31 Rodeo Drive, Laguna, New Mexico (Located in the Laguna Rehabilitation Center. Courts are located in the same building as the Laguna Police Department and Laguna Detention Center in Laguna, New Mexico) Important Notice: The Courts are temporarily located in Mesita at 1 Industrial Road, west of the Laguna Police Department. The Prosecutors Office, Probation & Parole Services and Public Defender offices are still located in Laguna in Buildings B and C at 31 Rodeo Drive..
Main Contact Information:
Laguna Pueblo Court
P.O. Box 194
Old Laguna, NM 87026
Bruce Fox, Acting Presiding Judge
Peggy Bird, Judge
G. Michelle Brown-Yazzie, Pro Tem Judge
Court Administrator (vacant)
Michele Lucero, Criminal/Wellness Court Clerk
Lesley Tharpe, Civil Court Clerk/Juvenile Court Clerk
Jacky Smith, Traffic Court Clerk
Victoria Day, Bailiff/Process Server
Deborah Cheromiah, Administrative Assistant I
John Bezzeg, Public Defender
Pat Romero, Administrative Assistant to Public Defender
Mark Dyea, Probation Manager/Adult Probation Officer
Thomasina Leon, Adult Probation Officer
Christopher Witt, Juvenile Probation Officer
Marilyn Joe, Juvenile Probation Officer
Carlos Pacheco, Prosecutor
Mary Ahan, Juvenile Prosecutor
Gwen Kasero, Crime Victim Advocate
Christine Sarracino, Administrative Assistant to Office of Prosecutor
Scope of Work:
The Pueblo of Laguna Court is the Judicial branch of the Pueblo of Laguna government. The Pueblo Court has jurisdiction over Civil and Criminal matters as they pertain to Laguna Tribal members and those non-tribal members who reside upon or enter the land of the Pueblo. The Pueblo Court consists of Civil, Criminal, Traffic and Community Wellness Courts. The Public Defender, the Prosecutor and Probation and Parole Services, are also under the umbrella of the Laguna Court/Judicial Branch.
The Pueblo Court hears all civil matters filed including but not limited to traffic, wildlife, trespass, probate, tort, commercial, debt, housing evictions and arrearages, paternity, legal separations, custody and support, adoptions, Laguna Social Services’ families in need of services, and child abuse and neglect matters under the Laguna Children’s Code and Indian Child Welfare Act cases.
The Court has concurrent criminal jurisdiction with the United States over major crimes and hears all matters under the Pueblo of Laguna Code. The criminal docket consists of arraignments, motion hearings, trials on the merits, sentencing hearings, probation review and revocation hearings, and parole request hearings.
The Public Defender provides legal defense services to defendants in criminal actions. The Prosecutor provides prosecution services on behalf of the Pueblo of Laguna in criminal actions. Probation and Parole Services are responsible for the monitoring of defendants who have been adjudicated in the Court and are either on probation or parole.
Mission: In accordance with the Constitution of the Pueblo of Laguna, the Pueblo of Laguna Judicial branch exercises its judicial powers in a professional, respectful, fair manner that recognizes tribal customs and traditions and protects tribal sovereignty while promoting community safety, open communication and justice.
Court Hours: 8:00 a.m through 4:30 p.m (open during lunch hour), Monday – Friday
Acceptance of Payments: No payment will be accepted without the case number and party’s name. Payments must be made by money order. The Court no longer accepts payments for child support, legal separation, civil payments to creditors and other costs awarded to parties in civil cases.
Service of process in civil cases: Whenever a person/party to a case files a petition, motion, or other pleading (document) with the Court, the person filing the document must include a certification that a copy of the document was mailed to the opposing party.
Court Will Not Provide Legal Advice: The Court Clerks, Judges, Administrative Assistant, Bailiff/Process Server and Court Administrator cannot provide legal advice to anyone. A list of attorneys & advocates who are licensed to practice in the Pueblo of Laguna Courts is available at the Clerks window. The attorneys on the list are not affiliated with the Laguna Pueblo Courts.
Courtroom Rules & Protocols
- NO shorts, tank tops, cut offs, or any other type of revealing clothing allowed. You will be asked to wait outside the courtroom or will be required to change your clothes.
- No clothing that violates Executive Order No. 1-2010 or any laws of the Pueblo of Laguna.
- NO food or beverages
- NO children allowed unless the Judge has permitted their appearance.
- NO CELLPHONES unless used as evidence during your hearing (i.e. picture, voicemail or text message).
- NO hats/caps or sunglasses shall be worn inside courtroom.
- NO GUM CHEWING.
- NO talking unless you are addressing the Judge or testifying as a witness.
- NO contact with inmates if present in courtroom. This includes hand gestures, eye contact or verbal. If contact is made, YOU will be escorted from the courtroom.
Remain seated until you are called to the podium by the judge.
If your hearing requires photocopies that need to be given to the judge please inform the court bailiff or Court Clerk PRIOR to your hearing so that court hearings are not disrupted (i.e. proof of registration/insurance, receipts or medical records.)
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO INFORM THE COURT CLERKS OF YOUR CURRENT PHYSICAL RESIDENCE AND POSTAL ADDRESS!
IF YOU ARE PETITIONING TO HAVE SOMEONE BROUGHT TO COURT (SUMMONED), IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILTY TO KNOW THE CURRENT RESIDENCE OF THAT INDIVIDUAL AND INFORM THE COURT CLERKS SO THAT PROPER NOTIFICATION MAY BE MADE.
Mondays & Thursdays all day - Criminal case hearings
Tuesdays & Wednesdays all day - Civil case hearings
Tuesday afternoons - Wellness Court
Thursdays all day - Traffic Court hearings
Thursday mornings - Trespass & Wildlife hearings
Fridays - Only for emergency hearings or criminal arraignments that have deadlines.
Probation & Parole Services Mission
The mission of the Pueblo of Laguna Probation/Parole services is to perform the duties described under the Pueblo of Laguna Code. The office is also charged with the supervision of individuals released on bond, placed on pre-trial diversion or placed on probation or parole by the Pueblo Court and to ensure the compliance with all court ordered conditions. Probation/Parole services also provides rehabilitative services.
Probation & Parole Services Scope of Work
Probation/Parole Services is managed by the Probation Manager and is included in the Pueblo Court organizational structure. Probation/Parole Services is divided into Adult Probation/Parole Services and Juvenile Probation services. Adult services include but are not limited to pre-trial monitoring, supervision of individuals placed on probation or parole, and rehabilitative services including the Laguna Community Wellness Court. Juvenile services include, but are not limited to supervision of juveniles placed on probation, truancy meetings, supervision and referral of juvenile complaints to the Juvenile Prosecutor, and transport to and from juvenile detention and treatment services. Both adult and juvenile probation officers also conducts office visits, home/school visits, urine drug and/or alcohol breath testing, and case staffing with appropriate community service providers.