Judge calls for eviction of FLDS residents delinquent on fees

HILDALE – Threats may soon turn to actions against hundreds of residents living in the twin cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.

Friday, during a Salt Lake City hearing to discuss the formation of a board to oversee redistribution of properties in the border towns, 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg called for polygamous residents who have not been paying their occupancy fees to be evicted.

Since 2005, 750 homes in Hildale and Colorado City have been under the control of the State of Utah. The homes were seized due to alleged mismanagement by Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leaders, including Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for child sexual assault.

Those living in the seized homes were mandated to pay $100 per month in occupancy fees, along with all the appropriate property taxes. Payment plans have been offered to those with legitimate financial hardships. But for as long as seven years, the majority of residents have not paid their occupancy fees.

More than $4 million dollars in unpaid occupancy fees is currently owed to the United Effort Plan Trust, or UEP, which was reformed by the 3rd District Court to administer housing solutions and other benefits for FLDS members. According to a yearly report published in 2013 by the Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City accountant Bruce Wisan, who has been overseeing the trust, billed $910,289 in occupancy fees in 2012, and only $80,399 was paid by Hildale and Colorado City residents that year.

During Friday’s hearing, Lindberg said empty eviction threats have been made for too long against nonpayers, and action needs to be taken. She recommended sending a message to the community by serving eviction notices on a few homes to start with, notifying the families that they must pay their residency fees or leave.

No time frame was set for sending eviction notices to the residents.

The purpose of Friday’s hearing was not evictions but the subject of a management board that is in the works. Chosen members of the board will be given authority to oversee the 750 trust homes. Twelve original candidates for the board have been whittled down to seven selectees, but Lindberg said she will not announce the names of the chosen board members or actually create the board until occupancy fees are being paid and the UEP Trust has a stable source of revenue.

The state’s expressed intention has always been to give the seized homes and assorted properties back to the community members. Creating the board is a step toward fulfilling that goal.

Though FLDS members were invited to apply for membership on the new board, none of the finalists are members of Jeffs’ group. Jeffs has reportedly instructed FLDS Church members not to take part in the board.

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17 Comments

  • JJ June 14, 2014 at 11:42 am

    You can’t spend generations “bleeding the beast” and then act indignant when the “beast” decides it’s had enough!

  • But Seriously June 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    These “people” need to just go away. The only thing worse than a pedophile, is a pedophile who is also a welfare fraud.

    • Breeders June 15, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Worse than just being a pedophile is the behavior that pedophilia is a god-given religious right.

  • flowergirl June 14, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    about time…..

  • mmmmamma June 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Why is the state of Utah enabling an illegal lifestyle to begin with????

    • Breeders June 15, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Utah crack down on any illegal activities of religion? That will never happen.

    • Applejack June 16, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Because the fuhrer approves if it, that’s why. 🙂

  • Maggie June 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Good for the judge! These people are takers. They give nothing of value to a community. Hildale and Colorado city look like ghettos in the desert, and they exhibit no sense of morality ,decency or common sense.

  • Glock June 14, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Their lifestyle is not Illegal. Each has 1 legal marriage. In the eyes of the state they are married to 1 person. Part of their religion is they believe in the eyes of God and the authority of their church they are married to more than 1 person. So for legality, they are living legally. Its the same as any other couple that lives together, has kids together, but are not officially “married”.
    @ButSeriously – Don’t be a bigot.

    • Chris June 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      You are quite wrong. These people are violating “cohabitation” laws on the books in both AZ and UT. The laws are rarely enforced, but they are laws nonetheless. Futhermore, nearly all Short Creek polygs are defrauding the welfare systems of both states. “Bleeding the beast” is a very real mentality in that community, and their fraudulent lifestyles are a result of that mentality.

    • Benson H. June 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      I don’t get it Glock. Are you sticking up for this kind of behavior? Because I find it hard to get over the entire sex with a child situation for the love of God. It is quite sickening.

  • Mapa June 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    MMMMAMMA if have a son that stutters and find your name very offensive. I also take offense to the reference to our Hispanic friends. What a tonadro foncica your mmmmamma

  • St. Geo new June 14, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    MMMMAMA you offend me my son stutters. mexican deserve to be enabled by utah. Your MMMMAMA. Can be the most racist hatefully person I heard of

  • Breeders June 15, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Breed them when they’re young and dumb. Isn’t the mindset of all religions in Utah toward females? Churches exist to ensure the comfortable and exotic lifestyle of the church leaders. Church leaders reap financial benefit of bluffing people into handing over their money and possessions for the church. Fortunately for them, the government steps in to assist them, except greedy churches are probably trying to steal their welfare.

  • EL JEFE June 16, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Think I’ll import some MS-13 “professionals” to straighten out the “Crick”.
    After all, they are experts at defrauding the “beast”…..and/or anything else.

  • HUD June 16, 2014 at 10:59 am

    “The homes were seized due to alleged mismanagement …”
    Now THAT is some irony, right there.

  • insenced June 28, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Shame on all of you. What you fail to realize is that not all of those people are pedophiles. None of them are convicted of this activity. The big issue to me is that Utah has no right to anything dealing with an Arizona Jurisdiction. Hildale! Yes. You may not approve of the FLDS beliefs or lifestyle, or anything about them. However, if you fail to support their right to live as they are (legally) doing, then you should not be surprised when the machine turns and sets its sights on you to grind you up in the system. I don’t support abortion as a practice, but neither do I support the government dictating morality issues. The Peoples Republic of the United States is rapidly advancing into fascism and most of the blind MTV generation seem just fine with this. All of your lack of support for these families is another coffin nail in American Freedom. Again Shame on all of you. (Someone mentioned that Utah’s cohabitation laws were being violated. These were overturned in recent history and Arizona’s years ago)

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