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:
Anthony J. Hill, Chief Judge
Donna Kisto, Associate Judge
Harriet James, Associate Judge
Janice Breckenridge, Associate Judge
Lucille Antone-Morago, Associate Judge
Lucinda Oliver, Associate Judge
Jay Pedro, Children’s Court Judge
Kami D Hart, Children’s Court 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.
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