The spiritual leader of the FLDS church is considered a prophet of God. He is the only person able to perform marriage and can punish followers by "reassigning" their wives and children to other men.
They believe in practicing polygamy.
Critics of the FLDS maintain that underage females are often forced into marriages with older men.
Eleven of 12 suspects from the 2008 raid on the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch have been tried and convicted on charges of child sexual assault, bigamy, or performing an unlawful marriage. Lloyd H. Barlow, the doctor indicted on three charges of failure to report child abuse, has not been prosecuted.
1890 - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church, suspends the practice of polygamy in order to gain statehood for Utah. Members who continue to practice polygamy are excommunicated.
1930s - Fundamentalists who practiced polygamy are excommunicated by the Mormon church and settle in Arizona.
July 26, 1953 - Thirty-six men, 86 women, and 263 children are either arrested or taken into custody during a pre-dawn raid in Arizona.
- The men are placed on probation after promising to discontinue practicing polygamy.
- Most of the women and children return to the ranch after two years of being wards of the state of Arizona.
November 1986 - FLDS prophet and leader LeRoy Johnson dies at age 98, after leading the FLDS since 1954.
1986 - 2002 - Rulon T. Jeffs rules as prophet of FLDS until his death at age 92.
September 8, 2002 - Rulon T. Jeffs' son, Warren Jeffs, becomes prophet.
May 2005 - A Utah court freezes the assets of the United Effort Plan trust, which encompasses all of the FLDS sect's land, houses and other assets. The trust, established in the 1940s, is worth more than $100 million. While the trust was established for the benefit of all FLDS members, critics charge that Warren Jeffs has used it to punish dissenters by kicking them out of their homes.
June 9-10, 2005 - Jeffs is indicted in Mohave County, Arizona, on felony charges of arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a 28-year-old man, who was already married. A state warrant is issued for Jeffs' arrest, although he hasn't been seen in public for months.
2006 - In the ongoing dispute over the United Effort Plan trust, a judge strips the trust of its religious tenets and allows former church members to join as beneficiaries.
April 6, 2006 - Jeffs is charged in Utah as an accomplice to rape for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and an adult man.
May 6, 2006 - The FBI places Warren Jeffs on its top 10 most-wanted list of fugitives.
August 28, 2006 - Jeffs is arrested after being pulled over for a routine traffic stop near Las Vegas.
January 28, 2007 - Attempts to hang himself in his cell while awaiting trial.
September 25, 2007 - Jeffs is found guilty of two counts of rape by accomplice in Utah. He is sentenced to ten years to life in prison.
April 4-7, 2008 - In response to phone calls to a family violence hotline alleging abuse and rape, police raid the FLDS Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.
- 416 children are initially removed from the YFZ Ranch (The number of children removed rises to 468 after some of the mothers are determined to be younger than 18). About 130 women voluntarily leave the compound.
May 22, 2008 - The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin rules that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) illegally removed the children from their families.
May 29, 2008 - The Texas Supreme Court upholds the appellate court's ruling, 6-3.
July 22, 2008 - A Texas grand jury indicts Warren Jeffs and other FLDS members, on bigamy and sexual assault charges.
June 9, 2010 - An Arizona judge dismisses the four charges of being an accomplice to sexual conduct with a minor against Warren Jeffs due to his more serious pending charges in Texas.
July 27, 2010 - The Utah Supreme Court overturns Jeffs' two 2007 convictions by reason of erroneous jury instructions and orders a new trial.
November 30, 2010 - Jeffs is extradited from Utah to Texas to stand trial on two charges of sexual assault of a child and bigamy.
December 29, 2010 - Pleas of not guilty are entered on Jeffs' behalf. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of up to 99 years in prison.
July 25, 2011 - Trial begins in Texas on charges of sexual assault of a child. Jeffs is granted the request to represent himself.
August 4, 2011 - Jeffs is convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child under age 14 and sexual assault of a child under age 17.
August 9, 2011 - Jeffs is sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault of a child under age 14 and 20 years for sexual assault of a child under age 17.
January 2012 - Texas prison officials find Jeffs guilty of "a major disciplinary infraction" for violating policy by making conference calls to preach to his congregation.
October 9, 2012 - The bigamy charges against already-imprisoned Jeffs and three other sect members are dismissed. The motion states "in the interest of judicial economy, the State moves to dismiss the indictment".
November 28, 2012 - The Texas Attorney General's Office announces it has started legal proceedings to seize the 1,600-acre Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch near Eldorado, Texas.