Eviction effort by FLDS unresolved in court action

KINGMAN, Ariz. — A church-based effort to evict a man from his home in the polygamist community of Colorado City was not resolved after more than six hours of testimony Tuesday in Superior Court.

Judge James Chavez scheduled a March 18 telephone conference with attorneys to discuss three subpoenas pending in the case against Ross Chatwin, 35, a father of six children who has been directed to leave the home he has occupied for more than three years.

Chatwin and his attorney had attempted to subpoena three prominent figures in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: church President Warren Jeffs, Fred Jessop and Nephi Barlow. Jessop and Barlow were among a group of men Jeffs asked to leave their homes and wives in January. The subpoenas apparently never reached the recipients. One was mailed to attorney Rod Parker in Salt Lake City and the others were served to addresses where the men no longer reside, Parker said.

During the hearing, Parker argued that Chatwin is a “tenant at will” subject to eviction at the whim of the United Effort Plan, the trust that owns most of the land in Colorado City and neighboring Hildale, Utah. The trust is controlled by the FLDS church.

Chavez is expected to set closing arguments in the case during the March 18 telephone conference.


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The Salt Lake Tribune, USA
Mar. 3, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday March 4, 2004.
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