Dallas lawyer Laura Shockley told a Utah newspaper she is considering filing a civil rights lawsuit against the state of Texas stemming from the April 3 raid of the polygamist compound in Eldorado. A spokesman for the polygamist group, Salt Lake City attorney Rod Parker, also said he is considering a similar lawsuit. "There is a desire and a need for compensation, so I think you will see something come," Parker told the Deseret Morning News.
In the meantime, Texas authorities are considering pursuing criminal charges against the sect’s leader, felon Warren Jeffs, and other males who may have participated in underage marriages. Last week, the polygamist sect said they would no longer conduct underage marriages. But it may be too late to prevent Jeffs and others from getting in further trouble with the law. The new policy has been in place for 18 months, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday, and it was adopted after Jeffs’ arrest in August 2006. According to the story, the sect did not practice underage marriages until Jeffs came in to power after the death of his father. --Jesse Hyde