Navajo Nation Supreme Court dismisses Speaker Johnny Naize's appeal

Noel Lyn Smith The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Navajo Nation Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize concerning a district court decision that focused on him being placed on paid administrative leave.

In April, Naize filed a request with Window Rock District Court in Window Rock, Ariz., for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that would allow him to continue serving as speaker after 12 council delegates placed him on paid administrative leave.

Tribal lawmakers placed Naize on leave after the Nation's special prosecutor filed bribery and conspiracy charges against Naize last year.

On Aug. 22, the Navajo Nation Supreme Court dismissed Naize's appeal, which was filed July 18. The court dismissed the appeal because Naize did not file the required documents on time.

In the two-page ruling, the court explained that under the Navajo Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure an appeal must include the lower court record and the transcript of the proceedings, and that information is due within 30 days of filing an appeal.

The deadline for Naize to submit those records was Aug. 18, according to court documents.

The civil appellate procedure also allows for the appellant to file a deadline extension, but Naize did not file such a request.

Naize filed his appeal to the Supreme Court after Window Rock District Court Judge Carol Perry denied the preliminary injunction in June.

Perry issued her decision after failed efforts to have Naize, the 12 delegates and one legislative employee meet in the tribe's Peacemaking Program.

The court referred the case to peacemaking at Naize's request, but only five individuals responded to the request and two of those agreed to engage in peacemaking.

The plan of operations for the Peacemaking Program states that all participation is consensual, including in cases referred by the courts.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and

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