After a nation-wide search for a tribal court judge, the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council interviewed and selected Gary E. LaRance (Hopi). Judge LaRance graduated from the Santa Clara University School of Law in 1981 where he received his juris doctorate degree in law. He has spent 37 years in the courtrooms of New Mexico, Arizona, Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nations, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Colorado River Indian Tribe and Washoe Tribe of Nevada. He has prosecuted, defended, and tried over 2,000 criminal, juvenile, and civil cases. He has presided as judge over hundreds of other cases.
He has been an instructor and trainer for Northern Arizona University, National Indian Justice Center, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, National Domestic Violence Prevention Fund, Native American Alliance Foundation and National Association of Chiefs of Police, teaching criminal law and procedure, evidence, trial
advocacy skills, Federal Indian Law, Indian Civil Rights Act, Indian Child Welfare Act, Healing to Wellness Courts, Domestic Violence, Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Child Neglect and Abuse. Judge LaRance presently sits on the Tribal Advisory Board for the National Tribal Judicial Center.
Addressing substance abuse on the reservation is a priority for the tribe. With new funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the tribe now has the unique ability to establish a Youth Tribal Healing to Wellness Court. The tribe was awarded approximately $348,000 over a three-year grant to develop and implement this specialty court. The tribal community believes the youth are highest priority and there are many opportunities through development and coordination to address concerns of substance abuse among tribal youth.
With this, Judge LaRance comes with six (6) years’ experience creating, managing and presiding as Judge of a Healing to Wellness Court (HTWC) for the Hopi Tribal Court. During his term as Chief Judge of the Hopi Tribal Court, he developed and administered the Healing to Wellness Court federal grant with 75- 100 juvenile participant in the program. Judge LaRance has provided training to
other tribes, tribal court personnel and judges on the development, administration and operation of the Healing to Wellness Court cases.
As the tribe is still in its initial planning year, they will be seeking out key individuals to discuss, plan, and coordinate services for the youth such as collaborations with Inyo County Probation, Inyo County District Attorney, Bishop Paiute Police Department, Bishop Paiute Social Services, Toiyabe Indian Health Project, and other key stakeholders. With Judge LaRance’s expertise, the tribe is very excited to move forward with this project and bring a new service for our tribal youth who may be experiencing substance-related issues.
Judge LaRance was sworn in by the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council on January 23, 2020. For any questions related to this matter please forward them to Annette Apalatea, Tribal Court Administrator/Clerk at 760-873-3584.