Friday, June 19, 2015

Suit By U.S. Against FLDS Towns Moves Ahead

United States v. Town of Colorado City, Arizona, (D AZ, June 17, 2015), is a decision in a civil suit by the Untied States against the twin towns of Colorado City, Arizona and Hilldale, Utah, and against utility companies serving the towns alleging a pattern of discrimination against residents who are not members of the polygamous FLDS Church, denying them housing, police protection and access to public services. (See prior posting.) The court refused to dismiss claims that defendants violated Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 by denying plaintiffs their constitutional rights, saying that there are material questions of fact as to whether there have been violations.  The court also allowed the United States to move ahead with its claims of violations of the Fair Housing Act, though found that plaintiff could not recover damages on behalf of certain individuals. It also held that a prior civil suit by a private party could not be relied on by the government to assert non-mutual collateral estoppel. AP reporting on the decision calls it a loss for the Justice Department.