New fines, fees for traffic violations set on Navajo Nation

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Navajo Nation Police Officer Felicia Freeman talks with a motorist during a traffic stop Thursday in Shiprock.

FARMINGTON — Fines and fees for traffic violations on the Navajo Nation are now consistent in each of the tribe's 11 district courts.

The change went into effect last month in order to have individuals pay the same amount in fines and fees in each court, according to a press release from the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch.

Prior to the change, fines and fees for traffic offenses varied depending on the court and tribal judges had the discretion to set the amounts, according to the administrative court order signed on April 13 by acting Chief Justice Allen Sloan.

The release states that among the new fines and fees are those for speeding.

Under the new policy, the minimum fine for speeding is $70 for the first mile over the posted speed limit.

The maximum fine for speeding is $500 for driving more than 36 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

Other fines for various traffic violations range from $20 to $500.

Sloan wrote in the administrative court order that each tribal judge gave their consent to the new policy.

"All district court judges reviewed the uniform fines and fees and all judges agreed to the implementation of a uniform fine or fee for each civil motor vehicle infraction," Sloan wrote.

Karen Francis, spokeswoman for the Judicial Branch, said in an email implementation of a uniform process had been a goal of the chief justice.

"This was one of the initiatives to accomplish that goal," Francis said.

Information about fines and fees is available at the Judicial Branch website,

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