Controversial compound in Custer County set for February sheriff’s sale

KOTA TV ABC News, South Dakota/January 27, 2021

A controversial polygamist compound near Pringle is set to be sold at a sheriff’s auction on February 25th. That’s after a writ of execution was signed by Seventh Circuit Judge Matt Brown earlier this week.

This latest legal battle started with a federal default judgment in 2018 against the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and others for violating people’s Constitutional rights of religious freedom. With interest, that judgment has now grown to nearly $1.7 million. The plaintiffs in that case sued in South Dakota, trying to collect that judgment and Judge Brown ruled that the church fraudulently transferred the 140 acres of land in Custer County out of the church’s name to make it judgment-proof. When the church failed to show for a hearing on January 14th, Judge Brown entered the default judgment in the case. Custer County Sheriff Marty Mechaley said he believes there are about 20 people still at the compound. He also says he does not anticipate any problems when the compound is sold next month and the group is potentially forced to leave.

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