Judge sets deadline to settle disputes in polygamous twin towns

A Utah judge set a 45-day deadline for attorneys to propose a process to sort competing claims to property in a polygamous community that has experienced escalating disputes over homes, fields and grain silos in recent months.

Third District Judge Denise Lindberg made it clear, though, that she considers any property leases issued by a fiduciary overseeing the United Effort Plan Trust to be equivalent to a court order.

“There is no pre-existing property right,” Lindberg said. “None, period.”

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Allegations of mismanagement by FLDS trustees led to the court’s takeover of the trust in 2005 and Lindberg reiterated Thursday her view that many of the ongoing disputes were caused by the sect’s refusal to work with court-appointed fiduciary Bruce R. Wisan.

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