Judge Delays Children's Return to Polygamist Sect Parents

May 22, 2008 05:46 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Before signing an agreement to begin the process of returning the children, a Texas judge says she wants more monitors put in place.

30-Second Summary

MSNBC reports that Texas District Judge Barbara Walther wanted to add restrictions to the parents' movement and broaden the authority of Child Protective Services to monitor the more than 400 children who remain in foster care, before signing the agreement.

"There was an opportunity today for relief in this, and it was not granted," said Willie Jessop, an elder for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which runs the Yearning for Zion ranch.

Walther's decision was a "stunning development," accoding to the story, since the parents and CPS had previously reached an agreement that children would return to the ranch beginning Monday.

On May 22 The Texas Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the 463 children should not have been removed from the ranch in the first place, overturning the ruling by a district judge last month giving the state custody of the children.

The saga began when state officials raided the compound on April 4, after receiving a call from a 16-year-old girl claiming that her 50-year-old husband sexually abused her. Authorities bused hundreds of women and children out of the ranch and placed the children in foster care.

Since then, Texas authorities have said at least 41 of the childen had past injuries of unknown origin and 31 out of 53 of girls between 14 and 17 years old were mothers or were pregnant.

Headline Link: 'Deal To Return Sect Children to Parents Collapses'

Background: Court rejects state's argument for holding children

From the Raid To the Court Ruling

Opinion & Analysis: The state’s right to remove the children

Video: Life at the Eldorado ranch

Key Player: Warren Jeffs (1955–)

Historical Context: The 1953 raid in Short Creek, Ariz., and the 1993 siege in Waco, Texas

Reference: Court decision, Polygamous sects and how to help the women and children of YFZ


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