Tribal Court

As of July 1, 2023, the Pueblo of Santa Ana is now compliant with the Tribal Law and Order Act and Violence Against Women Act. Santa Ana Tribal Court is now enforcing enhanced sentencing in all criminal cases. Please refer to Santa Ana Tribal Code Title 8 Article 43 for all details and information.

Hours and Address:

Office Hours:       Monday – Friday             8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

                             Saturday and Sunday      Closed

Address:               02 Dove Road Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 87004

Tribal Court is held in the Tribal Council Room located directly across of Tribal Administration Building entrance.


Welcome to Santa Ana Tribal Court

The Santa Ana Tribal Court is one of two courts within the Judicial Branch of the Pueblo of Santa Ana tribal government.  As a court of general jurisdiction, the Contemporary Court hears many types of cases including but not limited to traffic, criminal, civil matters including probate, children and families in need of services, custody, child support, and civil disputes.  The Pueblo of Santa Ana Contemporary Court has criminal jurisdiction over Indians enrolled in a federally-recognized tribe when the offense is committed within the boundaries of the Santa Ana Pueblo Reservation.

Court staff includes: the Contemporary Court Judge, a Judicial Director, a Court Clerk, two Probation Officers, a Public Defender, a Prosecutor, and a Case Manager. Court staff is prohibited from giving legal advice to any party.  A list of attorneys and advocates licensed to practice in the Pueblo of Santa Ana is available upon request.

Latest Announcements:

Courtroom Rules and Protocols:

All persons entering a courthouse must undergo security screening, which may include searching of all persons, clothing, packages, purses, briefcases and any other containers. Metal detecting hand wands/ scanners may be used to scan everyone who enters the facility.

The following items are prohibited in the courtroom and adjacent lobby area:

  • Recording or broadcasting devices;
  • Cameras, including those contained in computers and other electronic devices;
  • Food, gum chewing, and drink (except for the water provided at the counsel table);
  • Computers (except for those to be used by counsel in argued cases);
  • Phones must be turned off or placed on silent;
  • Inappropriate facial gestures or exaggerated gesticulating is forbidden;
  • Repeated entrances and departures are to be avoided;
  • Doorways and passageways should be kept clear at all times;
  • NO CHILDREN in courtroom unless permitted by the judge.
  • NO Talking or Reading in Gallery;
  • NO weapons of any sort with the exception of the Bailiff and Law Enforcement; and
  • NO shorts, hats, sunglasses, tank tops, or any type of inappropriate clothing. Attire for counsel and spectators should be appropriate and respectful for the dignity of the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribal Court.
  • Any prohibited items that are not allowed to be possessed MUST be returned to the individual’s vehicle. Please ensure that you do not bring any items that are not appropriate.

You may access the full courtroom rules here

COVID-19 Zoom Video Conference Rules and Protocols

Staff Information:

Contemporary Court Judge:
Tammi M. Lambert

Traditional Court Judge:
Lt. Governor Kevin C. Montoya

* Due to Ex Parte: Please do not contact the Judges directly about your case. You may contact the Court Clerk or the Judicial Director who will then assess your needs and re-route any non-ex parte calls to the Judges.

Judicial Division Director:
Danny Joseph

Court Clerk:
Janiece Garcia

Tribal Prosecutor:
Sean Distor

Public Defender:
Eileen Baca-Penner

Probation/Pre-Trial Officer:
Officer Ana Ortiz

Healing to Wellness Program Case Manager:
Rosemary Manrique

Santa Ana Tribal Court Weekly Docket

If you have any questions regarding the Court docket, please contact the Court Clerk’s office. The Court docket is subject to change due to continuances or other motions to the Court.

All Court hearings are in person. The Court will continue to conduct hearings Hybrid Zoom (Hybrid Zoom is when all parties are ordered to appear in person except the person who is unable to appear or has been exposed to COVID-19 emergency). Hybrid Zoom is only based on emergency filings.
If you need to request for a hearing to be conducted by Zoom Hybrid, please file a Motion form with the Clerk’s office for the Judge’s review.

All criminal trials are open to the public:

Attorney Requirements and Application

Per Rule 3. of the Rules of Procedure for the Contemporary Court;

    • A person can file or defend a complaint in Contemporary Court by themselves. This is called pro se, which means that a person represents themselves.
    • A person may also be represented by an attorney or advocate. All advocates and attorneys must be admitted to practice in the Santa Ana Courts before making a court appearance. The mandatory admission for and requirements is available from the Contemporary Court Clerk.
    • Advocates must provide a certificate of advocate training. Attorneys must provide a certificate of good standing in at least one State Bar.
    • Advocates and attorneys must be aware of the Pueblo, its laws and traditions and agree to abide by the Rules of Santa Ana Courts and their Orders.

An annual admission fee shall be set Court and must be paid before any appearance is made. The renewal of the admission fee is due every twelve (12) months from the date of admission.

Attorney Application for Admission


Court Probation Officers serve the following functions as follows:

  1. Supervise adult and juvenile offenders under the Santa Ana Tribal Courts jurisdiction;
  2. Attend court hearings with prepared pre-dispositional status reports or violations of conditions of release/probation;
  3. Meet with families and perform assessments for the court in order to maintain compliance with all court mandates and conditions of release;
  4. Prepare and submit post-sentence violation, progress, discharge and other needed reports to the court regarding an offender’s progress and/or compliance with release;
  5. Prepare and maintain timely, well-organized case records and notes;
  6. Conduct investigations when required;
  7. Obtain evidence, prepare reports regarding violations and the service of warrants, arrest, detain and transport violators when required;
  8. Provide testimony, advice, and information about offenders to assist with court sentencing and probation violation hearings;
  9. May be required to supervise random drug testing, monitor employment history and performance, liaison with school administration, work closely with Tribal officials and Tribal Social Services representatives;
  10. Conduct house visits and work visits if necessary;
  11. Arrest violators, prepare all needed documentation, transport and book the offender(s);
  12. Work with other tribal, state, and federal Probation Officers in overseeing individuals on probation within Santa Ana Pueblo and individuals on probation from Santa Ana Pueblo living in other jurisdictions.
  13. Work with Santa Ana Social Services (SASS) to provide services for individuals under supervision;
  14. Participate in the Healing to Wellness Program and work jointly with SAPD, SASS, and the Court Judge in the supervision of clients assigned to the Healing to Wellness Program; and
  15. Participate in the development and formation of internal policies, forms, manuals, and standard operating procedures.


The Judge may order supervised probation. When someone is placed on supervised probation, they will be required to meet with a probation officer who monitors the activities of the probationer. This may include daily or weekly calls to the probation officer, in-person meetings, random drug testing, random home visits and various other requirements. During the time a defendant is on probation they are required to refrain from the use of alcohol or drugs, they must obey all laws, federal, state, and tribal. Picking up new charges may constitute a probation violation. A probation violation can result in the revocation of probation and the probationer may be required to spend the remainder of the probation period incarcerated.


Unsupervised probation does not require that you meet regularly with a probation officer. However, the judge will impose restrictions on the probationer. A violation of those restrictions while on unsupervised probation can also constitute a probation violation and the probationer may also be required to spend the remainder of the probation period incarcerated.

Community service is “Service to the Community.” The hours worked doing community service are valued at the determination of the Judge. The Probation Office monitors the hours of community service completed and will provide a copy of the logged hours to the Court. There are a number of ways to perform community service around the Pueblo and can be discussed with the probation officer.

Public Defender’s Office

In the Santa Ana Pueblo Contemporary Court, the position of Public Defender is an attorney who represents the Defendant in cases in which he/she is assigned. The Public Defender has wide discretion in the way a case is handled. The Public Defender is called to handle cases when the Contemporary Tribal Judge determines that the Defendant is in need of representation. The Public Defender will abide by the requirements set forth in the contract between himself/herself and the Pueblo of Santa Ana and by the Standard Operating Procedures created for the Public Defender’s Office.

Upon the Defendant’s first appearance they will be given an opportunity to have a Public Defender assigned, or represent themselves (Pro Se), or hire an attorney of their own choosing. If the Defendant choose to hire an attorney, the attorney must be or become licensed to practice law in the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribal Court. The attorney application for admission is on our website.

The cost of the license is $100.00.

Prosecutor’s Office

In the Santa Ana Pueblo Contemporary Court, the position of Prosecutor is an attorney who represents the Pueblo in the prosecution of criminal and traffic case, as well as, civil case in which the Pueblo is the victim. The prosecutor has wide discretion in the way a case is handled. In many respects the prosecutor has more discretion in the way cases are handled than the judge. The Prosecutor is called to handle cases for the Pueblo of Santa Ana. The Prosecutor is to work hand and hand with the Santa Ana Police Department.  The Prosecutor will abide by the requirements set forth in the contract between himself/herself and the Pueblo of Santa Ana and by the Standard Operating Procedures created for the Prosecutors Office.

Healing to Wellness Court

The Santa Ana Healing to Wellness Court seeks to reduce recidivism among non-violent offenders by actively supporting the community members to live healthy, spiritual, sober lifestyles and to be caring positive role models for future generations. The program provides consistent and ongoing structure so the participant will benefit from the treatment experience. The Healing to Wellness Court is doing this by bridging partnerships with service providers and community resources to effectively address the needs of court involved substance abusing adults. The goal of the program is to help participants develop skills necessary to overcome the effects of addiction, to improve their lives with the development of responsible behaviors, and to focus on the overall wellbeing of the participants. The program is designed to help participants to overcome drug and alcohol related problems. The Healing to Wellness Court provides, coordinated court supervised therapeutic programs and support designed to help individuals get free of alcohol and drugs and helps the participants reconnect with family, community, and their cultural practices. 

Bailiff/Civil Service/Transport

The Court Judicial Officer’s duties include the following:

  1. Prepares the courtroom security for arraignments, hearings, and trials;
  2. Opens and closes the court; announces entrance of the presiding judge; calls witnesses; maintains order during court session and removes persons violating the orderliness of the court at the direction of the presiding judge;
  3. Performs a wide variety of support tasks for the court; assists jurors, witnesses, attorneys and others, according to established guidelines, policies, procedures, statues, rules, and administrative orders;
  4. Maintains court security by providing protections to all participants;
  5. Ensures courtroom security readiness for court proceedings; directs parties to the proper area; and secures courtroom at the end of the day;
  6. Screens all persons entering the courtroom for weapons visually and with a hand-held scanner when available;
  7. Provides security and order in the courtroom and in the hallways during arraignments and trials;
  8. Escorts jurors to and from the jury room and secures jurors in jury room during jury trials;
  9. Assures proper conduct of parties and observers present in the courtroom to keep noise level at a minimum, and if necessary, to escort offenders out of the courtroom;
  10. Process and serve all court issued paperwork within the Pueblo to include Contemporary Court; Court of Appeals; and Children’s Court to outside jurisdictions (Sandoval County, Bernalillo County, Rio Arriba County, other tribal jurisdictions, etc.)
  1. Takes into custody and transport to jail any person(s) found to be in contempt of court or defendant(s) remanded to confinement.
  2. Transport all prisoners to and from Court as well as any other Court ordered appointment deemed necessary (medical appointments and mental evaluations);
  3. Pick up or transport prisoners from or to other detention centers, treatment facilities, or mental health facilities;

Ordinances, Laws, Codes, and Rules

Domestication Process


  • The Contemporary Court shall serve as the Santa Ana Trial Court for the purpose of ruling on requests from other jurisdictions for issuance of arrest warrants, extradition, search warrants, writs, order of repossession or attachment, proceedings, and adjudications that arise under the Indian Child Welfare Act, and such other matters that may arise between sovereign judicial systems.
  • Any warrant, service of process or any other court order from another jurisdiction must be provided to the Contemporary Court for domestication. If the Contemporary Court determines it is proper and appropriate, the order shall be served but the Pueblo Law Enforcement must accompany the service.
  • You can provide all domestication requests to the Court Clerk’s Office.

Uniform Bond Schedule


Criminal Rule 6-3-401 of the Pueblo of Santa Ana (PSA) Rules of Procedure for the Contemporary Court, adopted by Resolution No. 2022-R-39, creates the authority for the Pueblo of Santa Ana Contemporary Courts to set and post bail or bond and conditions of release as it deems appropriate, fair, and just.   Pursuant to this authority, the Court hereby sets a schedule for the amount of bail for traffic offenses and other offenses that are cited into the Pueblo of Santa Ana Contemporary Court.  Such bail schedules shall not govern when a person charged appears before the Pueblo of Santa Ana Court, or when the defendant’s case is reviewed by the Court.  The bail schedules are advisory only, and the Court may raise, lower, or eliminate the bail amount at the Court’s discretion, based upon the circumstances of that particular case.

Unless the Pueblo of Santa Ana Court has issued a countervailing order, the bail bond for specific alleged offenses pending arraignment or trial shall be as outlined below:


Violent Crimes


No bond hold

Aggravated Assault/Battery




Assault/Battery Against Household Member


Property Damage

Criminal damage under $1000.00


Criminal damage over $1000.00


Motor Vehicle

Driving While License Suspended or Revoked


DWI 1st


DWI 2nd


DWI 3rd


DWI 4TH (+)


Sexual Offenses

Criminal Sexual Penetration

No Bond

Criminal Sexual Contact of a Minor

No Bond

Sexual Exploitation of Children

No Bond

OTHER (If not specifically listed, above)

If the charge is listed as a 1st Class crime in the PSA Codes or a 1st degree felony in New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978 (NMSA) (Chapter 66 only)

No Bond

If the charge is listed as a 2nd Class crime in the PSA Codes or a 2nd degree felony in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978 (NMSA) (Chapter 66 only)


If the charge is listed as a 3rd Class crime in the PSA Codes or a 3rd degree felony in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978 (NMSA) (Chapter 66 only)


If the charge is listed as a 4th Class crime in the PSA Codes or a 4th degree felony in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978 (NMSA) (Chapter 66 only)


If the charge is listed as a 5th Class crime in the PSA Codes or a misdemeanor in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978 (NMSA) (Chapter 66 only)


If the charge is listed as a 6th Class crime in the PSA Codes or petty misdemeanor in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978 (NMSA) (Chapter 66 only)



Method of posting bond: 

  • The Santa Ana Pueblo Court accepts cash bail bond only. The defendant must deposit an amount in cash equal to the bail bond. 
  • The bail bond may be posted at the Sandoval County Detention Center if the defendant is incarcerated at that facility. Acceptable forms of payment at the detention center are limited to money orders or cashier’s check made payable to the Pueblo of Santa Ana.
  • The bail bond may also be paid at the Santa Ana Pueblo Accounting Department, located at 02 Dove Road, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. The Santa Ana Pueblo Accounting Office is generally open during regular business hours, but may have irregular closures due to tribal holidays, personnel availability, etc. The Santa Ana Pueblo Accounting Department will accept cash payments, money orders, or cashier’s check for appearance bonds.  

Payment to Tribal Court

In-Person Payments

All in-person payments for fines and fees are made to the Pueblo of Santa Ana Finance Department at:
Santa Ana Tribal Court
02 Dove Road
Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 87004

All in person payments will be made either by cash or money order. The Court does not accept checks or payment by credit card.

The Pueblo of Santa Ana Finance Department hours of operation are:

Monday thru Friday
8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Once you have made your payment at the finance department you will receive a receipt for your payment. You are required to provide a copy of the receipt to the court clerk after you have made your payment. If you fail to provide a copy to the court your payment may not be credited to your case. This may result in your case not being closed, and you may be issued another notice of hearing to determine whether you are in contempt of court.

Payments Made by U.S. Mail

 You can mail in a money order payment through the U.S. Mail to:

The Pueblo of Santa Ana (Tribal Court)
02 Dove Road
Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 87004

Please included the case number and/or copy of the citation with the money order.

The court will forward your money order to the tribal finance department and once the receipt is prepared, we will mail you the original receipt and record the payment in your case records.

Marriage Solemnizations

Pursuant to the Rules of Procedure for the Contemporary Court, the Pueblo of Santa Ana Tribal Council has determined that the Contemporary Court has jurisdiction over all matters and parties which lawfully fall within the jurisdiction of the Pueblo of Santa Ana. The Pueblo of Santa Ana Contemporary Tribal Court Judge has the authority to perform civil, non-traditional marriage ceremonies for enrolled members of the Pueblo of Santa Ana living within the jurisdiction of the Pueblo of Santa Ana.

Prior to making the request and scheduling a civil marriage ceremony, you will need:

  • A Marriage License obtained from the Sandoval County Clerk’s office.


Contact the Pueblo of Santa Ana Contemporary Court Deputy Clerk, Janiece Garcia, at (505) 771-6723 or email for available dates. When you call, please provide the following information:

  • Full name of Groom(s);
  • Full name of Bride(s);
  • Desired wedding time and date;
  • Phone number of bride(s)/groom(s); and
  • Email addresses.

ON THE DATE OF MARRIAGE, you will need to bring the following:

  • Photo identification for both parties; and
  • Two witnesses (must be 18 or older); The Court does not provide witnesses