Judicial Branch

Mission Statement: “To provide effective and fair administration of justice and quality customer service for the benefit of the Gila River Indian Community”.


The Gila River Indian Community Court was established by the Gila River Indian Community Constitution and Bylaws on March 17, 1960. The Community's main court, the Akimel O'otham Loditha Kud Ki (River People's Court Building), is located in Sacaton, Arizona. There is a second court office located in the west end of the Gila River Indian Community, the Westend Judicial Center provides court services to Districts 6 & 7, in Laveen, Arizona.


The Community Court provides services to approximately 20,000 members of the Akimel O'otham (Pima) and Pee-Posh (Maricopa) tribes. The Court is a full service court, exercising jurisdiction to the full extend available under federal law. Services include case filings of criminal, civil, traffic, juvenile matters and appellate matters. Other services the Court provides are the issuance of orders of protection, marriage licenses, livestock ownership, and mental health treatment orders. The Court uses a computerized case management system called “Full Court”, the system has the capability to manage every aspect of a case’s progression through the court. The Community Court currently has a 58-member staff. The Chief Judge and 5 Associate Judges are elected into office by the people of the Gila River Indian Community and serve 3-year terms. The 2 Children’s Court Judges are appointed by the Tribal Council and serve 4-year terms.


Current Tribal Court Judges:


Joseph Manuel, Chief Judge

Sheri Cassa, Associate Judge

Janice Breckenridge, Associate Judge

Anthony Hill, Associate Judge

Jay Pedro, Children’s Court Judge

Kami D Hart, Children’s Court Judge

Dallas DeLowe, Associate Judge


Currently, the Probation Department is under the Community Court and provides services to all persons, juvenile and adult, ordered by the court to probation. The Probation Department monitors probationers through office appointments and home visits.


Under the Probation Department, a Diversion Program was created which provides education, program services information, and community & cultural awareness to juveniles. The Diversion Program consists of the Drug Court, the Teen Court, Group Education meetings, Peer Mentoring, Community Services and the Truancy Teen Court.




Gila River Indian Community Court

Sacaton Court

721 W. Seed Farm Rd.

P.O. Box 368

Sacaton, Arizona 85147

Phone: (520) 562-9860

Fax: (520) 562-9867 (Court)

Fax: (520) 562-9868 (Probation Office)


Gila River Indian Community Court
Westend Judicial Center
4751 W. Pecos Road
Laveen, Arizona 85339

Contact Persons:


Chief Court Administrator
Phone: (520) 562-9860 x9912
Debbie Mercado
Assistant Court Administrator
Phone: (520) 562-9860 x9911