The United Effort Plan (UEP) property trust was created by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1942 on the concept of a “united order,” allowing followers to share in its assets.
FLDS members consider communal living — a principle known as the Law of Consecration and the United Order — an integral part of their religion.
Valued at more than $114 million, the trust holds most of the property and homes in the twin FLDS communities located in the border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
Utah courts seized control of the trust in 2005 amid allegations by state attorneys that Jeffs and other faith leaders had mismanaged its assets.
In addition the state feared the property trust was put at risk when FLDS leader Warren Jeffs failed to respond to a lawsuit filed in 2004 by six boys who had been kicked out of the cult.
Ever since it was seized the UEP has remained the subject of ongoing legal battles.
FLDS followers maintain the court-ordered reorganization of their property trust violated their constitutional rights to religious freedom, and they have sued to reverse the changes or regain control of the trust.
In August, 2010 the Utah Supreme Court on Friday said a polygamous sect waited too long to object to a state takeover of its historic property trust, rejecting its bid to undo changes made to the United Effort Plan Trust.
There is, however, a battle for control of the FLDS.