Judge Denies FLDS Request to Oust UEP Fiduciary

By Ben Winslow
Deseret News

July 16, 2008,5143,700243576,00.html

The judge overseeing the Fundamentalist LDS Church's real-estate holdings arm has denied a temporary restraining order that sought to strip her court-appointed special fiduciary of his powers.

Third District Court Judge Denise P. Lindberg denied the motion without hearing any arguments, suggesting that the attempt to oust Bruce Wisan was wrapped up in an emergency request to halt evictions in the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

"At such time as any allegations regarding the special fiduciary's conduct are properly brought to this court, the court will address them after notice and opportunity for a hearing," she wrote in an order obtained by the Deseret News. "The court will not, however, allow an unlawful detainer proceeding to be used to that end."

Lawyers for FLDS members behind the restraining order request were not disappointed.

"We take this as good news because essentially the court is giving us guidance," Bret Rawson, a lawyer representing some of the FLDS members, said Wednesday.

Approximately 57 homes up to 1,000 people face eviction for refusing to sign occupancy agreements and pay $100 a month fees to live on land controlled by the United Effort Plan Trust. In essence, the judge told them to wait until Wisan began eviction proceedings in St. George's 5th District Court before fighting it.


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