Wednesday, November 07, 2012

10th Circuit Vacates Injunction Against Utah's Reformation of FLDS Trust

In Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. Horne, (10th Cir., Nov. 5, 2012), the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected on procedural grounds a constitutional challenge by the polygamous FLDS Church to Utah's reformation of the FLDS United Effort Plan Trust. Last year, a federal district court issued a preliminary injunction, finding that the state had impermissibly entangled itself with religion in reforming and managing a religious trust.  The 10th Circuit, ordering the injunction vacated, concluded that FLDS should be precluded from bringing the constitutional challenge. Federal courts should give full faith and credit to the Utah Supreme Court's decision that under the doctrine of laches the FLDS waited too long to challenge the state court proceedings. Reporting on the decision, KSL-TV says: "The ruling breaks a legal logjam surrounding $100 million worth of property Warren Jeffs, former leader of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, once controlled."