SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has found Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs’ brothers in contempt of court for not responding to subpoenas in an ongoing case involving child labor law violations at a southern Utah farm.
In an order issued Wednesday night, U.S. District Court Judge David Sam found FLDS bishop Lyle Jeffs and his brother, Nephi, in contempt of court and ordered sanctions against the pair. The judge ruled they have ignored subpoenas in a 2012 investigation into hundreds of FLDS children who were put to work on a Hurricane pecan farm, and skipped a deadline to hire new lawyers.
They also failed to produce religious texts explaining why they should not have to answer certain questions about the inner-workings of the FLDS Church, the judge wrote. Earlier, Judge Sam had ruled Lyle and Nephi Jeffs did not have to answer those questions, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the “Hobby Lobby” case.
“The ongoing delay caused by Respondents related to the subpoenas issued to them over one year ago is highly prejudicial to Petitioner. Respondents have demonstrated a complete disregard for the judicial process and the numerous orders issued by this Court,” Judge Sam wrote.
It is unclear from the judge’s order what type of sanctions would be imposed.
Read the order here: