Contemporary Court Judge (Contract)

Incumbent is responsible for the arbitration, advisement, adjudication, and administration of justice in SFP contemporary court.


Contemporary Tribal Court

Pay Grade:

$80.00 -$100.00 per hour

Job Description:

 Incumbent is responsible for the arbitration,
advisement, adjudication, and administration of justice in
the Pueblo of San Felipe Contemporary Tribal Court.
Incumbent conducts and oversees both civil and criminal
matters via hearings, trails and judicial proceedings
properly filed with the Court. Incumbent may also perform
and conduct other judicial duties as assigned by the Judge,
if any, of the Contemporary Tribal Court in accordance with
the laws of the Pueblo of San Felipe and applicable federal
law. The incumbent will also oversee the activity of the
Health of Wellness Court and any other specialty civil or
criminal courts that maybe authorized by the Tribal Council.


The position requires the performance of the following functions by the Judge as assigned by the Chief
Judge of the Contemporary Tribal Court on a daily or routine basis:

  • Rule on custody and draft court orders regarding custody and support of children.
  • Read pleadings and motions to ascertain facts and legal issues.
  • Sentence defendants in criminal cases, on conviction, according to applicable laws.
  • Adjudicate Domestic Relations matters.
  • Rule on admissibility of evidence and methods of conducting testimony.
  • Instruct juries on applicable laws, direct juries to deduce the facts from the evidence presented, and hear their
  • verdicts.
  • Award compensation for damages to litigants in civil cases in relation to findings by juries or by the Court.
  • Monitor judicial proceedings to ensure that all applicable rules and procedures are followed.
  • Preside over hearings and listen to allegations made by plaintiffs to determine whether the evidence supports the changes.
  • Research legal issues and write opinions on the issues.
  • Write decisions on cases.
  • Advise attorneys, juries litigants, and court personnel regarding conduct, issues, and proceedings.
  • Interpret and enforce rules of procedure or establish new rules in situations where there are no procedures
  • already established by law.
  • Settle disputes between opposing attorneys.
  • Conduct preliminary hearings to decide issues such as whether there is reasonable and probable cause to hold
  • defendants in criminal cases.
  • Impose restrictions upon parties in civil cases until trials can be held.
  • Supervise court officers, and the court’s administrative staff.
  • Attend and participate in continuing judicial educational trainings/seminars and conferences.
  • Offer assistance to the government of the Pueblo of San Felipe in applying for and securing applicable financial
  • funding to enhance the overall quality of the Contemporary Tribal Court.
  • Provide informational and procedural guidance to members of the community when requested.
  • Provide information regarding the status of the Contemporary Tribal court or other legal issues through written
  • reports to the government of the Pueblo of San Felipe.
  •  Perform any and all other judicial duties as assigned by the Chief Judge of the Contemporary Tribal Court, if any, customarily performed by judicial officers and consistent with the Pueblo of San Felipe Judicial Code.

Additional Responsibilities: This position description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties performed by
this employee. He or she will be required to follow any other instructions or to perform any other duties requested by his or
her supervisor.


Minimum Education, Professional Licensure and Experience:

  • Juris Doctor from an ABA Accredited law school.
  • State if New Mexico law license in good standing with the State of NM Supreme Court.
  • Minimum of 5 years in the practice of law with demonstrable experience of at least 2 years as a tribal court attorney.
  • Thorough knowledge and practice of Federal Indian Law and related principles.
  • General knowledge and understanding of the Pueblo of San Felipe Tribal Government, laws, customs and traditional.
  • Prior experience serving as a tribal court judge or judge of similar jurisdiction or demonstrable practice experience of at least 2 years before a tribal court or direct work experience for a tribal government.
  • Ability to fluently speak and understand the Keres language preferred.

Experience/Basic Knowledge:

  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and Windows operating system.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment occasionally involving disgruntled or angry members of the public.
  • Ability to maintain and uphold the standards of judicial conduct as outlined under the ABE Model Code of Judicial conduct and/or other duly adopted code of judicial ethics as adopted by the pueblo of San Felipe.

Required Licenses/Certifications:

  • State of New Mexico law license in good standing with the State of NM Supreme Court.
  • A valid driver’s license and able to be insured under the Pueblo of San Felipe’s current insurance carrier.

Physical Requirements:

  • Must have manual dexterity to enter and retrieve data from a computer.
  • Ability to sit and stand for long periods.


  • San Felipe Preference and Veteran’s Preference.

Working Conditions:

Work in office requires sitting for long periods of time before a computer monitor. Position requires being on call (24 hours a day/7 days a week) to grant warrants, provide judicial direction and make decisions that may require as such in an emergency or under exigent circumstances. Position further requires interaction with convicted criminals and disgruntled members of the public in a Courtroom setting.

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