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May 28th, 2008
12:00 PM ET

Texas warns families in polygamy case could flee

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/CRIME/05/28/polygamist.exodus/art.flds.reunion.woai.jpg caption="A family waits at a San Antonio, Texas, courthouse last week for a reunion with a seized child"]

Members of a polygamist sect whose children were removed by Texas authorities could flee the state if a lower court ruling stands, according to lawyers for the state.

If sect members were to flee, they also would leave the courts' jurisdiction, attorneys for the state Child Protection Services said in court filings Tuesday to the Texas Supreme Court.

The case involves 38 mothers from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon offshoot that practices polygamy, and their 124 children.

In a ruling last week, the Texas 3rd District Court of Appeals said the state had no right to remove those children in April from the Yearning For Zion ranch near Eldorado, Texas. Although that ruling applied only to those 124 children, attorneys said the reasoning could apply to all the youths removed during the raid - about 460. (Up to 20 of those later were found in court to be adults.)

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Filed under: FLDS court hearing • FLDS update • Polygamy
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Jean M.

    I personally think that the authorities went on the raid at the FLDS ranch hoping for another Branch Davidian shoot out. (I refer to all of the armored personnel carriers, helicopters, SWAT teams, etc. that were brought in initially for the initial raid at FLDS ranch) When there was no forceful attempt by the sect adults to prevent the authorities from raiding the ranch, CPS found themselves suddenly with a huge legal mess, way more than they were prepared for.
    Although I don't condone child abuse by any standard, I don't understand why they had to take **ALL** the children. The babies, toddlers, and younger children were not at risk Those children are the most traumatized by this fiasco. I bet those jack-booted thugs working for the state were disappointed that there was no attempt at self defense by the sect adults when they kicked the doors down and yanked everyone outside.

    May 29, 2008 at 12:46 am |
  2. Annie Kate

    I hope the Texas supreme court voids the ruling of the appeals court These children need to be protected from the life style practiced by the FLDS and given a better environment to grow up in – one in which they are not in danger of being married off to an old man to just pump out babies. I would want more options than that for my children; I'd like to see these children have more options also.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    May 28, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  3. KarenD

    "God and nature makes male and female human babies 50-50. "

    In the case of humans, I think it is actually 48-52.

    May 28, 2008 at 7:20 pm |
  4. cristy

    Yes, I can imagine why they would want to leave to avoid following the law. By the way, they are already costing us millions by receiving welfare or bleeding the beast as they call it. If there is a child anywhere being abused they should go in and take anyone they need to. At least investigate the allegations.

    May 28, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  5. KarenD

    "And for those of you who are math-impaired: how old WAS a girl “married off” by her parents when she’s now 18 and has a four-year-old, "

    If I remember correctly, until 3 years ago, 14 was the minimum age in Texas. So 4 years ago when she was 14, it would have been legal.

    May 28, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  6. Jean V

    God Bless the children's protective services of the great state of Texas. They are doing the thankless but vital job that Utah, Colorado, Mexico and Canada need to do, too: shut down the pedophile-enabling child-abuse operation called the FLDS once and for all.

    Hiding behind "God's robe" shouldn't protect perverts and child abusers, from any denomination, any where on Earth, and certainly not in the U.S.A. Children have an inherent right to be protected from perverts and sexual exploitation.

    Go Texas! Shut 'em down by any means necessary!

    And for those of you who are math-impaired: how old WAS a girl "married off" by her parents when she's now 18 and has a four-year-old, a two-year-old AND a bun in the oven by her 45-year-old "husband". Do the freaking math. No wonder these folks don't have normal birth certificates (most of them) and only go to "FLDS-friendly" doctors. They are actively hiding the truth: child abus is NORMAL to them. They see NOTHING wrong with marrying off girls of 12, 13 or 14 to an older family member (even a first cousin!)

    And while you have your calculators out, how many minor boys were summarily banished in order to provide Jeffs and his inner circle with 35 to 70 "wives"?!? God and nature makes male and female human babies 50-50. Only selfish, nasty-minded perverts try to re-calculate the natural order of things by "marrying" dozens of young girls and banishing hundreds of innocent boys from their homes and families.

    May 28, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  7. Kim in NY

    I would leave, too. After someone "kidnaps" children (and some adults thought to be children) at gunpoint, I would have had my fill. Let's face it, they don't have much to pack. Those who decide to leave will be gone by sundown.

    May 28, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  8. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Typical government in Texas.
    Let 400 children get abused.
    Open and express lane for the death penalty.
    But don't get caught with an open container because you might go to the pen~which is a BIG business~
    CROOKS!

    May 28, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
  9. Cindy

    Well if the Texas Supreme court rules in the FLDS's favor and they get their kids back it is their prerogative where they go and want to live. The state has nothing to hold them there with. So why are they whining? They blew this case by going in too soon with not enough evidence.

    May 28, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  10. Carol

    Gosh, after the State went in with armoured vehicles and guns – took all of the kids away for no reason, treated the people like terrorists, and cost the taxpayers millions. ....................... I can't imagine why they would want to leave, can you?

    May 28, 2008 at 12:09 pm |