaiting trials on sexual abuse and bigamy charges.

Background of the power struggle within the FLDS

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This post was last updated: May. 9, 2014