Family fights FLDS for utilities

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A Colorado City, Ariz., family feuding with the leaders of a fundamentalist polygamous sect had their electricity and water service shut off Saturday after the Hildale City Council dubbed them ”squatters.”

Led by the reclusive Warren Jeffs, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints owns most of the land in Colorado City and Hildale, Utah, and considers followers who build and live there tenants-at-will.

Ross and Lori Chatwin were excommunicated from the FLDS church two years ago, but like others had fought and won the legal right to stay in the residence, unless the church bought them out.


The FLDS is also considered to be a cult of Christianity. Sociologically,the group is a high-control cult.

But utility services for the home were listed in Ross Chatwin’s brother’s name and during the past 14 months the two Chatwin families have lived together.

Steven Chatwin, and his family moved out abruptly three weeks ago, and he asked city to shut off the utilities.

Ross and Lori Chatwin tried to take over the services, but were told the acting property owner needed to OK their application.

That person, William Timpson Jessop, the presiding bishop of the FLDS church refused.

With the help of an attorney and Hildale mayor David Zitting, the Chatwins had managed to get the services extended, but their time ran out on Friday.

At an emergency city council meeting Saturday, Zitting said Jessop considered the Chatwins ”squatters.”

City councilmembers then voted to immediately shut off the utility service.

The shutdown lasted just an hour.

Utility service workers restored the service after calls on the advice of the city’s attorney.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
AP, via, USA
Apr. 24, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday April 25, 2005.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject



Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at