Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Civil Penalties, Injunction Issued Against FLDS Towns

Following on a $5.3 million jury verdict against the FLDS-controlled towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah for denying utility service to a couple because they are not FLDS members (see prior posting), a federal court has now imposed a civil damage award and an injunction on the request of the state of Arizona as intervenor.  In Cooke v. Town of Colorado City, (D AZ, Sept. 4, 2014), the court impopsed a $50,000 civil penalty under the Arizona Fair Housing Act against each town and their utility companies.  It also permanently enjoined defendants from discriminating on the basis of religion in performing their official duties, and retained jurisdiction for 10 years in case of violations. The court rejected the state's request that it disband the present law-enforcement offices in the two towns and appointment of a monitor because the requested relief "would burden both Defendants and the State with a layer of bureaucracy extending into potential perpetuity." Finally the court awarded attorneys' fees to the state. Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.