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News & Announcements

Supreme Court Opinions

This page was last updated on 05/31/2020
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Announcements

March 25, 2020: Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation JoAnn B. Jayne issued an administrative order effective March 25, 2020 at 8 a.m. to provide guidance to the courts of the Navajo Nation and the public during the public health emergency due to the coronavirus. The admininstrative order:

  • encourages courts to continue proceedings and when not possible, hold teleconference or videoconference proceedings.
  • postpones criminal jury trials. Those currently scheduled may proceed at the discretion of the presiding judge.
  • lists cases that will be prioritized and heard.
  • temporarily suspends some court rules which may allow for filing by mail, fax or email.
  • Read press release and administrative order.

May 29, 2020: Public service announcement from Kayenta Judicial Districts on services and contact information during the public health emergency.

May 26, 2020: Dilkon District Court is resuming essential services effective immediately.See press release (updated May 29, 2020) and May 20, 2020 Memorandum updating on Dilkon District Court limited services.

May 19, 2020: The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation, recognizing the ongoing threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue to provide essential services to the public through telecommunication to July 31, 2020. Doors to the public will not be open, but essential services will be provided through electronic and teleconference means out of concern for the safety of the public and our staff. Read press release and administrative order.

May 13, 2020: Crownpoint Judicial District will continue operations on May 12, 2020, under the Judicial Branch Continuity of Operation Plan (COOP) and applicable Administrative Orders. The Crownpoint District Court will be hearing all Priority 1 cases. Read announcement.

May 7, 2020: Information on Applications for Protection Orders is available here. Updated May 18, 2020.

April 20, 2020: Probation and Parole Services offices at Chinle, Dzil Yijiin, Kayenta and Tuba City may be reached at (928) 421-3475 until further notice. Messages for the probation offices may be left with this number.

April 9, 2020: Due to the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) public health emergency, the Shiprock District Court building is temporarily closed to the public, however the Shiprock District and Family Courts continue to operate on a limited basis. The Shiprock Courts shall remain accessible to the public by telephone, e-mail, postal mail, and fax to the Aneth District Court on a temporary basis. Read memorandum.

April 3, 2020: Pueblo Pintado Circuit Court is closed until further notice. Essential services for Pueblo Pintado Circuit Court will be available at Crownpoint District Court. Please call (505) 786-2072 if you have any questions. Also as a reminder, the entrance doors at Crownpoint District Court are closed to the public but essential services are available. Please call the Crownpoint Court at (505) 786-2072 if you have any questions.

April 3, 2020: Window Rock Court is still hearing the following essential cases:

  • Children's cases: shelter care hearings, preliminary hearings, adjudicatory hearings, dispositional hearings, and review hearings (if they are within six months).
  • Criminal cases: bench warrant hearings, bail denial hearings, habeas corpus relief, motions for release, criminal trials, and sentencing hearings. Arraignments and pretrial conferences are continued until September 2020 or later.
  • Civil cases: Involuntary commitments; repossession hearings if statutory timelines demand it.
  • Domestic violence cases: Statutory timelines require the first hearing to be done within 15 days.

April 2, 2020: Most Navajo Nation District Courts are accepting credit card payments for civil traffic fines through telephone. These payments can also be made by money order and mailed to the District Court. Payments for other fines and fees must be made by money order and may be mailed to the respective court. Window Rock Court, Shiprock Court, To'hajiilee Court and Alamo are only accepting money orders at this time until further notice. If you have any questions, please call the court.

March 30, 2020: The Navajo Nation uses a sender verification system designed to eliminate spam, bulk and malicious emails. If you email the courts from a non-Navajo Nation email address, please make sure to verify your email address by following the instructions sent back to you by email. This will allow for your email to go through to the intended recipient. Also, if sending documents by fax or email, we encourage you to contact the court or program by telephone to ensure that your email or fax is received.

March 27, 2020: ANNOUNCEMENT FROM SHIPROCK DISTRICT COURT: Shiprock Judicial District Court is asking for people who need to use the court's services please call (505) 368-1278 for information. Only one court clerk is available at this time to assist so the court is asking for patience. The court clerk may have to take a phone message and return the call with further information. The court can also be emailed at nnsrcourt@navajo-nsn.gov. NOTE: Fax is currently not available for Shiprock Court until further notice.

March 25, 2020: Please visit the Supreme Court webpage for more information on filing with the Supreme Court from March 25 to May 1, 2020.

Important Links

NAVAJO NATION DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

Application for Protection Order

Application for Protection from Domestic Abuse and Service of Process

Closures and Relocations

Holiday Closure

The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation will be closed on Monday, May 25, 2020, in recognition of Memorial Day. Essential services will resume on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. The Judicial Branch will also be closed on Monday, June 1, 2020, in recognition of Navajo Nation Memorial Day. Essential services will resume Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Supreme Court no longer accepting passport applications

The Supreme Court is no longer accepting U.S. passport applications effective March 20, 2019. Thank you for your understanding.

Pro Se Classes and Resource Meetings

Pro Se Classes

None.

Resource Meetings

Ramah Judicial District Court Resource Meetings are on the following dates: June 25, 2020; September 24, 2020; and December 24, 2020. For more information, please call (505) 775-3218.

News and other announcements    

Peacemaking Program statement on Traditions of Healing

May 31, 2020: The Peacemaking Program has released a statement on "Traditions of Healing."

Peacemaking Program statement on Mother's Day

April 30, 2020: The Peacemaking Program has released this statement. in honor of Mother's Day.

Peacemaking Program statement on COVID-19

April 30, 2020: The Peacemaking Program has released this statement. on the COVID-19.

Judicial Branch statement on Sovereignty Day

April 27, 2020: The Judicial Branch is recognizing Navajo Nation Sovereignty Day, which commemorates the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kerr-McGee Corp. v. Navajo Tribe, which was decided April 16, 1985. In the Opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court explained that the "power to tax is an essential attribute of Indian sovereignty because it is a necessary instrument of self-government and territorial management," and found that the Navajo Nation had the ability to pass laws including those related to tax without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior. The Court went on to state that, "The Navajo Government has been called 'probably the most elaborate' among tribes The legitimacy of the Navajo Tribal Council, the freely elected governing body of the Navajos, is beyond question." Read more.

Judicial Branch FY20 2nd Quarterly Report released

April 20, 2020 - The Navajo Nation Judicial Branch Fiscal Year 2020 Second Quarterly Report has been released and is available on the Branch Reports page of this website.

Judicial Branch allowing certain employees to work from home or take administrative leave

March 17, 2020 - Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne issued an administrative order today allowing certain Judicial Branch employees to telecommute, or work from home, and for others to take administrative leave if they cannot work from home. The administrative order covers employees who have no childcare options in light of the closure of child care centers and schools on and near the Navajo Nation. It also covers employees who are 60 years and older and those who have compromised immune systems. Read press release.

Navajo Nation Judicial Branch to remain open

March 13, 2020 - The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation remains open during the national emergency over the covid-19 until further notice. A national state of emergency was declared today by President Donald Trump. A public health state of emergency was declared by the Navajo Nation on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. "The Navajo Nation Judicial Branch will strive to remain open, and to provide justice services and other mission critical functions," Chief Justice Jayne said. Read press release.

Click here for press release archive.

Supreme Court Opinions       

September 18, 2019  In the Matter of the Petiiton of Mary W. Shirley, No. SC-SP-01-19. Opinion.

November 4, 2019  In the Matter of Petition of Kimberly A. Dutcher, No. SC-SP-02-19. Opinion.

For all opinions (2013 - present) for which no motions are pending, click here.

The Navajo Reporter, Volumes 1-9 are available for purchase. Click here for more information.

Din Justice Newsletters

An archive of Judicial Branch newsletters may be found here.  

Hashkj Nahat' Bahane' - (February 2020).  In this issue: Associate Justice, Judges confirmed, Quarterly message and quarterly reports from FY 2020 1st Quarter.

Hashkj Nahat' Bahane' - (May 2019).  In this issue: Quarterly message and quarterly reports from FY 2019 2nd Quarter, Notable people

Hashkj Nahat' Bahane' - (February 2019).  In this issue: Quarterly message and quarterly reports from FY 2019 1st Quarter

Links

Pay online option for civil traffic fines.

NAVAJO NATION DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

Other Resources and Links

Journal & News Articles

Social Media




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