Nov 5 (Reuters) - A communal land trust once run by jailed U.S. polygamist leader Warren Jeffs should not be turned back to leaders of his breakaway Mormon sect because they were too late filing a legal challenge against Utah's takeover of the assets, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday.

The decision by a three-judge panel on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver could help bring an end to a years-long battle for control of the land and homes of Jeffs followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.