Judge expected to rule in 30 days on Colorado City eviction case

KINGMAN – The owner of property in the polygamist enclave of Colorado City should be allowed to evict tenants without cause or reason, an attorney for the church and its trust argued before a Mohave County Superior Court judge.

Judge James Chavez is deciding whether Ross Chatwin, a former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, can be evicted from property owned by the church’s trust.

Chavez said Wednesday he expected to rule within 30 days.

Rodney Parker, attorney for the church and the trust that owns much of the property in Colorado City, said the trust has the authority to evict Chatwin without cause.

Chatwin, a former church member, denounced the church’s dictates in a news conference in January.

His attorney Joan Dudley argued Chatwin grew up being taught that he could live on the trust land for life.

Chatwin testified that he was encouraged by church officials to build a home and make other improvements during his period of residency.

If he’s forced to leave, he should be compensated for improvements he’s made to the property, she said.

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Associated Press, USA
Apr. 15, 2004

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This post was last updated: Dec. 16, 2016