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Polygamous sect wants judge to block land sale

Polygamous sect wants judge to block land sale

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge could decide Friday whether to block a state court from selling off assets held in the communal land trust of a southern Utah polygamous church.

Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day have asked U.S. District Judge Dee Benson to stop the sale of land in the United Effort Plan trust. The trust holds most of the land in twin FLDS communities on the Utah-Arizona border.

The Utah state courts seized control of the UPE in 2005 after allegations of mismanagement by church officials.

A court-appointed accountant now wants to sell some assets to pay off debts.

The FLDS contend state control of the trust violates their constitutional right to practice their religion.

A hearing is set for 2 p.m. Friday in U.S. District Court.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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