SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court has sided with the state in a years-long land feud with members of Warren Jeffs’ Fundamentalist LDS Church.
In a ruling issued Tuesday morning, the state’s top court essentially said FLDS faithful had waited too long to challenge the state’s takeover of the United Effort Plan Trust back in 2005.
“The FLDSA‘s arguments to the contrary smack of sour grapes,” the justices wrote in their opinion.
The justices did not say whether or not the government takeover was legal. That matter is before a federal appeals court.
In 2005, a Utah court took control over the UEP Trust amid allegations that Warren Jeffs and other FLDS leaders mismanaged it. The UEP controls homes and land within the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz. It has an estimated value of more than $110 million.
For years, FLDS members refused to cooperate with legal proceedings over the UEP Trust, following an edict from Jeffs to “answer them nothing.” The state is seeking to subdivide the property in the community, breaking apart the trust. FLDS members believe the property must be consecrated to God.