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Approved Ordinances for the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone

Last amended: 2003

[TITLE I - GENERAL PROVISIONS CONTINUED]


See the enacting ordinance below.


Chapter 3 - Tribal Court


1-3-1 Creation and Establishment of Court

This Tribal Court is created under the Provisions in Article 8, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Te-Moak Tribe. All proceedings within the purview of the Law and Order Code and any additional ordinances hereafter adopted by the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone shall be under the jurisdiction of the Tribal Court.


1-3-2 Jurisdiction

The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law or equity arising under the Constitution of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada.


1-3-3 Definitions

The following words have the meanings given below when used in the Law and Order Code:

(a) CLERK: Clerk of Court.

(b) CODE: The Law and Order Code of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada.

(c) JUVENILE COURT: The Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Juvenile Court

(d) RESERVATION: The territory pursuant to Article 2, of the Te-Moak Tribe as set forth in the tribe's Constitution.

(e) HE, HIM, and HIS: These words include the feminine gender when used in the Law and Order Code:

(f) TE-MOAK TRIBE: Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada.

(g) TE-MOAK TRIBAL COURT: The Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada Tribal Court.

(h) SHALL: Imperative or Mandatory.

(i) MAY: Possibility, probability, or contingency.


1-3-4 General

The Te-Moak Tribal Court shall have civil and criminal jurisdiction as provided for in this Tribal Court Ordinance, for the purpose of the enforcement of the regulation of the Law and Order code, an "Indian" shall be deemed to be any person of Indian descent who is now under federal jurisdiction, and a "Reservation" shall be taken to include all territory within reservation boundaries. All monies derived from fines shall be kept in an account for the respective Band Councils.


1-3-5 Civil

A. Tribal Court shall have jurisdiction, over all civil matters and action as described within the Law and Order Code, as
well as civil jurisdiction over all ordinances that may hereafter be passed by the Te-Moak Tribal Council, and amendments to the Code that may hereafter be adopted, and any person may file a civil cause of action in the Te-Moak Tribal Court wherein the cause of action arose within the exterior boundaries of the Te-Moak Tribe, and the court shall have jurisdiction thereof.

B. The civil jurisdiction of this court is not limited by the amount or value in controversy, including interest.


1-3-6 Criminal

A. The Te-Moak Tribal Court shall have criminal jurisdiction over all offenses enumerated in the Law and Order Code when said offenses are committed by an Indian within the exterior boundaries of the Te-Moak Indian Reservations or Colonies.

B. Enforcement of all offenses that may be compassed within ordinances that may hereafter be passed by the Te-Moak Tribal Council amendments to the Law and Order Code that may hereafter be adopted.

C. With respect to any of the criminal offenses enumerated within the Law and Order Code over which Federal Courts may have jurisdiction, the jurisdiction of the Te-Moak Tribal Court shall be concurrent and not exclusive. The Te-Moak Tribal Court shall order delivery of any offender upon demand to the proper Federal authority for prosecution where said authority has jurisdiction over the offense and offender and has consented to exercise that jurisdiction.


1-3-7 Probate Jurisdiction

A. The Te-Moak Tribal Court shall have probate jurisdiction over the real and personal property located within the jurisdiction of the Court at the time of death, and the personal property, wherever located on the Te-Moak Reservation or Colonies, of any person who is a resident of the Reservation at the time of death.


1-3-8 Juvenile Jurisdiction

A. The Te-Moak Tribal Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all progress and matters affecting children under the age of eighteen when such children are residing or apprehended within the jurisdiction of the court.

B. When exercising such jurisdiction, the court shall be known as the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Juvenile Court.


1-3-9 Tribal Law and Order Code

The Te-Moak Tribal Code shall apply the provision of this Court and any additional ordinances hereafter adopted by the Tribe.


1-3-10 Tribal Custom

In matters not covered by the code or any ordinance, the Te-Moak Tribal Court shall apply traditional customs of the Tribe when applicable. The Te-Moak Tribal Court shall not consider whether the customs of the Tribe apply unless this issue is raised by one of the parties.


1-3-11 Appointment of Judges

A. The Te-Moak Tribal Court shall consist of one Supreme Court Judge and as many Judges as the Tribal Council shall find necessary to conduct the business of the Court.

B. Although the specific number of Judges is left up to the Tribal Council under subsection (a) of this section, there
shall always be one Supreme Court Judge and at least one Judge of the Te-Moak Tribal Court.

C. The Judges of the Te-Moak Tribal Court shall have the power to issue all such orders and to act in all instances, as may be authorized by the law and Order Code or by ordinances that may hereafter be passed by the Te-Moak Tribal Council and amendments of the Code that may be hereafter adopted.

D. The Supreme Court Judge position and the Judges shall be filled by appointment by the Te-Moak Tribal Council.


1-3-12 Qualification of Judges

A. The qualifications and eligibility requirements for the one Supreme Judge and Judge(s) are listed under Article 8, Section 4-B and shall include: any adult person, 30 years of age or older; either Indian or Non-Indian and either a resident or non-resident of the Reservation, who is a person of integrity, good moral character and who possesses a knowledge of tribal and Indian law.

B. No person may hold such office who has ever been convicted of a felony, or within one year past, of a misdemeanor that involves moral turpitude.

C. The requirement of a background investigation similar to which is required of police officers, shall be on file indicating proof of necessary qualifications and eligibility.


1-3-13 Oath of Office

The Supreme Court Judge and the Judges shall, prior to entering office and embarking upon their various duties take the following oath:

"I, _________________________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada; that I will carry out, faithfully and impartially, the duties of my office to the best of my ability; that I will promote and protect the best interests of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada. That I will uphold and enforce the Law and Order Code of the Te-Moak Tribal Council and duly enacted ordinances and adopted resolutions, to the best of my ability."


1-3-14 Term of Office

The Judges of the Te-Moak Tribal Court shall be appointed by the Tribal Council for a six (6) years terms, except for the initial appointments to fill those positions. At the time of the initial appointments, the length of the term for approximately half of the Judges, on each of the court, shall be for three (3) years in order to establish a system of staggered terms of office.


1-3-15 Successive Terms in Office - Judges

The Supreme Court Judge and Judge(s) may be reappointed to a successive six (6) years terms.


1-3-16 Duties of Judges

A. Administer justice and discharge all duties imposed upon them by law.

B. Hear and decide causes of action and enter judgments or orders disposing of each cause.

C. The Supreme Court Judge and the Judge(s) shall have the power to receive cash bail whenever the Clerk is not available.

D. The Supreme Court Judge shall be responsible for the administration of the Court, the assignment of cases, and the management of the Court's calendar and business.

E. In the absence of the Supreme Court Judge, he will appoint at Judge to act as Supreme Court Judge in his absence.

F. The Judges shall attend Judges Training on Indian Judicial Law, Tribal Court and legal subjects, "at least two (2) sessions a year.


1-3-17 Compensation of Judges

A. The Supreme Court Judge shall be compensated on a basis to be set by the Tribal Council at the time of his appointment..

B. The Judges shall be compensated on a basis to be set by the Tribal Council at the beginning of the Judge's term of office.

C. The Tribal Council may contract under PL-93-638 with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for such agency to provide all or part of the compensation of a Judge of the Tribal Court.


1-3-18 Restrictions on Judges Officiating Proceeding

No Judge shall officiate in any proceeding in which he has any personal interest, or in which any party or witness of counsel, is related to him, by blood or marriage within the second degree, or in which any party or witness of council is related to, the judge of ward, attorney, client, employer, employee, landlord, tenant, business, associate, creditor or debtor. For these purposes, service as a judge for the Tribes shall not constitute disqualification by virtue of such employment by the Te-Moak Tribe.


1-3-19 Filling Vacancies

A person appointed to fill an existing vacancy created by the death, resignation or removal for cause of a judge shall be
appointed initially only for the unexpired portion of the term for which the appointment is made, subject to eligibility for
reappointment for the next full term.


1-3-20 Court Procedure

The time and place of Court sessions, and all other details of judicial procedure not prescribed by the regulations in this ordinance, shall be laid down in "Rules of Court" approved by the Te-Moak Tribal Council.

It shall be the duty of the Judges of the Te-Moak Tribal Court to make recommendations to the Te-Moak Tribal Council for the for the enactment or amendment of such rules of court as they believe to be in the best interests of improved judicial procedure.


1-3-21 Rights of Appeals

Any party who is aggrieved by a final order or commitment of judgement of the Te-Moak Tribal Court may appeal in the manner prescribed by sub-section 1-3-28 of this ordinance. The Tribe shall have no right of appeal from a jury verdict of "Not Guilty" in criminal cases.


1-3-22 Procedure on Appeals

In order to perfect an appeal, any person aggrieved by a final order, commitment, or judgment of the Te-Moak Tribal Court, must comply with the following procedures:


1-3-23 Time to Appeal and How to Appeal

An appeal must be taken within thirty days from the entry of the order or judgement appeal form. No extensions of the five day period shall be granted. A party may appeal by filing a written notice of appeal, together with a filing fee of $5.00 for civil cases with the Clerk of the Te-Moak Tribal Court and the bond required by subsection 3-3-26. Upon request, the Clerk of the Te-Moak Tribal Court shall prepare the notice of appeal.


1-3-24 Notice of Appeal

The Notice of Appeal shall specify the parties taking the appeal and shall designate the final order, commitment, or judgment, or part thereof appealed from, and shall contain a short statement of reasons for the appeal. The clerk shall mail a copy of the Notice of Appeal to all parties other than the party taking the appeal.


1-3-25 Designation of Parties

The party taking the appeal is an appellant. All other parties are respondents.


1-3-26 Bond on Appeal

In criminal cases, the right of the person to have his sentence or fine held in abeyance and suspended pending the appeal, shall be contingent on that person's depositing with the Notice of Appeal, case, or posting such bond as will in the judgment of the Trial Judge, give adequate assurance of the serving of the sentence or the payment of the fine if the appellate court affirms or modifies the action of the Te-Moak Tribal Court, which bond in no event shall exceed double the amount of the maximum fine.

In civil cases, the party taking an appeal shall deposit with the Notice of Appeal, cash, or a bond satisfactory to the Te-Moak Tribal Court, in an amount sufficient to guarantee the satisfaction or performance of the judgment appealed from, together with costs, interest damages, as the Court of appeals may award.


1-3-27 Stay of Appeal

In any case where an appeal is perfected in accordance with this section the financial order, commitment, or judgement of the trial court shall be stayed pending the appeal.

Unless by virtue of Federal Regulations or legislation there exists further remedies in the Department of the Interior or in the Federal Courts, any judgment on appeal shall be final.


1-3-28 Brief and Memoranda

Within thirty days after the appeal is taken, or within such additional time as the court allows, the appellant may file a written brief, memorandum, or statement in support of his appeal.

An original, two copies, and one copy for each respondent shall be filed with the Clerk, who shall mail one copy, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to each respondent. The return receipt shall be filed with the record. The respondent shall have fifteen days after receipt of the appellant's brief, memorandum or statement, within which to file an answer brief, memorandum, or statement if he desires. An original and one copy for each appellant shall be filed with the Clerk who shall mail one copy, registered or certified mail, return receipt requested to each appellant. The return receipt shall be filed with the record on appeal. No further brief, memorandum or statement shall be allowed without leave of Court.


1-3-29 Subpoena of Witnesses and Records of Cases on Appeal

The presiding Judge of the Court hearing the case may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of books, records, documents or other things necessary to the final disposition of the case on appeal. Witnesses before the Court of Appeals shall not be compensated unless specific authorization for such compensation is approved by the Tribal Council.


1-3-30 Record in the Tribal Courts

Within five days after a Notice of Appeal is filed, the Clerk of the Te-Moak Tribal Court shall certify and file with the Court of Appeals all papers comprising of the records in the case appealed.


l-3-31 Separate Docket for Court of Appeals

A separate docket shall be maintained for the Court of Appeals in which all actions taken at each stage of the proceedings in the Court of Appeals shall be recorded.


1-3-32 Clerk

The Clerk of the Te-Moak Tribal Court shall serve as Clerk of the Court of Appeals and perform all the duties of the office.


1-3-33 Juries

Any party in any criminal case may, by oral demand, in open court prior to the date of trial or by filing a written demand prior to the date of trial may move the court to have this case tried by jury. A party in any civil case may move the court to have the case tried by a jury after paying a fee of $25.00.


1-3-34 Exemptions from Jury Service

A. All members of the Te-Moak Tribe of the age, of eighteen (18) years or older shall be eligible to serve as jurors in trials before the Tribal Court, except the following:

 

a) Any federal or tribal officer.

b) Any judge, justice of the peace or attorney at law.

c) Any court clerk, recorder, assessor, sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or police officer.

d) Any officer or correctional officer employed by the Tribe.

e) Any person over the age of 65 years, if such person request to be exempted.

f) Those who have been convicted by a court of the United States or any state of the United States for a felony, or as a felony defined by the laws for that jurisdiction.


1-3-35 Jury List

The Clerk shall maintain a current roster of all voting registered persons from all Band Councils eligible to serve as jurors before the Te-Moak Tribal Court. When requested by any Judge of the Te-Moak Tribal Court in preparation for trial or trials, the Clerk will prepare a list of not less than twenty-five (25) persons from the jury roster to constitute a jury panel.


1-3-36 Trial Juries -- How Constituted

In any case, civil or criminal, a jury shall consist of six persons selected from the list of eligible jurors by the Judge. Said names shall be drawn by lot from the Jury List. Any party to the case may challenge without cause and have removed not more than three members of the jury panel so chosen, but there shall be no limit to challenges for cause. Jurors may be removed for cause if they have an interest in the case or are related as spouse, parent, brother, or sister, to any of the parties or their spokesman, or they cannot reach an objective decision on the merits of the case. If the list of eligible jurors is exhausted, the Tribal Clerk or any member of the Tribal Council may, at the request of the Tribal Judge, summon other members of the Tribe to act as jurors.


1-3-37 Power to Subpoena Jurors

The Judges of the Court shall have the power to issue a subpoena to compel the attendance of members, of the Jury List and of Trial Jurors, subpoena shall be signed by the Judge issuing them.


1-3-38 Power to Excuse Persons from Jury Duty

The Judges assigned to the case shall have the power to excuse persons from jury duty on account of sickness, disability, or for other good causes.



ORDINANCE OF THE TE-MOAK TRIBE OF WESTERN SHOSHONE INDIANS OF NEVADA


[ORDINANCE NO.] 87-ORD-TM-O3

TITLE I

BE IT ENACTED BY THE TRIBAL COUNCIL OF THE TE-MOAK TRIBE OF WESTERN SHOSHONE INDIANS OF NEVADA AS FOLLOWS:

That in accordance with Article 8, Section 1, of the Constitution of the Te-Moak Tribe, as amended on August 26, 1982, as organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934, (48 STAT 984) , as amended by the Act of June 14, 1935, (49 STAT. 378) that this Ordinance is hereby establishing a Tribal Court to be known as the Te-Moak Tribal Court.

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