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Albuquerque, NM 87120 (505) 839-9549 (Tel) (505) 352-7352 (Fax) IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE NAVAJO NATION JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF WINDOW ROCK, NAVAJO NATION (ARIZONA) THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE, DON YELLOWMAN, JOEKLAIN, JOHN BENALL Y, RENA BABBITT LANE, GEORGEKEE, NORRIS NEZ, ROBERT BEGAY, SR., LENA NEZ, JOHN KNIGHT, AUGUSTA GILLWOOD, GLENNA BEGA Y, and BETTY SCOTT, Plaintiffs, v. THE NAVAJO-HOPI LAND COMMISSION, THE NA VAJO-HOPI LAND COMMISSION OFFICE, ROMAN BITSUIE, DIRECTOR OF THE NAVAJO-HOPI LAND COMMISSION OFFICE, THE NAVAJO NATION, and JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, unknown and unnamed individuals with duties and responsibilities under expressly applicable laws. CIVIL COMPLAINT FOR AN ACCOUNTING AND OTHER RELIEF COME NOW the Forgotten People, Don Yellowman, Joe Klain, John Benally, Rena Babbitt Lane, No. _
George Kee, Norris Nez, Robert Begay, Sr., Lena Nez, John Knight, August Gillwood, Glenna Begay, and Betty Scott, plaintiffs, in a civil action for an accounting and other relief against the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission, the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office, Roman Bitsuie as Director of the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office, the Navajo Nation, and John Doe and Jane Doe, defendants, wherein the plaintiffs complain and say: 1. CLAIM, PARTIES AND mRISDICTION 1. This is an action on account, or an accounting suit, to compel the defendants to give an accounting of all income, expenses, profits, losses, assets, and other financial matters for which they have a responsibility under statutes for the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund, 25 U.S.c. § 640d-30, Navajo Nation statutes pertaining to uses of monies in the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund given to the Navajo Tribe under 25 D.S.C. § 640d-30(d) and pursuant to any regulatory limitations on the use of such monies, statutes provided for the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission at 2 N.N.C. §§ 851 through 858 (2005), any other federal or Navajo Nation statute pertaining to such monies or monies for related purposes, and statutes and law pertaining to the fiduciary responsibilities of the defendants to the beneficiaries of the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund identified at 25 U.S.c. § 640d-30( d) and to the Navajo People, and the duties and responsibilities of the defendants as trustees ofthe Navajo People and managers of the treasury of the Navajo People. 2. The Forgotten People is an unincorporated association of Navajos who are residents of former lands within the Hopi Reservation, refugees of resettlement from such lands, residents of the "Bennett Freeze" area of the Western Agency of the Navajo Nation, and relocatees and refugees residing wherever they have been driven, and the unincorporated association represents the interests
of such individuals as an advocate on their behalf. 3. Don Yellowman, Joe Klain, John Benally, Rena Babbitt Lane, George Kee, Norris Nez, Robert Begay, Sr., Lena Nez, John Knight, Augusta Gillwood, Glenna Begay, and Betty Scott are enrolled members of the Navajo Nation and members of families and Navajo communities affected by the decision in the Healing case, provisions of Subchapter XXII of Title 25 of the United States Code, or residents or former residents of grazing district number 6 established by the Secretary of the Interior, beneficiaries ofthe Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund and other like monies set aside for their benefit, and individuals whose lives have been, are, and will be impacted by uses or misuses of the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund as the monies of such fund have been, are, or will be available to the Navajo Tribe under 25 U.S.C. § 640d-30(d). 4. The Navajo-Hopi Land Commission is a statutory body of the Navajo Nation established within the Legislative Branch ofthe Navajo Nation pursuant to 2 N.N.C. § 851 (2005) to carry out the purposes, express or implied, of the Commission pursuant to 2 N.N.C. § 853 (2005) and, by information and belief, the Navajo Nation entity that receives and manages monies of the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund. 5. The Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office is a statutory body organized pursuant to 2 N.N.C. § 856 (2005) under the direction of the President of the Navajo Nation and, on information and belief, it receives and manages monies ofthe Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund under its statutory and regulatory provisions. 6. Roman Bitsuie, the Director of the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office, is a statutory official who serves under the direction of the President of the Navajo Nation and who performs statutory functions of the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office and the Navajo-Hopi Land
Commission pursuant to 2 N.N.C. § 856 (2005). 7. The N avaj 0 Nation is a self-governing Indian nation recognized by treaties with the United States of America and it is the recipient of funds in the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 640d-30(d) for the rehabilitation and improvement of the economic, educational, and social condition of families and Navajo communities affected by the Healing case, subchapter XXII of Title 25 of the United States Code, and the establishment of grazing district number 6 as land for the exclusive use of the Hopi Tribe. 8. This is an action against individual defendants as officers, employees or agents of the Navajo Nation, and of the stated entity defendants, to compel them to perform their duties and responsibilities under expressly applicable laws of the United States and of the Navajo Nation, including obligations to properly manage the monies of the Navajo People and give the named plaintiffs due process of law under the Navajo Nation Bill of Rights, and other rights with accompanying remedies, and pursuant to their trust and fiduciary responsibilities under N avaj 0 Nation law, and this honorable court has personal and subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 2 N.N.C. § 554(G) (2005). 9. The plaintiffs provided the notice required by2 N.N.C. § 555(A) (2005) on June 28, 2010, and the same was received by the President and the Attorney General ofthe Navajo Nation thirty (30) days or more prior to the initiation of this action by the filing of this complaint. 10. This court has full original personal and subject matter jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter of this action. II. DEFENDANT DUTIES
11. The Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund was originally established pursuant to Section 32 of Public Law No. 93-531 (1974), and the same is codified in Chapter XXII of Title 25 of the United States Code at 25 U.S.C. § 640d-30. 12. The Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund is a trust fund established in the Treasury of the United States and it consists of funds transferred under the statue and any interest or investment income accrued under such funds, pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 640d-30(a). 13. Funds of the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund, including accrued interest or investment income, are made available to the Navajo Tribe "solely for purposes which will contribute to the continuing rehabilitation and improvemeJt of the economic, educational, and social condition of families and Navajo communities" that hive been affected by the Healing case' the provisions of Subchapter XXII of Title 25 of the United tates Code, or the establishment of grazing district No. 25 U.S.C.
6 as land for the exclusive use ofthe Hopi T libe by the Secretaryofthe Interior,pursuantto § 640d-30(d). 14.
Such funds are to be expended pursuant to a "conceptual framework" for their pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 640d-30(e), and any such
expenditure that is submitted to Congres
conceptual framework constitutes standards for the expenditure of such funds by the defendants. 15. On information and belief, the ~ds include monies set aside by a compact executed by
the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe and the S9cretary of the Interior on November 3,2006, see Bennett
No. SC-CV -21-07 (Nav. Sup. Ct. November 29, r07),2 that are, should be, or will be, part
Jones v. Healing, 373 U.S. 758 (1963) (affirming trial court decision), and associated
2 This was an appeal of the dismissal of an action by The Forgotten People and others challenging the validity of the Compact, arld it gives grea er information on the Compact.
of the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund, and in any event, such funds are also included in the scope of this action whether or not they are part of such fund. 16. On information and belief, the Navajo Rehabilitation Trust Fund also consists of assets, income and monies from the "Paragon Ranch" of northwest New Mexico, and such funds are also included in the scope of this action whether or not they are part of the fund. 17. The defendants, as agents of the Navajo Tribe under the referenced statute and under the terms of the Navajo-Hopi Compact and documents pertaining to Paragon Ranch, owe trust and fiduciary obligations to the plaintiffs, the named statutory beneficiary class and the Navajo People, for the management of such funds and monies and the are liable to account for their stewardship of such funds. 18. The plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law for the facts and matters related in this complaint, and such is particularly so because ofthe sovereign immunity of the Navajo Nation by statute or otherwise. WHEREFORE the plaintiffs claim declaratory or prospective mandamus or injunctive relief, whether such is preliminary or permanent, to require the named defendants, or their agents, to provide the plaintiffs with a full and complete accounting of the management and stewardship of the funds recited in this complaint to the plaintiffs, including but not limited to income and expenses, profits and losses, commissions, accounts receivable, efforts being made to collect any accounts receivable; their attorney fees and costs; and any other and further relief as may be provided in law, equity or nalyeeh. The plaintiffs pray and claim all remedies that may be available to assure that there is a full accounting of all funds and monies set aside for the benefit of the plaintiffs and their class as
survivors of the so-called "Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute." Dated this
day of August, 2010
PLAINTIFFS, THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE, and others,
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