FLDS leaders toss lawyers, won’t hand over scriptures to federal court yet

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Lyle Jeffs (left) enters the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City last year. (FOX 13 file photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — Two top officials in the Fundamentalist LDS Church have fired their lawyers, and apparently will not be handing over documents and scripture to a federal judge.

In a motion filed late Wednesday and obtained by FOX 13, the lawyer for FLDS bishop Lyle Jeffs and his brother, Nephi, said his services had been terminated.

“The Jeffs have concluded that a change in counsel is necessary to insure the full protection of their interests relative to the important and crucial matters of constitutional magnitude that have been raised before this Court,” attorney Jim Bradshaw wrote.

Bradshaw noted that the judge had set a deadline to have the Jeffs brothers hand over scripture detailing FLDS beliefs, to justify not being able to answer questions about alleged child labor law violations because of deeply held religious beliefs.

“Withdrawal is not meant to unduly prejudice any other party or improperly delay the litigation; withdrawal is only meant to insure that the Jeffs are afforded the full protection of their interests,” Bradshaw wrote.

Read the court filing here:

The Jeffs brothers claim they should not have to answer questions about a 2011 incident involving hundreds of FLDS children who were put to work on a Hurricane farm. The U.S. Department of Labor claims the children were pulled from school, a violation of child labor laws.

A federal judge has ruled that FLDS members in the case should not have to answer certain questions because of “deeply held religious beliefs,” citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the “Hobby Lobby” case.

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