A 5th District judge has ruled in favor of the United Effort Plan in a property dispute with a Hildale resident who said the religious trust wrongly obtained the land.
The property previously was owned by Rodney Beagley's parents but reverted to the trust after their deaths, according to a UEP attorney.Judge J. Phillip Eves ruled Feb. 27 that the younger Beagleys would have to leave their home in this southern Utah polygamist community because they failed to prove they were the rightful owners.
A group of dissidents, including the late Jess Beagley, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the UEP plan on several issues, including the property reversion.
Beagley said the property was his birthright. His father died in 1990 and his mother a year later, and he said his mother verbally deeded him the house and property in the presence of four other family members when he was 16.
"I've always known that someday I would inherit the home," he said. However, a month after his mother's death he received a court order to leave the home.
"I feel like America stops at the city borders," Beagley said. "It's more like communism than democracy out here. The UEP will continue to steal away people's property until they have removed everyone who disagrees with them."
Beagley said he has no money, nowhere else to go and a sick 5-month-old daughter.
The UEP is a Utah religious and charitable trust created in 1942 to advance the religious principles of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, court documents state.