A Texas state court of appeals ruled Thursday afternoon that the state of Texas had no right to seize more than 400 children from a polygamist ranch in Eldorado, in the western part of the state.
The ruling asserted that the state’s child protection agency not only acted hastily in removing the children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch in April but also failed to show that they were in immediate danger. According to the court, the state did not establish proper grounds to remove the children from their families, who belong to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or F.L.D.S. The F.L.D.S. broke off from the mainstream Mormon church after it had disavowed polygamy in 1890.
At news conference in San Angelo, the closest city to Eldorado, a lawyer for the sect said it was unclear when the families would be reunited, and that the team was reviewing the next legal steps in the process.