From left to right are Louisa Allman, Naomi Stacy and Matt Johnson. The three were confirmed as CTUIR associate judges on Nov. 13 by the tribe’s Board of Trustees.

CTUIR court appoints three new associate judges

MISSION, Ore. – With less than a month since being approved by the Board of Trustees, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s (CTUIR) three new associate judges have settled in and are hearing cases.

Naomi Stacy, Louisa Allman and Matt Johnson, who are all CTUIR members, were sworn in as associate judges on Nov. 13 for terms of 10 years.

Naomi Stacy

“It’s an honor to have both the court’s recommendation, and the Board of Trustees approval for this appointment,” Stacy, a licensed attorney, said. “My legal career has been dedicated to the sovereign rights of Indian Country. That fits well with the court’s mission to exercise the sovereign judicial authority of the Umatilla Tribal Court.”

CTUIR Chief Judge William Johnson appointed Stacy as judge pro tem in May, which allowed her to hear matters under a temporary term. Over that time, she has taken judicial training and prepared with the Tribal Court to take cases.

“Currently, I hear criminal, probation and traffic matters at the trial court level,” she said. “The trial court level means hearing the charges filed by complaint, arraignments, pretrial status hearings, trial, and in the event of a verdict or plea of guilty, then move to sentencing. Eventually I will also hear civil matters such as juvenile, family law issues, personal injury matters and appeals.”

In the past 27 years, Stacy’s employment and training include juvenile justice advocate, American Indian Law Pre-law Summer Institute teaching assistant, tribal prosecutor, natural resource policy analyst, tribal attorney, lobbyist, hearing officer and mediator.

She is licensed to practice law before tribal, state and federal courts and has litigation experience at trial and appellate levels. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington and is a graduate of the Washburn School of Law.

Louisa Allman

Allman, who has a background in criminal justice focusing on children and adolescents, is a CTUIR juvenile delinquency specialist and will retain that title along with serving as an associate judge. She was appointed as a pro tem judge in August 2022 and has presided over child support hearings.

“It was an honor and a privilege to be recommended for appointment as associate judge by Chief Judge Johnson and appointment by the Board of Trustees,” Allman said. “Having been appointed as an associate judge, my goal is to listen, to answer withrespect, to make decisions soberly, and decide impartially.”

Having worked in thelegal field since age 15, Allman has made it a goal to treat everyone withrespect. “My belief is anyone can make a bad decision and it doesn’t define whothey are,” she said.

Allman, who has an associate degree in business administration and is a certified paralegal, became interested in law when she was 14 and attending a Christian school. She got out early one afternoon per week, so her mother, former Board Member Marguerite J. Allman, encouraged her to volunteer at the CTUIR.

“My interest was in law, so I approached Judge (William) Johnson and asked if I could volunteer in the Umatilla Tribal Court. The judge and I developed a curriculum, so I received a career credit in high school as well as obtaining experience as a tribal court clerk,” Allman said.

Stacy and Allman are only the second and third women to serve as CTUIR judges. Lynn W. Hampton served as a CTUIR appellate judge before being appointed as a Circuit Court judge for Umatilla and Morrow counties in 2011 by then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson, a licensed attorney, has been the Tribal Court director/judicial assistant since April 2022. He will continue that role along with hearing cases as an associate judge.

“To have the Board’s trust to carry out such an important duty of the tribal government is an incredible honor, and I recognize what a privilege it is for me to be in this position,” he said. “I am very conscientious of making sure that we treat everyone who has business with the court, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, with fairness and respect.”

Matt Johnson said the Tribal Court has sole criminal jurisdiction over Indian people on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who have been charged with domestic violence offenses under the Violence Against Women Act.

He added that it has concurrent jurisdiction with Oregon for civil issues within the reservation.

“I expect Judge Stacy will initially take on most new cases among the three of us recently appointed judges, but I’ll be ready to fill in and start to ramp up as the senior judges (Chief Judge Johnson and Associate Judge David Gallaher) transition to appellate roles,” Matt Johnson said.

As judge, he plans to enable the court to exercise the maximum extent of its jurisdiction under the Treaty of 1855, the CTUIR Constitution and tribal codes.

“Exercising the Tribe’s sovereign judicial authority and providing tribal members and people on the Umatilla Indian Reservation with access to justice are two of the Court’s critical objectives that I will do my best to fulfill,” he said.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from Williamette University and a juris doctorate from Lewis and Clark Law School.

The Umatilla Tribal Court is located on the first floor of the Nixyáawii Governance Center at 46411 Timíne Way. Hearings are generally open to the public and occur on Mondays and Thursdays. Cases involving minors are closed to the public and occur on Wednesday mornings.  

CTUIR Communications