A hearing to appoint new trustees to oversee a trust that controls much of the property in a polygamous community on the Arizona Strip has been set for Aug. 4.
Anyone with an interest in the United Effort Plan (UEP) has until 10 days before the hearing to propose trustees.
On Tuesday, 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg ruled that “interested parties” are The Corporation of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS); the former trustees who were removed in June; the attorneys general of Utah and Arizona; and all UEP beneficiaries, which includes those who have filed lawsuits against the trust.
The judge defined beneficiaries to include anyone who has “consecrated time, talents and resources” to the UEP.
In her ruling, Lindberg disqualified two California groups that have nominated trustees or objected to nominees from participating in the proceedings.
Child Protection Project and For Kid’s Sake have failed to present anything in their filings to show they had a legal interest in the proceeding, she said.
The UEP controls nearly all the houses and property in the twin communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., headquarters of the FLDS, which embraces plural marriage as one of its central tenets.
A request for new trustees was filed in May by the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
The request, joined by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, alleges the then-trustees failed to stop questionable transactions that appeared to be an attempt to liquidate UEP property.
There are three pending lawsuits that name as defendants the fund and FLDS President Warren Jeffs, who are not defending themselves and could lose by default.
That means UEP assets could be used to pay a damage award and potentially cost residents their homes.