Tribal Court Code

of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians


We, the people of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians establish this Tribal Court Code of the Band, (1) to protect the peace and order of all persons within the territorial boundaries of the Bad River Reservation; (2) to protect the natural resources and beauty of the Reservation; (3) to protect the cultural traditions, customs, land base and human resources of the Band; and (4) to preserve the life ways and natural resources of the Band for future generations so that they may have the benefits that are rightfully theirs to enjoy and keep; (5) to assure the perpetual existence of the Band; and (6) to exercise the inherent sovereign powers of the Band. To accomplish these goals it is necessary that those that violate the code of the Band be punished as necessary and that disputes arising within the jurisdiction of the Band be resolved both according to the customs, laws and process of the Band itself. Further, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians intend with this code to set out a structure and procedures for the establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive judicial system; to deal fairly and equitably with all individuals; to justly administer all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations.

PreambleFamilyConservation CodesNon-Indian Contract and Procurementns
on the Reservation with Fishing, Hunting,

Trapping and Ricing

Contract and Procurement

101 General Provisions
102 Definitions
115 Subpoenas201 Powers of Tribal Wardens326 Commercial Fishing in the Western
920 Code of Conduct 
102 Definitions
125 Children’s Code300 Conservation; General Provisions331 Resident Non-Member Indian PermitsWorkers Compensation
103 Establishment and Duties126 Marriage301 Hunting of Deer340 Sloughs Protection Ordinance1100 Workers Compensation
104 Judges127 Dissolution of Marriage302 Taking of Walleye350 Boat RegistrationEconomic Regulation [For Profit]
105 Civil Procedures129 Visitation Rights for Grandparents and Others303 Harvesting of Wild Rice351 Snowmobile Registration1200 Charter of Economic Organizations [Reserved]
106 Jurisdiction
130 Name Changes304 Trapping Ordinance352 All Terrain Vehicle Registration1300 Charter of Non-profit Economic Organizations
107 Clerk of Court131 Foster Home Licensing305 TaggingLease and Land Use1500 Motor Vehicle Licensing
108 Prosecutor134 Curfew306 Moose403 Tribal LeasesFireworks
109 Court Records135 Truancy310 Closed Fishing Season_ Interim Land Use Control1600 Regulation and Use of Fireworks
110 Complaint and Answers
145 Domestic & Family Violence Code315 Setting of Nets405 Bad River Utilities
Repatriation Committee
111 ServiceRules of Evidence320 Closed Deer Season450 Leasehold Mortgage Regulations1700 Establishment of a Repatriation Committee
112 Judgment
150 General
325 Commercial Fishing GamingBuilding Code Compliance Ordinance No: RI-1-66
113 Initial Appearance151 Relevancy326 Commercial Fishing in the Western500 Gaming Control OrdinanceTribal Housing Ordinance
114 Enforcement of Court Orders152 Privileges
Michigan Waters of Lake Superior
116 Criminal Procedures153 Witnesses327 Commercial Fishing Vessel601 Membership
117 Parties to a Violation154 Writings
Safety Regulations
118 Juveniles155 Hearsay327 Sloughs Protection Ordinance701 Cigarettes
119 Reserved128 Adult Guardianship330 Regulation of Members AssistingTraffic Safety
120 Seizures156 Judicial Notice
Exclusion and Removal
1400 Regulation of Traffic and Control of Parking Areas On the Bad River Reservation
121 Appeal ProcedureSafety Standards and Usage Operation
800 Exclusion and Removal of Non-Members from the Bad River Reservation
Public Safety
122 Small Claims Procedure360 Dog Control RegulationsHiring Ordinance1000 Establishment And Operation of Bad River Tribe Police Commission
123 Civil Remedial Forfeitures375 Solid Waste Recycling and Disposal900 Hiring by Contractors is Restricted1000 Winter Parking Ordinance
124 Landlord/Tenant Relations376 Open Burning, Burning Barrels

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Tribal Court Codes

SECTION 101.1 - AUTHORITY This Tribal Court Code shall become effective when adopted by resolution of the Bad River Tribal Council pursuant to the inherent authority vested in the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, retained and acknowledged by the Constitution of the Band adopted pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984) as amended and shall apply to all members, and provided herein to non-members who, through either their residence, presence, business dealings, other actions or contact with the Band or other significant contracts with the Band and or its residents, commit criminal offenses in violation of the laws of the Band or incur civil obligations to persons or entities entitled to the protection of laws of the Band. SECTION 101.2 - REPEAL OF PRIOR INCONSISTENT ORDINANCES Any and all ordinances or portions thereof heretofore enacted by the Tribal Council which are in any way conflict with the provisions of this Civil and Criminal Code are hereby repealed. SECTION 101.3 - INTERPRETATION OF THIS CODE This Code shall be interpreted pursuant to the customs and traditions of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Where any doubt arises as to these customs and traditions, the Court may request the advice of counselors familiar with these customs and traditions. If none such exist, then the Court may use appropriate Federal or State law as guidelines. SECTION 101.4 - SEVERABILITY CLAUSE Should any section of this Civil and Criminal Code be determined as unconstitutional by any court of proper jurisdiction, that determination shall not affect any other provisions of this Civil and Criminal Code. SECTION 101.5 - FUTURE AMENDMENTS OF THE COURT CODE This Court Code may be amended by ordinance of the Tribal Council and any amendments adopted shall be effective and become part of this Code as provided in the amending ordinance, subject however to review by the Secretary of the Interior as provided in Article VI, Sec. 1(g) of the Bad River Tribal Constitution.
SECTION 102.1 As used in this code, the following terms shall have the meanings given to them in this section. (a) "Bad River Reservation" shall mean all lands and waters regardless of ownership within the exterior boundaries of the reservation as designated in the Treaty of 1854 between the Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior and the Mississippi, and the United States, 10 Stat. 1109, and any lands or water or interests therein which may be held or acquired outside the reservation by or on behalf of the Band. (b) "Tribal Council" shall be the duly constituted Tribal Council of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. (c) "Members of the Bad River Band" shall mean those persons currently enrolled in the Tribe. (d) "Bad River Tribal Court" shall mean the duly constituted court of the Tribe. (e) "Jury" shall mean six (6) persons drawn from the list of eligible jurors empowered to decide matters of fact and to give a verdict according to the evidence. (f) "Juror" shall mean a tribal member at least eighteen (18) years of age who served upon a jury. (g) "Clerk of Court" shall mean an officer of the Tribal Court who has charge of the clerical part of its business. (h) "Prosecutor" shall be an official or officials appointed by the Tribal Council to investigate and initiate complaints and prosecute individuals when good reason exists to believe they have committed infractions of Tribal Codes or ordinances. (i) "Complaint" shall mean a formal, written allegation against a party. (j) "Subpoena" shall mean a writ commanding the designated person to appear and testify and/or produce physical evidence. (k) "Search Warrant" shall mean an order in writing issued by a tribal judge directing authorized tribal enforcement personnel to search specific persons and/or property. (l) "Appellate Court" or "Court of Appeals" shall mean the Court established by Section 103.9, with procedures established by Chapter 121. (m) "Juvenile" shall mean any individual who has not yet had his or her eighteenth birthday. (n) "Tribe" shall mean the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. (o) "Person" means any natural or legal person, including corporations, governmental units, and agencies thereof. (p) "Tribal Holiday" means New Year's Day, day after New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Good Friday from 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m., Easter Monday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Indian Day (last Friday in September), Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve from 12:00 noon until 4:30 p.m., Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas Day, provided that when a holiday falls on a Sunday it is observed on the following Monday and when it falls on a Saturday it is observed on the following Monday and when it falls on a Saturday it is observed on the preceding Friday.
SECTION 103.1 The Tribal Council hereby establishes a Tribal Court which shall have jurisdiction as provided by Section 106 or other applicable tribal law. SECTION 103.2 Anyone entering the Bad River Reservation consents to the jurisdiction of the Bad River Tribal Court. SECTION 103.3 The Court shall consist of one chief judge to be selected by the Tribal Council and such associate judges as the Council may deem necessary. SECTION 103.4 All penalties and forfeitures assessed shall be in accordance with the provisions adopted in this code. In no case, however, shall a fine exceed $5,000.00 or a term of incarceration exceed one year for each violation. SECTION 103.5 The Court will convene at such location and at such times as shall be designated by the Court. SECTION 103.6 The Court shall collect all fines, forfeitures and other monies generated through enforcement of Tribal Ordinances. SECTION 103.7 All receipts shall be disposed of as prescribed by Tribal Council. SECTION 103.8 Court personnel shall be selected under standards established by the Tribal Council. SECTION 103.9 A Court of Appeals is hereby established, consisting of the judges of other tribal courts who from time to time consent to sit on a panel of three judges to hear appeals cases. SECTION 103.10 A Court of Appeals panel, consisting of three judges, shall be selected by the Clerk of the Court of Appeals upon the proper filing of appeal.
SECTION 104.1 Any person over the age of 30 who is generally knowledgeable in the laws applicable upon the Bad River Reservation shall be eligible for appointment as judge. SECTION 104.2 Any judge of the Bad River Tribal Court may be suspended, dismissed, or removed after written notice and fair hearing in executive session, by a two thirds vote of the Tribal Council for just cause. Each judge shall be appointed for a term of six (6) years, unless sooner removed for cause, or unless elected to the Tribal Council, and shall be eligible for reappointment. SECTION 104.3 No individual shall serve as judge while serving as a member of the Tribal Council or as a tribal law enforcement officer. The duties of any judge who is nominated for election to the Tribal Council shall be transferred to other judges of the court pending the election. If the judge shall be elected to the Tribal Council, his term of judge shall terminate at 12:01 midnight the day prior to the commencement of his term on the Tribal Council. SECTION 104.4 No judge shall be qualified to act in any case wherein he or she has any direct interest. A tribal judge shall not, unless his service is agreeable with all parties, sit on any case wherein his or her spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, grandfather, or grandmother, is a party. SECTION 104.5 In case of a vacancy, the judgeship will be filled by an appointment through a majority vote of the Bad River Tribal Council. SECTION 104.6 It shall be the duty of the court to judge all cases brought before it. CHAPTER 104 AMENDED BY RESOLUTION #2-6-91-167
SECTION 105.1 Sessions of the Bad River Tribal Court shall before the chief judge or an associate judge. SECTION 105.2 All actions for violations of Tribal Ordinances shall be brought in the name of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. SECTION 105.3 Any person appearing as a defendant in a civil case or action in the Bad River Tribal Court shall have the right to be represented by a spokesman or an attorney at his own expense provided that such spokesman or attorney has made proper application to this court for admission to practice before it. Such application procedures shall be established by the Tribal Court. SECTION 105.4 All trials shall be conducted in a manner so as to afford all those who appear before it all rights guaranteed by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, 25 U.S.C. Secs. 1301, 1302, and 1303, as amended. SECTION 105.5 The court in its discretion may assess court costs against a defendant found to have violated a tribal ordinance. SECTION 105.6 The court in its discretion may apportion and assess court costs, against the parties to a civil action. In any case in which the court has appointed a guardian ad litem, psychologist or other witness, or ordered a social services study, the costs therefore may be assessed against the parties. SECTION 105.7 Except as specified herein, all records and files of the Bad River Tribal Court shall be available for public inspection during regular office hours of the Clerk of Court. SECTION 105.8 All juvenile files shall be closed. The may in its discretion and in the interest of privacy, deem other court files as closed files. All closed files shall be unavailable for public inspection without a court order. SECTION 105.9 Individuals securing documents from tribal court files or transcripts of tribal court proceedings, if available, shall, unless otherwise ordered by the court, pay the actual cost of reproduction or preparation of such material. SECTION 105.10 - TIME (a) In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by tribal law or by an order of the Tribal Court, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a tribal holiday. When the period of time to be computed is less than 11 days, Saturdays, Sundays, and tribal holidays shall be excluded in the computation. (b) Whenever a party has the right or is required to do some act or take some proceedings within a prescribed period after service of a notice or other paper upon the party, and the notice or paper is served by mail, three (3) days shall be added to the prescribed period. (c) When an act is required to be done at or within a specified time, the court may order the period enlarged upon motion for cause shown and upon just terms. If the action is made after the expiration of the specified time, it shall not be granted unless the court finds that the failure to act was the result of excusable neglect. SECTION 105.11 - JUDICIAL RULES The Tribal Court may adopt such procedural rules for the operation of Tribal Court and the regulation of the Bad as it deems proper.