CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

Utah Judge Orders Polygamous Sect's 400-Acre Property Sold

Roughly 400 acres of property held by the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints ('FLDS'), the polygamous sect formerly headed by convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs, must be sold to raise money for the sect's trust to help alleviate some $3 million in debt, according to a Utah judge.

Judge Denise Lindberg, a former law clerk to retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, ruled that the Berry Knolls property in Mohave County, Arizona must be sold.

"Having now considered all the arguments for and against the sale, the court concludes that the trust's financial condition, and the ongoing difficulties in securing a reliable revenue stream to meet its past and present obligations warrant granting the (sale),"

An old October 8, 2008 contract of sale for the parcels being sold (see below) had valued the property at $3,071,250. Although this figure did not account for any tax issues related to the sale, it represented a substantial figure that could have helped pay down the religious sect's existing debt.

The FLDS, however, sued Bruce Wissan, the sect's Court-appointed trustee, to stop that sale.

Here is the old contract of sale (originally obtained by Salt Lake City Tribune polygamy reporter Brooke Adams, that resulted in litigation by the FLDS sect to stop it.


According to one news report, the sect's Court-appointed accountant Bruce Wisan, who manages the FLDS' United Effort Plan Trust "will advertise the sale, accept the bids and select the bid that most benefits the trust."

Related Resources: