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The Polygamy Blog
Nate Carlisle
Reporter Nate Carlisle and photographer Trent Nelson cover polygamy for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow the Polygamy Blog on Twitter at @tribunepolygamy. Follow Nate Carlisle on Twitter at @natecarlisle. Follow Trent Nelson on Twitter at @trenthead.

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(D.J. Bolerjack | KUTV) Tents sit outside a home on Homestead Street in Hildale on Aug. 1, 2014. People in the tents appear to be residents recently served eviction notices for failure to pay taxes and a $100 a month occupancy fee to the United Effort Plan.
Here’s the gist of the letters from people facing eviction in Short Creek

The people facing eviction in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., having been writing letters asking to remain in their homes, and they have received replies.

First, let’s discuss the reply. Attorneys for the United Effort Plan have been sending a boilerplate letter explaining the minimum requirements of staying in a trust home in two towns, collectively known as Short Creek — $100 a month plus pay the property taxes. The letter also reminds people they have had plenty of notice over the years that these payments were required and that exceptions might be able to be made for anyone who applies as a "hardship" case.

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A copy of the standard response is embedded. If you’re reading this on a mobile device, you can click here.

As for the letters that spurred the replies, UEP employee Isaac Wyler said he has read them all. He declined to share them with me, but said those letters, too, seem somewhat standard. Wyler assumes members of the United Order, the subset of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that still follow Warren Jeffs, were ordered to write letters emphasizing certain points.

According to an email summary Wyler sent me, the typical letter reads like this:

• 1. Our house was posted with a three-day notice to vacate, and we have nowhere else to go.

• 2. How can this happen in the United States of America? A country that guarantees freedom of religion.

• 3. We want to remain in this home, will you help us?

• 4. How can assets of our church be taken over by the state?

• 5. We have paid our taxes and will continue to do so if we are allowed to continue living here.

Wyler notes the letters omit whether any of the writers intend to pay.

We’ll probably hear more about evictions at Saturday’s community meetings.


Twitter: @tribunepolygamy

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