Polygamous sect challenges seizure of land trust

Polygamous sect challenges seizure of land trust

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A polygamous sect is asking the Utah Supreme Court to overturn a court decision that allowed the state to strip the religious purposes from its communal land trust.

In a court filing Tuesday, attorneys for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints say making the United Effort Plan Trust secular was a violation of the faith's religious rights.

The trust holds most of the property in Hildale, Utah; Colorado City, Ariz.; and Bountiful, British Columbia -- communities home to FLDS members.

The trust was formed on religious principles in 1942 so that all who keep church tenets could share its assets.

The Utah courts seized the trust after allegations of mismanagement by church leader Warren Jeffs in 2005. A judge later approved a reworked version of the trust with secular goals.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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