Texas wins judgment to seize FLDS ranch

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The FLDS Church's temple at the Yearning for Zion ranch. (FOX 13 file image)

ELDORADO, Texas — A judge has cleared the way for the state of Texas to seize the Fundamentalist LDS Church’s sprawling ranch.

In an order signed Monday, 51st Judicial District Judge Barbara Walther entered a default judgment in favor of the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

The court papers, obtained by FOX 13, reveal that no one responded from the FLDS Church — including imprisoned polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.

“Therefore, there being no remaining issues or parties in this case, the Court hereby renders Final Judgment of Forfeiture and the terms of the default judgement and judgment concerning ad valorem taxes are merged into this final judgment,” Walther wrote.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office did not return FOX 13’s request for comment.

Texas filed to seize the ranch, claiming it was used to commit crimes. Jeffs and 11 other FLDS men were convicted in the aftermath of a 2008 raid on the Yearning For Zion Ranch of charges related to underage marriages. Jeffs is serving a life, plus 20-year sentence for child sex assault.

Judge Walther’s order leaves open room for an appeal from the FLDS Church and the ranch’s owner, the United Order of Texas Trust. The Eldorado Success, which first reported the default judgment, said they have 30 days to file an appeal before the judgment is final.


  • RickK

    This is not good. While it is right that the cult be broken, the YFZ compound is a fortress, and these people are every bit as crazy as the People’s Temple. What’s more, the children of the FLDS are completely unprepared for the real world. They have almost no education, and they’re taught to hate and fear everyone outside the FLDS. This will not be easy.

    This would be a good project for America’s other major faiths, to provide money and assistance for the poor, culturally handicapped refugees of the FLDS.

  • Dennis

    You people should be scared, This ruling means that the police can now seize any property where a crime was committed.

  • brian

    Good the state of texas is standing up against these egotistical , self empowering,mental abusive,child abusing, brainwashing idiots ,cowards ,lowlifes ,cult leading fruit cakes ,WHO call themselves men ….I hope the state of texas also Knocks down the compound and builds housing for women and children WHO need or want help ,allowing teens to help rebuild and so those teens learn a trade under the supervisión.of a contractor.hopefully using Funds that were ued to fundd the compound that were siezed I.e just a suggestion ….w hen those L ow life cult t leaders get all detained eventually they should be orderd in dealing with women correctional facility officers meaning having to listen to what they have to do while detained and seeing. Women phsycologists that will clip their wings .again just a suggestion

  • James

    It’s good that Mainstream TV is finally showing the true colors of the FLDS in the Breaking the Prophet and Breaking the Faith reality TV shows. Before watching these shows, I thought that FLDS was just another weird religion like the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses. FLDS makes the JW and LDS churches appear normal.

    I personally distrust all organized religion, but the FLDS takes brainwashing, propaganda, and misogyny to a new level. Plus, the prarie dresses worn by women are even worse than the veil/headscarf that covers Muslim women’s faces-perhaps prophet Warren had a fetish for the Women on Little House on the Prarire :).

  • Jennifer Stucki

    If these people want to keep their land they just need to hire a good lawyer and prove that the marriages should be legal because “they can prove they are in love and their marriages aren’t hurting anyone else’s marriage,” take it to some random judge who agrees and then they can have whatever the state and it’s people wants overturned…that is how it works right? And as I have seen, to disagree would make you a prejudiced, close minded bad-person, regardless of your personal beliefs.

  • Jay Beswick

    A theme park like Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm. Using its rural setting, it could be good for the Eldorado economy and its a place that needs to be remembered. You could see a bridge between locals and apostates that could operate a Bed & Breakfast type business. Tour guides? Look at Quartzite AZ or Black Hills, SD both rural economies. What member of the press, would turn down a chance to stay on the YFZ complex? American Jews have established museums and monuments to remember a past, in order to not repeat it. Rather than removing it, keep it in the memory of the American Public. The HBO series BIG LOVE did not hurt the cause, it spotlighted the practice. A theme park would do the same!

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