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Appendix B

Sample Tribal Ordinances

 ITSA VILLAGE TRIBAL COURT STRUCTURE ORDINANCE

Section 1. Purpose of the Itsa Village Tribal Court
Section 2. Authority to Establish and Operate the Itsa Village Tribal Court
Section 3. Jurisdiction of the Itsa Village Tribal Court
Section 4. Itsa Village Tribal Court Structure
Section 5. Quorum of the Itsa Village Tribal Court
Section 6. Presiding Judge of the Itsa Village Tribal Court
Section 7. Conflict of Interest for the Itsa Village Tribal Court
Section 8. Decision making by the Itsa Village Tribal Court Judges
Section 9. Visiting Judges
Section 10. Justice Circles
Section 11. Advisors to the Itsa Village Tribal Court
Section 12. Tribal Court Clerk
Section 13. Oath of Confidentiality, Fairness and Impartiality
Section 14. Repeal or Amendments to the Itsa Village Tribal Court Structure Ordinance

Section 1. Purpose

The purpose of the Itsa Village Tribal Court is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the Itsa Village people and Tribe by addressing problems locally through the application of unwritten Itsa Village cultural traditions and written tribal ordinances. This Ordinance outlines the structure of the Itsa Village Tribal Court.

Section 2. Authority to Establish the Itsa Village Tribal Court

Traditionally, laws and customs of the Itsa Village Tribe were enforced without outside intervention. The governing body of the Itsa Village Tribe has the authority to operate a Tribal Court by its inherent sovereignty as a federally recognized tribe, under Article ___ of the Itsa Village Tribal Constitution, and under any power so delegated by Congress.

Section 3. Jurisdiction of the Itsa Village Tribe, and the Itsa Village Tribal Court

The Itsa Village Tribal Court shall have the authority to exercise the inherent judicial powers of a federally recognized tribe. These powers include, but are not limited to, matters relating to the governmental processes internal to the Tribe and over matters arising:

1.     In the Itsa Village Tribe’s Indian country; and/or

2.     Over all tribal members, enrolled or eligible, regardless of where they live or do business; and/or

3.     Over all persons and entities who enter into consensual relations with the Tribe or tribal members, or whose activities affect the political integrity, economic security, or the health or welfare of the Tribe or tribal members; and/or

4.     Over any matters so delegated by Congress.

Section 4. Itsa Village Tribal Court Structure

[The structure of the court would go here. If a separate body from the tribal council is established, qualifications for judges, how they are elected or appointed, and the length of terms would be written here. There are many ways to structure a tribal court, here is one idea using a variation on the tribal council:

The Itsa Village Tribal Council shall serve as the Itsa Village Tribal Court, and the Council members shall serve as the standing Tribal Court Judges. The Council may appoint up to two Elder tribal members (55 and older) to serve as Judges when there are not enough Council members to make a quorum due to conflict of interest, or for other significant reasons. Additionally, the Court may use visiting judges from outside the Village when the Court determines that is in the best interest of the Tribe to do so. The Court may join with other tribal courts to form intertribal courts for specific cases involving persons who are members or eligible members from two or more tribes. The Court may use a justice circle format when it is appropriate to do so. The Tribal Council may also establish specialty tribal courts such as a tribal youth court. In any configuration of the Itsa Village Tribal Court System, there shall be at least one Tribal Council member serving as a Judge at every hearing.]

Section 5. Quorum of the Itsa Village Tribal Court

A quorum of no less than three Judges shall be necessary to hear a case, provided that the Itsa Village Youth Court may use a different quorum number. A minimum or one Judge shall be an Itsa Village Tribal Council Member, and up to two Judges may be Elders or Visiting Judges.

Section 6. Presiding Judge of the Itsa Village Tribal Court

The Presiding Judge shall be chosen for each case through a consensus of the Judges. An alternate Presiding Judge shall be chosen in the same manner. The Presiding Judge shall continue to be the Presiding Judge for subsequent hearings on their cases whenever possible. The Presiding Judge shall control the Itsa Village Courtroom in a fair manner and persons in the Court may only speak at the direction of the Presiding Judge.

Section 7. Conflict of Interest for Itsa Village Tribal Court Judges

Judges of the Itsa Village Tribal Court shall remove themselves from hearing a case involving first degree relatives including parents, children, spouses or significant others, siblings, aunts and uncles, first cousins, grandparents, grandchildren, and anyone living in their same home, except that in emergency situations where temporary decisions are made, Judges may be so related. Judges shall remove themselves from any cases in which they have any significant, direct, personal financial or other interest. Judges shall remove themselves from hearing a case in which they cannot be fair for any reason.

Section 8. Decision Making by Itsa Village Tribal Court Judges

The Judges of the Itsa Village Tribal Court shall reach decisions through consensus when possible, and through a majority vote when consensus is not possible. Judges may refer cases to sentencing circles of their design, for decisions by consensus of such circles.

Section 9. Visiting Judges

The Itsa Village Tribal Court may call on Judges from other tribal courts or attorneys certified by the Alaska Bar Association to hear cases in situations where the Itsa Village Tribal Judges have significant conflicts of interest, or when a case has extreme legal complications. When a visiting Judge is used, there shall be an agreement in writing made as to the terms of any financial arrangements made, and that the visiting Judge shall apply the laws of the Itsa Village Tribe to the fullest extent possible. When Visiting Judges are used, there shall also be at least one or two Judges from the Itsa Village Tribal Court to make a quorum of three.

Section 10. Justice Circles

The Itsa Village Tribal Court may use a Justice Circle format for sentencing for any cases where the Circle format is appropriate. A quorum of at least three Judges shall decide who shall sit in such Circles and who shall sit as the Keeper of the Circle, provided that at least one Itsa Village Tribal Court Judge shall sit in the Circle.

 

A. Basic Rules of the Circle: The most basic rule of the Circle is that persons shall have respect for one another. Only one person shall speak at a time while the others respectfully listen. The Keeper of the Circle shall lead the Circle, but shall have no greater voice in the final consensus then anyone else in the Circle. Other rules may be established by the Circles themselves.

B. Decisions of Circles: Decisions of Justice Circles shall be by consensus of the Circle and shall be written as written Orders of the Itsa Village Tribal Court. If a Circle fails to come to consensus on a case, the case shall be referred back to the regular Itsa Village Tribal Court.

C. Follow-up on Circle Orders: Before a Circle adjourns a session, it shall set a Justice Circle date to sit in the Circle again to examine the progress of a case if appropriate, or shall make a specific plan for how follow-up will be monitored.

Section 11. Advisors to the Itsa Village Tribal Court

The Judges may confer with Elders, Council members, or other appropriate consultants during hearings, and may call upon the Itsa Village Elders to give answers to questions put to them, which shall be recorded for future generations.

Section 12. Court Clerk

The Tribal Council shall appoint the Itsa Village Tribal Court Clerk.

Section 13. Oath of Confidentiality, Fairness, and Impartiality

Itsa Village Tribal Court Judges, the Tribal Court Clerk, participants of circles used for sentencing, and any other tribal employees or other officials who participate in a case shall take the following oath of confidentiality, fairness, and impartiality prior to all cases:

“I ___________________ , do solemnly swear and affirm that I will not discuss the proceedings of this case outside of the chambers of the Itsa Village Tribal Courtroom. I shall maintain respect due the Itsa Village Tribal Court by striving for fairness and impartiality in the tribal court proceedings that come before me.”

Violators of this oath may be subject to removal under ______ of the Tribal Code, subject to termination from employment if they are tribal employees, or subject to contempt of the Itsa Village Tribal Court.

Section 14. Repeal of or Amendments to the Itsa Village Tribal Court Structural Ordinance

Repeal of or amendments to this Itsa Village Tribal Court Structural Ordinance may only be made by an affirmative vote of tribal voters at a tribal election for which notice has been posted in public places in Itsa Village for at least 2 weeks immediately prior. At least ___% of the resident tribal voters must vote in such election.

CHAPTER ___ ITSA VILLAGE TRIBAL COURT PROCEDURES

Section 1. Purpose
Section 2. Definitions
Section 3. Sentences and Options form Orders
Section 4. Civil Violations - Complaints : General Procedures
Section 5. Petitions to Use the Tribal Court : General Procedures
Section 6. Notice of Hearings
Section 7. Emergency Hearings
Section 8. Truthfulness at Hearings
Section 9. Failure to show for a hearing
Section 10. Recesses
Section 11. Records of Hearings
Section 12. Confidentiality
Section 13. Testimony, Evidence, and Affidavits
Section 14. Repeal or Amendments to the Itsa Village Tribal Court Structure Ordinance
Section 15. Request to Change Order
Section 16. Proof of Compliance with Orders
Section 17. Contempt of Court
Section 18. Search Warrants
Section 19. Juveniles
Section 20. Tribal Court Finances

Section 1. Purpose

The purpose of the Itsa Village Tribal Court Procedures Ordinance is to provide a fair and equitable process for the operation of the Itsa Village Tribal Court that is consistent with the Itsa Village Tribal Constitution and ordinances, the requirements of the Indian Civil Rights Act, and compatible with the unwritten values and customs of the Itsa Village Tribe.

Section 2. Definitions

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this Chapter, shall have the following meanings:

"Banishment” means sending a person out of the Village of Itsa Village for a period of time or permanently.

"Clerk" means the Clerk of the Itsa Village Tribal Court.

"Parties" means Petitioner(s) and Respondent(s) and any other persons the Itsa Village Tribal Court considers to be parties in a particular case. Petitioners may choose not to be a party to a case if it is specifically permitted by tribal ordinance or if the Itsa Village Court permits it.

“Petitioner” means the person, persons, or entity that files a petition to use the Court to address an issue.

"Respondent" means the person involved in an issue brought before the Court by a Petitioner or against whom a Complaint is filed.

"Restitution" means compensating a person who has been damaged or injured, by paying money or performing services to compensate for damage or injury. Restitution includes apologizing, payment of medical bills or other bills, repair of property, or replacement of property. The Itsa Village Tribal Court may also order people to do other things to provide restitution.

"Civil violation" means failing to comply with tribal rules and involves conduct inappropriate to an orderly society, but it is not a criminal offense. A person charged with a civil violation is not entitled to a trial by jury or a right to a public defender.

Section 3. Sentences and Options for Orders

The Court may issue Orders concerning child custody arrangements, domestic relations issues, and any other type of case where an Order is appropriate. Unless the Itsa Village Tribal Code sets a specific penalty for a particular civil violation, the Itsa Village Tribal Court Judges, either by themselves or through a Justice Circle, shall determine the specific Orders for a particular case. The Judges may choose from the following options:

A. Fines: Fines for violation of a Tribal ordinance shall not exceed $5,000 or equivalent work sentence. Fines may increase for successive violations of the same ordinance. The Court may garnish wages, permanent fund or dividend checks, village or regional Native corporation dividends, general assistance, or confiscate property in the case of unpaid fines.

B. Community Service: Work sentences may include cutting wood for needy people or the community center, hauling water for needy people or the community center, working in the school, building maintenance or repair, hauling and pumping fuel, and cleaning up trash in the Village of Itsa Village. The Tribal Court Judges may order other types of community work as well. The work sentences shall benefit the needy, the village residents as a whole, the Elders, the victim of an offense, or the youth. Tribal Court judges shall not order work sentences that only benefit themselves personally or other tribal government officials. Work sentences shall not displace persons employed in the Village or employment opportunities. Work sentences shall be completed within 30 days unless otherwise directed by the Court.

Community work shall contribute $10.00 per hour towards fines ordered by the Itsa Village Tribal Court. Persons have the option of work sentences instead of paying a fine only if the Court specifically permits it.

C. Impounding vehicles: Any vehicle that is used in driving while intoxicated, speeding, or reckless driving under Title ___ of this Code, is subject to impound. To get a vehicle out of impound, the owner shall pay $100 for the first time the vehicle is impounded, $300 for the second time, and $500 for the third time. The owner is responsible for the impound fee even if the owner was not involved with the civil violation. The Itsa Village Tribal Government is not liable for any damages to vehicles while they are impounded.

D. Banishment: An Order of temporary or permanent banishment shall only be used to protect the Village and/or Village residents from harm. The length of time a person is banished shall be determined by the severity of the case or upon the completion of treatment that is ordered.

E. Drug and Alcohol Treatment: The Tribal Court may order an assessment for drug and alcohol treatment and may require that the recommendations of the assessment be met. The Tribal Court shall consider the cost to the person and possible waiting periods for getting in to treatment in ordering such treatment. The Tribe may pay such costs if funding is available.

F. Restitution: The Tribal Court may order a Respondent to make restitution to his or her victims. Restitution is defined to include payment of money, repairing or replacing property, apologies, or other specific tasks that the Court may order. Restitution payment shall go through the Itsa Village Tribal Court Clerk. Non-monetary restitution shall be supervised by the VPSO or by another person designated by the Itsa Village Tribal Court.

G. Counseling by Judges and Elders: The Judges of the Itsa Village Tribal Court may counsel persons brought before them in a helpful spirit. The Itsa Village Tribal Court may bring Itsa Village Elders into the Itsa Village Courtroom to counsel people.

H. Counseling: The Tribal Court may order personal or family counseling.

I. Traditional Activities: The Itsa Village Tribal Court may order a person found in violation of an ordinance to participate in seasonally appropriate traditional activities such as fish camps, trapping, hunting, culture camps, preparing Native foods, traditional crafts and Native language activities, and other tribally sponsored or approved traditional activities.

Section 4. Civil Violations - Complaints: General Procedures

A. Beginning a Case: A case involving a civil violation of Itsa Village Tribal ordinances is started by filing a Complaint with the Clerk of the Tribal Court.

B. Persons authorized to file Complaints with the Itsa Village Court: Persons authorized to file Complaints are the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO), Village Police Officer (VPO), persons specifically designated by the Tribal Council, persons who witnessed a violation, and Council members.

C. Serving the Complaint on the Respondent: Either before, or as soon as possible after the Complaint is filed with the Clerk, a copy of the Complaint shall be given or mailed by the VPSO or by another designated person, to the person who is being charged with the violation. If the Complaint is personally delivered, a proof of service shall be filed with the Court. If the Complaint is mailed, it shall be done by certified mail and a proof of service filed.

D. Terminology for Parties involving a Complaint: The person who is being charged with a violation of an ordinance shall be called the "Respondent." The Itsa Village Tribe shall be the "Complainant."

E. Hearings when a case involves a Civil Violation: A hearing shall be held within 30 days after a Respondent has been served with a Complaint and notified of a hearing. At this hearing, the Presiding Judge shall open the hearing and shall read the Complaint into the record and shall make sure the Respondent understands the Complaint. The Respondent shall be asked how he or she pleads: guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The Respondent shall say what his or her plea is. If the Respondent pleads guilty or no contest, the Court may either sentence the person for a civil violation, or set a date for sentencing. If the Respondent pleads not guilty, the hearing shall be held at this time unless the Court finds it appropriate to delay in order for parties to gather witnesses and evidence. If the Respondent is present but chooses not say anything, the Court shall enter a plea of not guilty.

At the hearing, the VPSO or other spokesperson for the Complainant shall make a statement to the Court, and shall present any other evidence or witnesses to the Court. The Respondent may make a statement to the Court and may present other witnesses and evidence to the Court. Each party shall be entitled to question the other party’s witnesses. Judges may question all persons in the Courtroom.

Section 5. Petition to Use the Tribal Court: General Procedures

A. Beginning a Case: All cases other than those involving a civil violation of tribal ordinances shall be started by filing a Petition to use the Tribal Court. The Petitioner shall briefly state the reason why he or she wants to use the Tribal Court in the Petition.

B. Terminology for Parties involving a Petition: The party filing a Petition shall be called the "Petitioner." If the Petitioner wants the Court to resolve a dispute or problem involving some other entity or person, that entity or person shall be called the "Respondent."

C. Notice to Respondents: A copy of the Petition shall be personally given or mailed to each Respondent by the Tribal Court Clerk or by some other person designated by the Court. A proof of service shall be filed with the Court or otherwise noted in the Court records.

D. Hearings when a case involves a Petition: A hearing shall be set by the Court when a Petitioner requests the Tribal Court to settle a dispute or to perform an undisputed activity such as a marriage or uncontested adoption. The hearing shall be held no more than 30 days after a Respondent is served with a Petition, unless the Court decides there is good reason to have a hearing at a later time. At the hearing, the Presiding Judge shall read the Petition into the court record. Both Petitioners and Respondents may speak and may present witness and evidence. Each party shall be permitted to question each other and all witnesses. Judges may question anyone in the Courtroom.

Section 6. Notice of Hearings

A. Notice for Regular Hearings: Parties shall be given reasonable notice for all regular Itsa Village Tribal Court hearings. The Clerk, or some other person specifically designated by the Court, shall personally serve or mail Notice to all parties before hearings. A proof of service shall be filed or noted in the Court records. The Notice shall be delivered at least 10 days or mailed at least 14 days before a hearing except as otherwise provided for in this Code. If a hearing is rescheduled, notification may be made telephonically and noted in the case file. Each party shall be responsible for serving Notice to their own witnesses.

B. Notice for Emergency Hearings: Notice for emergency hearings shall be done as best as possible under the specific circumstances.

C. Notice when Hearings are Rescheduled: If the Court changes the time of a hearing for any reason, the involved parties shall be given reasonable notice of the change.

Section 7. Emergency Hearings

Emergency hearings shall involve matters where harm or damage to a person or property may likely occur if the Court had to wait. In cases of emergencies, the Court may hold a hearing as soon as reasonable proof of imminent harm is provided to the Court. Notice of emergency hearings shall be given to parties who are reasonably available to receive Notice, but the Court may proceed without Notice if necessary. Orders issued during emergency hearings shall be written, and shall be of limited duration of up to no more than 30 days unless otherwise stated in the tribal code, or, shall stand only until a regular hearing is held within that 30 days and reasonable Notice has been given.

Section 8. Truthfulness at Hearings

All persons testifying in the Itsa Village Tribal Court shall commit to telling the truth. If the Court has reasonable proof that a person lies during a Court hearing, the Court may hold the person in Contempt of Court under Section 17 of this Ordinance.

Section 9. Failure to show for a hearing

If a Party was served with reasonable Notice but fails to show up at a hearing without a compelling reason that prevented them from appearing, the Itsa Village Tribal Court may proceed to hold the hearing and make a decision in the absence of the person, or the Court may set another hearing date.

Section 10. Recesses

The Itsa Village Tribal Court may recess and reconvene during hearings.

Section 11. Records of Hearings

The Court shall keep a record of all cases consisting of a tape recording or written notes of all hearings, all original documents filed with the Court, correspondence related to the case, and all Orders entered by the Court.

Section 12. Confidentially

All children’s cases and hearings shall be confidential. Hearings involving adults may be open to the public if the parties and the Court Judges agree. Unless a case is appealed to the Itsa Village Appellate Court, only the Court Judges and Clerk shall have access to the Court records without further Order of the Court. The Itsa Village Appellate Court shall have access to all records involving cases that are appealed to it.

Section 13. Testimony, Evidence, and Affidavits

A. Testimony: The Itsa Village Tribal Court may summon witnesses to testify at the hearings by issuing a Summons to Testify. Witnesses may testify in person or telephonically. Any travel or telephone costs associated with the testimony of witnesses summoned by the Court shall be paid by the Itsa Village tribal government.

B. Evidence: The Itsa Village Tribal Court shall hear all evidence it finds proper. Hearsay evidence given under oath shall be proper evidence. The Itsa Village Tribal Court may Order evidence to be brought before the Court by issuing a Subpoena.

C. Affidavits: The Itsa Village Tribal Court may accept sworn Affidavits as evidence in cases if the witness is not available to testify.

Section 14. Written Orders, Timeframe for Complying, Default Orders

A. Written Orders: All orders made by the Itsa Village Tribal Court shall be written on Itsa Village Tribal Court Order forms unless otherwise specified by ordinance. All written Orders shall be filed in the case records. The Clerk or other designated person shall personally give or mail a copy of the Order to all parties to the case, and file a proof of service.

B. Time frame for Complying with Orders: For cases involving a Complaint, all sentences shall be accomplished within 30 days after the Respondent has been notified of the Order unless the Court provides otherwise. For cases involving a Petition to use the Tribal Court, the Order shall specify the time frame in which actions shall occur.

C. Default Orders: If a party fails to appear at a hearing after being properly notified, the Court may decide the case and issue an Order in his or her absence after reviewing the Complaint or Petition, hearing from any witnesses present, and examining any other evidence in the case.

Section 15. Request to Change Order

After an Order has been given, the person receiving the Order or another person or party affected by the Order may request a change by filing a Request to Change Order form with the Court. The request shall state the reason the person believes a change should be made. The requesting person shall present new evidence or information to the Court to support the request. The Court may deny the request or set a hearing date.

Section 16. Proof of Compliance with Orders

Records of proof of compliance with Orders of the Tribal Court shall be kept by the Tribal Court Clerk in the case files. If a party is ordered to do something, proof that the action has been taken shall be supplied to the Court Clerk and certified by the Clerk within 14 days of completion of the act unless otherwise specified by Court Order. Payment of a fine to the Tribal Court Clerk and a recording of the payment shall be proof in itself of payment. Financial restitution ordered to another party shall be made through the Clerk of the Tribal Court. The Clerk shall report any failures to comply with Tribal Court Orders to the Court. Failure to comply with an Order of the Court in civil violation cases shall be considered contempt of court as described in Section 17 of this Chapter.

Section 17. Contempt of Court

A. Reasons Persons may be found in Contempt of Court: A person may be found in contempt of court if he or she is:

1. Violating the Oath of Confidentiality, Fairness, and Impartiality;

2. Failing to fully comply with an Order of the Itsa Village Tribal Court;

3. Lying to the Court; or

4. Disrupting Court proceedings.

B. Judges in Contempt: If a Judge is the subject of a contempt of court violation, that Judge shall not participate in such a decision. The Judges shall determine how to handle the matter based on the facts of the situation.

C. Confiscating Personal Property: The Tribal Court may seize a person's personal property if that person is found in contempt of court by the Itsa Village Tribal Court, for not doing what the Itsa Village Court has ordered. The property shall remain confiscated and under the care of the Tribal Council until the person complies with the Court Order to the satisfaction of the Itsa Village Tribal Court. If the person does not comply with the Court Order within the time limits set by the Itsa Village Tribal Court, Itsa Village Tribal Court may sell the confiscated property after providing at least 30 days notice of the proposed sale to the person.

Section 18. Search Warrants

The Itsa Village Tribal Court shall comply with the Indian Civil Rights Act in requiring tribal search warrants when necessary to search for evidence under circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe than a civil violation was or is being committed. Suspicion unsupported by any facts is not sufficient. Search warrants shall specifically state where the search may be done, what items are to be looked for, when the warrant expires, and whether or not the search may take place at night.

A. APPLICATION FOR SEARCH WARRANTS: In order to do searches of people, houses, cars, or other private property, the Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) or other person designated by the Tribal Council to conduct searches, shall fill out an Application for Search Warrant. The application shall state why he or she believes a search is needed and must state the name of the person who saw or has knowledge an illegal activity or item if it is the basis for reason to believe that a search is needed. The person applying for the search warrant shall swear that the statements in the application are true to the best of their knowledge.

B. ISSUING A SEARCH WARRANT: Search Warrants may be issued by any Itsa Village Tribal Court Judge. The Judge must be convinced that the person applying for the Search Warrant has “probable cause,” meaning evidence of circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that an offense was or is being committed.

Section 19. Juveniles

A. Application of Tribal Laws to Juveniles: The civil laws of the Tribe and tribal court procedures generally apply to juveniles the same as they do to adults, provided that specific ordinances may apply solely to juveniles and that a Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court may be established and operated under its own written procedures.

B. Attending hearings by Parents of Guardians: In cases involving civil violations by minor children, written notification shall be given to the child of an upcoming hearing and written notification also given to parents or guardians. The Itsa Village Tribal Court may request a parent or guardian to be present at their child's hearing, or, the Court may request parents or guardians to leave a hearing. The Court may appoint a spokesperson for a minor child.

Section 20. Tribal Court Finances

A. Accounting System and Bank Account: The Tribal Council shall establish an accounting system and a separate bank account for the Itsa Village Tribal Court.

B. Court Costs: The Itsa Village Tribal Court may charge fees to use the Court. Such fees shall be equal for equal types of cases and matters, and shall be made know to Petitioners before disputes and other matters come before the Court. The Itsa Village Court Clerk shall keep a written list of standard Itsa Village Court fees.

C. Fees: The Itsa Village Tribal Court may charge fees to use the Court in cases involving Petitions. Fees shall be charged equally for similar types of cases and the Court Clerk shall keep a list of various Court fees. Costs involved in serving notices shall be paid by a Petitioner in cases beginning with a Petition to use the Tribal Court.

D. Payment of Fines or Fees: Fines or fees shall be paid in cash, check, or money order. Checks or money orders shall be made out to the Itsa Village Tribal Court and a receipt given.

CHAPTER ___ ITSA VILLAGE COURT OF APPEALS

Section 1. Purpose of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals
Section 2. Structure of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals
Section 3. Clerk of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals
Section 4. Beginning an Appeal
Section 5. Appeal
Section 6. Appellate Court Procedure and Decisions

Section 1. Purpose of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals

The Itsa Village Court of Appeals is established to assure a fair judicial process in the Itsa Village tribal government system. The purpose of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals is not to re-hear cases, but to review cases that are appealed for possible inconsistent application of tribal law and/or violations of fundamental fairness. The Itsa Village Court of Appeals has discretion whether or not to take a case before it. The Itsa Village Court of Appeals shall take a case after reviewing records on the case from the Itsa Village Tribal Court, reviewing the Appeal, and making a preliminary determination that there is sufficient evidence that there may have been an inconsistent application of tribal law or a violation of fundamental fairness.

Section 2. Structure of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals

[The structure of the appellate court would go here. If a separate body from the tribal council is the tribal court, the council may be the appellate court. The appellate court could be an inter-tribal court, elected appellate judges, or a panel of appointed Elders. Another type of idea is something like this:

A panel of three Judges who are adult, resident members of the Itsa Village Tribe shall be appointed by the Council, provided that the appointments are approved by the parties. Appellate Judges shall take the oath of confidentiality, fairness, and impartiality found in Chapter ___, Section ___ of this Title. The provisions for conflict of interest found in Chapter ___, Section ___ also apply to Appellate Judges. The three Judges shall decide among themselves who the Presiding Judge shall be. If the parties cannot agree with the appointment by the Council, a panel of three Judges may be selected by a random drawing from a list of the adult resident tribal members, from which Council members, parties, and persons with a conflict of interest have been excluded. ]

Section 3. Clerk of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals

The Clerk of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals shall be the same person as the Itsa Village Tribal Court Clerk, unless another person is specifically designated by the Itsa Village Tribal Council.

Section 4. Beginning an Appeal

A person who wishes to appeal a case may file a Notice of Appeal with the Clerk of the Itsa Village Court of Appeals within 30 days after receiving an Order from the Tribal Court. Appeals filed after 30 days from the receipt of an Order shall not be considered. A person who is appealing a case shall be called the "Appellant."

Section 5. Notice of Appeal

The Notice of Appeal shall state the name and address of the person who is appealing the case, the name of the case, and case number. A copy of any written Order the Appellant is appealing shall be attached to the Notice of Appeal. The Notice of Appeal shall contain a statement of why the Appellant believes that the case should come before the Itsa Village Court of Appeals.

Section 6. Appellate Court Procedure and Decisions

A. Beginning a Case: The Clerk shall notify the Itsa Village Tribal Council that an Appeal has been filed. The Clerk shall make copies of the Tribal Court record of the case and the Notice of Appeal for the Court of Appeals. The Clerk shall set a date for the Court of Appeals to review these materials, and to determine if there is sufficient evidence that tribal law may have been inconsistently applied and/or if there may have been a violation of fundamental fairness. If the Itsa Village Court of Appeals decides that there is not sufficient evidence, the decision of the Itsa Village Tribal Court stands, and no hearing is scheduled. If no hearing is held the Itsa Village Court of Appeals shall issue an order to the Appellant stating that.

B. Setting a Hearing Date: Once the Itsa Village Court of Appeals has completed a review of the case records and decided that it will hear a case, the Clerk shall set a hearing date and shall give all parties to the case Notice of the hearing. The Notice shall be personally delivered at least 10 days or mailed at least 14 days prior to a hearing, and proof of service filed or noted in the case records. At the hearing, all parties may discuss the issues written in the Appeal concerning whether or not the Tribal Court made a mistake in applying tribal law or a mistake concerning fundamental fairness. The parties may only present new evidence in the appeal if the Appellate Court permits it.

C. Decisions of the Appellate Court: After the Itsa Village Appellate Court hears a case, the Presiding Judge or Clerk shall fill out a Decision of Appeal that shall be filed in the Appeals Court record given to the Tribal Court. The Clerk shall assure that all parties in a case receive a copy of the Decision of Appeal, and file a proof of service in the case records.

A. Options for Decisions of the Appellate Court: After finishing a hearing or hearings on a case, the Appellate Court shall take one of the following actions:

1. Uphold the procedures and decision of the Itsa Village Tribal Court;

2. Order the Tribal Court to re-hear the case in a way that is consistent with specific instructions written in the Decision of Appeal; or

3. Dismiss the case in the most serious of circumstances.

CHAPTER ___ ITSA VILLAGE TRIBAL YOUTH COURT

STRUCTURE AND PROCEDURES

 

Section 1. Purpose of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court
Section 2. Authority to Operate and Establish the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court
Section 3. Jurisdiction of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court
Section 4. Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court Judges
Section 5. Persons allowed in the Courtroom
Section 6. Court Clerk of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court
Section 7. Oath of Confidentiality, Fairness, and Impartiality
Section 8. Petitioning the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court
Section 9. Notification of Hearings
Section 10. Hearing Procedure
Section 11. Failure to Appear in the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court
Section 12. Creating Sentencing - Options for Orders
Section 13. Proof of Compliance with Youth Court Orders and Failure to Comply
Section 14. Appeals

Section 1. Purpose of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court

The Youth are the treasures of our Tribe and hope for the future. The purpose of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court is to encourage responsible behavior and choices among our Youth, to empower them to participate in decision-making when problems arise among their peers, and to preserve and promote the cultural values and practices of the Itsa Village Tribe. The sentences ordered by the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court shall be designed to help and heal victims, offenders, and the Village of Itsa Village. This Ordinance outlines the basic structure and procedures of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court, and is intended to provide a fair and equitable process that is consistent with the Itsa Village Tribal Constitution, tribal ordinances, the requirements of the Indian Civil Rights Act, and compatible with the unwritten laws and values of the Itsa Village Tribe.

Section 2. Authority to Establish and Operate the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court

The Itsa Village Tribal Council has the authority to establish and operate a tribal court system under its inherent sovereignty as a federally recognized tribe and under Article ___ of the Itsa Village Tribal Constitution. The Itsa Village Tribal Council hereby establishes the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court as a branch of the Itsa Village Tribal Court.

Section 3. Jurisdiction of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court

The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court shall have limited jurisdiction over health, safety, and welfare matters arising among the village Youth between and including the ages of 8 through 18 when the subject matter concerns those described in Title ___ of this Code. Those subjects include violations of alcohol and drug regulations, vandalism, trespass, firearms and other weapons regulation, traffic violations, theft, assaults, harassment, disorderly conduct, and juvenile curfew. However, the Itsa Village Tribal Court may at any time, initially take, or take over a case when the complexity or seriousness of the situation warrants it. Such a decision shall be made by an affirmative vote of at least three Itsa Village Tribal Court Judges.

Section 4. Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court Judges

Qualifications for Court Judges of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court: Tribal members, or eligible tribal members, who are between and including the ages of 12 to 18, and who reside in Itsa Village, shall be qualified for the office of Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court Judge.

Panel of Judges: A panel of 3 Youth Judges and one regular Itsa Village Tribal Court Judge shall be the basic structure of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court. Parties may not request specific judges or preempt judges.

Selecting Judges: The Itsa Village Tribal Court Clerk plus one tribal council member together shall select the 3 Youth Judges and the adult Tribal Court Judge. The Youth shall be selected in a rotating fashion from among those who are between and including the ages of 12 to 18. The adult shall be selected based on availability, and may either be a Tribal Council member [or tribal court judge if a separate body from the tribal council], or an Elder judge.

Presiding Judge: The Presiding Judge shall be chosen for each case through a consensus of the Judges, provided that the Presiding Judge shall be one of the Youth judges. The Presiding Judge shall control the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Courtroom in a fair manner and persons in court may only speak at the direction of the Presiding Judge.

Adult Judge: The adult judge serving on the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court shall provide general guidance as needed and shall have authority to restore order in the courtroom if the Presiding Judge is having difficulty maintaining control. The adult judge shall either be a Itsa Village tribal council member [or tribal court judge if the court is separate from the tribal council] or an Elder Judge.

Conflict of Interest: Youth Court Judges may not hear cases involving their sisters and brothers, or involving anyone who lives in their household. The adult Judge shall not hear cases involving their children, or involving anyone who lives in their household. Both Youth Court Judges and the adult Judge shall remove themselves from hearing a case in which they cannot be fair for good reason.

Decisions by Judges: The Judges of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court shall reach decisions through consensus when possible, and through a majority vote when consensus is not possible.

 

Section 5. Persons allowed in the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Courtroom

The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court hearings shall be closed to persons other than the parties, Itsa Village Tribal Council members, [Itsa Village Tribal Court Judges if separate from the Council], and those who the Youth Court specifically allow to attend a particular hearing. The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court Judges may confer with Elders, Council members, the Village Public Safety Officer, or other appropriate consultants during hearings.

Section 6. Court Clerk of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court

The Court Clerk for the Itsa Village Tribal Court shall also serve as the Clerk of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court.

Section 7. Oath of Confidentiality, Fairness, and Impartiality

Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court Judges, the Tribal Court Clerk, and any other tribal employees or other officials who participate in a case shall sign the following oath of confidentiality, fairness, and impartiality prior to each hearing:

“I __________________, do solemnly declare and affirm that I will not discuss the proceedings of this case outside of the chambers of the Itsa Village Tribal Courtroom. I shall maintain respect due the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court by striving for fairness and impartiality in the tribal court proceedings that come before me.”

 Violators of this oath may be charged with Contempt of Court and referred to the Itsa Village Tribal Court for a hearing on the matter and a decision on penalties.

Section 8. Petitioning the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court

A case may begin by anyone giving a Petition describing a problem situation to the Itsa Village Tribal Court Clerk, or to any one of the Itsa Village Tribal Council members. Petition forms shall be made available at the Tribal Office, and at the VPSO’s Office. The person filing a Petition shall be called the Petitioner and shall attend the hearing on the case. Two Itsa Village tribal council members [judges], or the Clerk and one tribal council member, must review the petition and decide whether or not the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court should hear the case. If they decided that an Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court hearing should be held, the judges shall be selected according to the guidelines of Section 4 ( C ) of this ordinance. The Tribal Court Clerk shall schedule a hearing, and notify the parties of the hearing.

Section 9. Notification of Hearings

The Tribal Court Clerk shall notify the parties to a case about the date, time, place, and subject of the hearing. The notice shall be given at least three days prior to the hearing.

Section 10. Hearing Procedure

A. Oath of Confidentiality, Fairness, and Impartiality: Before each case, Tribal Court Judges, the Tribal Court Clerk, and any other tribal employees or other officials who participate in a hearing shall sign an oath of confidentiality, fairness, and impartiality.

B. Recording Hearings: Hearings shall be recorded either by tape recorder, or by written notes.

C. Opening a Hearing: Hearings shall be opened by the Presiding Judge of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court. The Presiding Judge shall ask for each person in the room to state their name for the record.

D. Reading Charges and Taking Pleas: The Presiding Judge shall read the charges listed in the Petition, and shall ask the parties if they plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If the party does not understand the pleas, the Presiding Judge shall explain them. If a party pleads not guilty, the case shall be referred to the regular Itsa Village Tribal Court for a hearing.

E. Hearing: The Presiding Judge shall then ask parties to tell their side of the story, and witnesses to present information they have, and allow Judges to ask questions. Parties shall be allowed to ask questions of any witnesses. The Presiding Judge shall give every person who is involved in the court proceeding a full opportunity to speak and ask questions. The Presiding Judge shall maintain order in the court, but shall not interfere in the proceedings except where necessary to protect the interests of the parties.

F. Decision Making: After everyone has had an opportunity to speak and ask questions of each other, the Presiding Judge shall excuse all from the Courtroom except the Judges. The Judges shall decide what sentence shall be. The decision shall be made by consensus if possible, and by a majority vote if consensus is not possible. The decision shall be written on an Order form.

G. Mentors: Specific adult mentors shall be assigned to oversee the progress of offenders in completing their sentences. Mentors shall sign off on proof of compliance forms when offenders complete tasks assigned in orders. Mentors shall report to the Tribal Court Clerk if an offender fails to complete assignments made in orders within the allowed timeframe.

G. Order: After the Judges have decided upon a sentence, they shall call the parties back into the courtroom and inform them of the sentence. The written order shall be given to parties at that time, or as soon as possible following the hearing. A copy of the order shall also be given to any mentors assigned to the case.

Section 11. Failure to Appear in Court

If a party was served with a notice about a hearing but fails to show up at a hearing without a compelling reason, the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court may make a decision in the absence of the person, send the VPSO to get the person if the person is in the Village, or set another hearing date. Parties may appear in Court telephonically.

Section 12. Creative Sentencing - Options for Orders

[Note: In this sample ordinance, fines are not one of the options for sentencing]

The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court shall design sentences intended to help and heal victims, offenders, and the Village of Itsa Village. The Court shall assign specific adult mentors to oversee the completion of sentences. The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court Judges may choose one or more from the following options:

A. Community Service Work: Work sentences shall benefit the needy, the village residents as a whole, the Elders, the victim of an offense, offenders, and/or the youth. Work sentences may include and are not limited to cutting wood, hauling water, shoveling snow, doing laundry, or cleaning homes or yards for needy people or the community center, working in the school, conducting village surveys, helping the VPSO, working with carpenters or other tradesmen in the village, working in the Tribal Office, participating in preparations for community events, building maintenance or repair and cleaning up trash in the Village of Itsa Village. Tribal Youth Court judges shall not order work sentences that only benefit themselves personally or other tribal government officials. Work sentences shall not displace persons employed in the Village or employment opportunities. Work sentences shall be completed within 30 days unless otherwise directed by the Court.

B. Restitution: The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court may order an offender to make restitution to his or her victims or to the Village. Restitution is defined to include payment of money, repairing property, and apologies. Restitution payment shall go through the Itsa Village Tribal Court Clerk. Non-monetary restitution shall be supervised by the VPSO or by another person designated by the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court.

C. Apologies: The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court may order offenders to make apologies to victims, parents or guardians, and/or to the whole Village at tribal meetings or gatherings. The Court may specify if the apologies shall be in writing or oral or both.

D. Essays and Presentations: The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court may order offenders to write essays and/or to give presentations. The order shall specify the topics for such essays and the minimum length. If a presentation is required, the audience such as the Tribal Council, school, or Elders shall be specified.

E. Organize Events or Fundraisers: The Court may order offenders to organize or help organize events for the Youth, or fundraisers for village projects.

F. Counseling by Professional Counselors, Judges, and Elders: The Judges of the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court may counsel persons brought before them in a helpful spirit. The Court may order professional counseling, as long as the counseling is available in the village, or counseling by specific Itsa Village Elders. The Court may also order peer counseling by specific peers, or participation in talking circles.

G. Substance Abuse Awareness Sessions and Talking Circles: The Court may order participation in substance abuse awareness sessions or talking circles in the Village.

H. Traditional Activities: The Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court may order a person found in violation of an ordinance to participate in seasonally appropriate traditional activities such as fish camps, trapping, hunting, putting up fish or meat, culture camps, preparing Native foods, traditional crafts and Native language activities, and other tribally sponsored or approved traditional activities.

Section 13. Proof of Compliance with Youth Court Order and Failure to Comply

If a party is ordered to do something, the party shall file a Proof of Compliance form with the Tribal Court Clerk within 7 days after completion of the order unless otherwise specified by the order. Mentors shall sign off on Proof of Compliance forms. Mentors shall notify the Clerk in the event the person they are mentoring does not complete the requirements of an order. The Clerk shall report any failures to comply with orders to the regular Itsa Village Tribal Court, schedule a hearing, and provide notice to the party of the hearing.

Section 14. Appeals

The regular Itsa Village Tribal Court shall serve as the Appellate Court for the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court. A Youth who wishes to appeal a case may file a Notice of Appeal with the Tribal Court Clerk within 10 days after receiving an Order from the Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court. Appeals filed after 10 days shall not be considered.

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