Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, October 5, 2012

Supreme Court of Utah Rules Against Warren Jeff's Polygamous Sect

Warren JeffsThe Utah Supreme Court has reversed the ruling of a lower court that returned control of a $114 million property trust to the polygamous sect. Now, the court's ruling makes it so that the trust will remain in state government control. In its holding, the court reasoned that the statute of limitations had passed, and that the sect could not "challenge the takeover of the trust, which holds nearly all the land, homes, and property in the sect's home base of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah." However, this is not the end of the case. A federal district court, heard a challenge to the state's actions based upon a violation of the 1st Amendment's free exercise. The judge in that case ruled that the taking of the trust violated the 1st Amendment and ordered the Government to return the trust to the sect. Now, the Government has appealed the case to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to determine whether a violation of the 1st Amendment has actually occurred.

See Lindsay Whitehurst, Utah High Court Deals Blow to Polygamous Sect in Property Trust Case, The Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 2, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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