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Terry Goddard Praises Decision Upholding Changes to UEP Trust

(Phoenix, Ariz. -- Aug. 27, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard expressed appreciation for a Utah Supreme Court ruling today that rejected efforts made by a polygamous sect to challenge changes made to the United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust. The trust owns a substantial amount of the properties in the adjacent towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah.

The court held that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) waited too long to appeal rulings concerning the administration and reform of the trust.  The court administration of the trust was begun five years ago by the Utah and Arizona Attorney Generals' Offices. The states intervened when the former trustees abandoned the trust in the face of lawsuits that threatened its assets.  

"I am pleased by the Utah Supreme Court's decision today preserving the trial court's rulings," Goddard said. "I will continue to fight aggressively for the rule of law throughout Arizona." 

The court ruled today that FLDS members had many opportunities to participate in the trial court proceedings and to contest changes made in the trust and its management. The sect's silence for several years "gave the district court every reason to believe that the reformation had occurred without opposition," the court's opinion stated. 

Assistant Attorney General Bill Richards represented Arizona and argued the case before the Utah Supreme Court. 

A copy of the court's ruling is attached. For more information, contact Press Secretary Molly Edwards at (602) 542-8019.

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