FLDS – USDC CDDU reversed: unmarried Polygamy case ruled moot
13 April, 2016
Plural marriage case reversed as moot
The Utah County Attorney’s Office (“UCAO”) subsequently closed its file on the Browns and adopted a policy (“the UCAO Policy”) under which the Utah County Attorney will bring bigamy prosecutions only against those who (1) induce a partner to marry through misrepresentation or (2) are suspected of committing a collateral crime such as fraud or abuse. The Browns fall into neither category. Nonetheless, the district court denied the Utah County Attorney’s motion to dismiss the case as moot and instead granted summary judgment to the Browns.
The district court erred by proceeding to the merits. Federal courts are courts of
limited jurisdiction. They lack power to decide issues—however important or fiercely
contested—that are detached from a live dispute between the parties. Following adoption of the UCAO Policy, the Browns’ suit ceased to qualify as an Article III case or
controversy. Their suit was moot before the district court awarded them relief, and the court therefore lacked jurisdiction to decide the Browns’ claims.
[December 19 2013 ]
William E. Jessop, who is leading a group of dissidents who have left the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is trying to move into the house on the corner of Academy Avenue and Barlow Street in Colorado City, Ariz. Its current occupant is Seth Jeffs.
He’s the brother of Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the FLDS. Seth Jeffs was arrested in October 2005, carrying money and letters meant for his brother Warren, who was still a fugitive at the time.
On paper, the home belongs to the United Effort Plan, the trust holding much of the property here and in Hildale, Utah, that is currently in receivership. Jessop built the house and lived in it for years. The trust fiduciary, Bruce Wisan, has typically tried to return homes to people with reasonable claims on them.
But there’s no indication Seth Jeffs plans to leave soon.
FLDS member Mary Harker, right, speaks with UEP trust administrator Bruce Wisan following a 2009 court hearing.
[February 15, 2012]
Utah’s attorney general has 90 days to pay off more than $5.5 million in debts incurred by managers of a communal land trust once run by jailed polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs.
Third District Judge Denise Lindberg set the deadline in an order issued February 13.
The money is owed to Salt lake City accountant Bruce Wisan, his attorneys and other firms hired to assist with management of the United Effort Plan Trust — the $114 million communal property trust of Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The trust holds the land and homes of FLDS members in the twin border communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., and in Bountiful, British Columbia.
No trust bills have been paid since 2008.
“We are disappointed in the ruling and are reviewing our options for appeal,” Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said. “We believe it is important to have the decision reviewed as expeditiously as possible.”
Utah seized control of the trust in 2005 amid allegations of mismanagement by Jeffs and other Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leaders. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office backed the effort.
Wisan was to be paid from the sale of trust assets, but a string of pending lawsuits, including one pending before Denver’s 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, has blocked any land sales. back