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News & Announcements

Supreme Court Opinions

This page was last updated on 04/30/2021
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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.

July 23, 2020: On July 22, 2020, Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne issued an administrative order adopting a plan for the courts and programs of the Judicial Branch to gradually return to full capacity in phases. The courts and programs will be continuing to provide essential services through electronic and teleconference means for the time being. Read press release and administrative order.

Webpage with General Information on Protection Orders, How to Obtain an Application for Protection Order, and How to Submit
Application for Protection from Domestic Abuse and Service of Process

April 27, 2021: Aneth District Court has installed a brochure holder for "Applications for Domestic Abuse Protection Order and Motion for Temporary Protection Order" which is located outside the court next to the Aneth Court's Drop Box.

March 3, 2021: Peacemaking Program staff contact information is available on this sheet.

January 7, 2021: Effective January 7, 2021, the website address for the Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation is www.courts.navajo-nsn.gov. Please be aware there may be broken links as the website now has a different address. Broken links will be fixed as the Branch becomes aware of them. These links may be reported to karenfrancis@navajo-nsn.gov. The Judicial Branch thanks the public for their patience and understanding in this adjustment to a new web address. The Branch also thanks the Navajo Nation Department of Information Technology for their assistance.

November 16, 2020: The Courts and programs of the Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation continue to operate during the public health emergency. The Judicial Branch is aware that there is an executive order pertaining to closure of Navajo Nation government offices; however, the Courts must still provide services that are required by Navajo Nation law as the Courts are tasked with protecting the individual rights of each person as enumerated in the Navajo Bill of Rights and as recognized under Din Bi Beenahaz'anii. Read press release.

October 18, 2020: The Window Rock Judicial District operates and temporarily performs essential services from the former Supreme Court hearing room at the Butler building in Window Rock, Arizona. (located next to Navajo Nation Vital Records, Census office). The Window Rock Judicial District is providing no in-person services at this time. The preferred method of contact is to email the Window Rock Judicial District at nnwrcourt@navajo-nsn.gov. You may leave any telephone messages for the court at (928) 206-7469. See announcement dated October 19, 2020.

June 5, 2020: The primary contact number for Window Rock District Court will be (928) 206- 7469 and the secondary number will be (928) 871-6626 until further notice.

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

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 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 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.

Closures and Relocations

Judicial Branch closure

The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation will be closed Friday, May 14, 2021, in observance of Navajo Nation Police Officers Day.

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

Tuba City Judicial District is holding pro se classes on April 20, 2021 on family, dissolution of marriage, validation of traditional Navajo marriage, recognition of common law marriage, paternity, child support, custody and visitation; April 27, 2021 on probation; June 8, 2021 on guardianship of a minor; and June 22, 2021 on name change, corrections of record, declaration of name. Classes begin at 9 a.m. and registration is required. For more information, please see the flyer.

Resource Meetings

None.

News and other announcements    

Navajo Nation Council passes legislation to establish Judicial Branch fund

April 20, 2021: On the first day of its spring session, the Navajo Nation Council voted to pass legislation to establish the Hashkj Nahat' Beso B Hooghan with funds from the award received as a result of litigation initiated by the Judicial Branch in Navajo Nation v. Department of Interior. Read more.

FY21 2nd Quarterly Report released

April 17, 2021: The Judicial Branch released its Fiscal Year 2021 Second Quartelry Report. It is available on the Branch Reports page.

Chief Justice sends condolences to family and friends of late Nelson BeGaye

April 15, 2021: Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne issued the following statement on the passing of former Navajo Nation Council Delegate Nelson S. BeGaye. "The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation sends sincere condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and communities of former Navajo Nation Council Delegate Nelson S. BeGaye. Mr. BeGaye was a highly respected naat'anii with courageous vision who made a profound and long-lasting impact on our Navajo Nation. He was an honorable and humble gentleman with a strong spiritual conviction that was well known and acknowledged among our people. The love he had for his people was most evident in his beautiful words of prayer expressed with the utmost respect on the Council floor. We thank his loved ones for sharing his life, leadership and wisdom with the Navajo People."

Navajo Nation Courts celebrate anniversary

April 1, 2021: The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation celebrates on April 1, 2021, its 62nd anniversary as an independent judiciary. Read more.

Three branch chiefs hold initial discussion on the American Rescue Plan Act

March 29, 2021: On Monday, Speaker Seth Damon welcomed Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Navajo Nation Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne to a three-branch chiefs discussion with the Naabik'yti' Committee to discuss the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, during a virtual work session hosted by the 24th Navajo Nation Council.Read more.

Retired Navajo Nation Justice Lorene B. Ferguson passes

March 1, 2021: The Judicial Branch of the Navajo Nation sends condolences to the family and friends of retired Navajo Nation Supreme Court Associate Justice Lorene B. Ferguson. Justice Ferguson passed away peacefully on March 1, 2021, with her daughters at her bedside, from post Covid-19 complications. As the country celebrates March as National Women's History Month, the Judicial Branch acknowledges the trailblazing contributions of Justice Ferguson to the justice system of the Navajo Nation and to the education of numerous law students. Read more.

Peacemaking Program statement on COVID-19

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

Click here for press release archive.

Supreme Court Opinions       

August 10, 2020:  Franklin J. Morris, as Personal Representative of the Wrongful Death Estate of Marcellino Morris, Jr., v. Giant Four Corners, Inc. Opinion. SC-CV-13-15

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.

Judicial Branch Newsletters

An archive of Judicial Branch newsletters may be found here.  

Hashkj Nahat' Bahane' - (March 2021).  In this issue: Tuba City resumes pro se classes, Responding to COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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