Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) David Wolfe, Utah Attoney General's Office, left and Richard Davis attorney with the United Effort Plan speak to auctioned land parcels in Judge Denise Lindberg's courtroom Friday July 18 in Salt Lake City. Wisan plans to begin serving eviction notices on people in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., who have not paid their housing fees.
Polygamous trust prepares for evictions in Hildale, Colorado City
Polygamy » Since the state took over the United Effort Plan that owns land on the Utah-Arizona line, it has received no payments from most residents.
First Published Jul 18 2014 11:58 am • Last Updated Jul 20 2014 10:54 am

Within the next few weeks, eviction notices could be fastened to doors in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

Third District Judge Denise Lindberg gave verbal approval Friday to a plan to evict residents of the two towns who have not paid a housing fee to a polygamous trust.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"If people step up and start meeting their obligations, we work with them," Lindberg said during a hearing Friday in Salt Lake City. "If not, then we proceed. We proceed with the evictions."

The trust, called the United Effort Plan, owns most of the property in Hildale and Colorado City. The state took over the trust in 2005, concerned it was being mismanaged by leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and required residents living in its 750 homes to pay $100 a month plus the annual property taxes.

But as many as 80 percent of the residents have refused, leaving the trust without a steady source of income and contributing to about $6 million in debts it has incurred.

The United Effort Plan’s court-appointed fiduciary, Bruce Wisan, plans to begin eviction proceedings on delinquent debtors. According to a plan Wisan submitted to Lindberg, the evictions will be filed in waves in Washington County, Utah, and Mohave County, Ariz.

The proceedings would halt for anyone who pays his or her balance.

"I hope to shortly get some results," Wisan told Lindberg at Friday’s hearing.

Wisan has said Hildale and Colorado City residents have refused to pay through the years because they do not recognize his authority or FLDS leaders have told them not to pay. At times, FLDS leaders have collected the fees and then not forwarded them to Wisan.

Guy Timpson, a Hildale resident who says he owes $3,000, said he doesn’t like the fee because it wasn’t required until the state took control — homes previously were provided with FLDS membership — and it’s unclear to him how the $100 a month is being used to manage the trust.

story continues below
story continues below

"We want to be a part of our decision making," Timpson said. "It’s a taxation without representation."

Lindberg is considering appointing a board to assume the management of the United Effort Plan. But she expressed concern Friday that some of the people she’s considering appointing — mostly former followers of FLDS President Warren Jeffs — are among those who owe housing fees to the trust.

Wisan and Lindberg agreed Friday to allow potential board members to make extra payments to reduce and eliminate their debts. Wisan also has been trying to obtain liability insurance for United Effort Plan board members. Otherwise, any members who are sued for actions by the trust could have their assets put at risk.

But Wisan told the judge he has been unable to find liability insurance. Two brokers he contacted could not find a willing insurer. A third broker is still looking, but Wisan said that broker warned him premiums could be "$100,000-plus."


Twitter: @natecarlisle

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.