Spokane Tribal Court Emergency Standing Order

HEALTH EMERGENCY – Recognizing the rising numbers of Co-Vid19 positive cases in the surrounding counties, and the fact that this emergency standing order shall be in effect for the Spokane Tribal Court from November 23rd until further order of the Court and consistent with Spokane Tribal Resolution 2021-79. This order shall apply to all persons who are transacting business with Spokane Tribal Court and shall include but is not limited to attorneys, parties, witnesses, jurors and community members.
1. Courthouse Access: The Courthouse is closed to the Public until further order of the Court. The Court has provided Court forms by the door or you may contact us during business hours and we can send you the forms by fax, e-mail, mail or hand them to you at the door. If you need to file paperwork outside these hours you can place the paperwork in the box outside or file per the instructions contained in this order in Paragraph #4. Forms will also be on the Spokane Tribe’s website for your download and use. The Court’s business hours will be reduced to Tuesday through Thursday 8:00am to 4:30pm and closed Mondays and Fridays.
2. All civil and criminal matters scheduled for these weeks will be held via telephone or CISCO Webex unless a party objects to a remote hearing. If a party objects to a remote hearing they must file the objection in writing and their hearing will be continued to a date and time when the Co-Vid numbers begin to decrease and it is safe to resume in-person hearings. Staff will be reaching out to people to give them the log-in information for the hearing, but sometimes we don’t have updated contact information and/or a party does not answer. If you have not heard from Court staff please contact the Court at least forty-eight (48) in advance for your log-in information.
3. Criminal Matters: The Court hereby finds good cause to continue all jury trials from November 17, 2020 through January 8, 2020. This period of time shall be considered to be an excluded time period for purposes of speedy trial. All jury trials for December and January are hereby stricken and shall be rescheduled to a later date. No criminal in-custody defendants shall be transported during this time. In addition, any essential criminal in-custody hearings, including first appearances on mandatory arrest charges shall be conducted telephonically or via CISCO Webex.
Pre-trial hearings and Change of Plea hearings will be held on alternating Thursdays beginning on December 3, 2020. Thus pre-trials will be held on December 3rd and 17th and change of plea hearings will be held on December 10th and 23rd (it’s on the 23rd because the Court is closed on the 24th for Christmas). A defendant may appear by CISCO webex or phone for the pre-trials hearings, but has to be present for the change of plea hearings. All standard screening policies as well as masks and social distancing shall be observed for the in-person hearings.
4. Filings: The Court shall accept all court filings either via e-mail, mail or fax at the following e-mail addresses – Kerbi.wallette@spokanetribe.com, Alleana.daily@spokanetribe.com or at PO Box 225, Wellpinit, WA 99040, by fax at – 509.258.9223, or you may drop off the filings at the Court as stated in Paragraph #1. Any filings received by 4:00pm will be file stamped for that day of receipt. If the filing is received after 4:00pm it will be file stamped the next business day. Filings dropped off at the secure drop box will be picked up by 2:00pm of that day.
5. UA Tests: UA tests are suspended until further notice. Employment UAs shall only occur on Wednesdays by appointment only.
6. Domestic Violence Protection Orders and No-Contact Orders: The Court will continue to accept and process Petitions for Domestic Violence Protection Orders and Petitions for Anti-Harassment/No-Contact Orders as outlined in this order. New petitions for emergency Domestic Violence Protective Orders or No-Contact Orders may be filed with the court via e-mail or US mail as described above or by fax. The Court shall continue to review emergency protective order/no-contact order petitions and issue temporary emergency protective orders if appropriate under the facts of the case and hearing dates for final orders shall be set out a minimum of forty-five (45) days.
7. Questions: If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call the court at 509.258.7717. In addition, the Spokane Tribal Court has a Facebook page that you can post your question on and we will respond to these questions as soon as we can. Please be patient as service is sometimes limited in some areas, but we will respond as quickly as we can.
Dated this 17th Day of November, 2020.
Chief Judge, Theresa Thin Elk