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Yazzie v. Morton

Citation: 3 ELR 20305
No. No. 71-601-PHX-WCF, 59 F.R.D. 377/(D. Ariz., 01/15/1973)

Five tribal members seek to cancel portions of a lease of tribal lands for operation of the Four Corners Power Plant because the portions do not adequately protect the tribe from the plant's air pollution. The court dismisses the suit, however, since the Navajo Tribe is an indispensable party which, as a sovereign immune from suit, cannot be joined. The lease gives no rights to the plaintiffs apart from their membership in the tribe.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Richard B. Collins
Navajo Legal Services
Box 306
Window Rock, Arizona 86515

Reid Chambers
Native American Rights Fund
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90024

Counsel for Defendants
William Cohen
David W. Miller
Room 2136
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530