Tribal Courtroom Procedures & Rules
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Tribal Court Rules
Anyone who does not comply with these rules will be removed from the courtroom and could be held in contempt
Items NOT allowed in Courtroom:
Weapons including any sharp object, knives, metal nail files, razor blades, scissors, certain types of cigarette lighters (torch lighters) and anything that can be used as a weapon. All bags, purses, backpacks, and personal items may be searched.
Cell phones are not allowed in the courtroom. However, attorneys, spokespersons and service providers may have a cell phone. If a phone is being used for evidence the bailiff will hold the phone until it is needed.
Electronic devices capable of recording audio/video or taking photos.
Revealing or inappropriate clothing. Those dressed inappropriately may be asked to leave and/or required to change their clothes prior to a hearing.
Food, drinks, or gum chewing.
Hats/caps or sunglasses.
Conduct NOT allowed in the Courtroom:
NO talking while court is in session unless addressing the judge or testifying as a witness.
NO contact with inmates in the courtroom, including verbal interaction and hand gestures.
NO drugs and/or alcohol. Anyone suspected of being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol could be tested and/or removed from the courtroom and could face contempt proceedings, including possible jail.
Any inappropriate behavior will result in removal from the courtroom and possible contempt proceedings including jail.
Children must be supervised so as not to disrupt proceedings. If children cannot be quiet they must wait in the lobby.
Tribal Court Procedures
- Documents for court – parties must give the opposing party a copy of any document that will be presented to the Court. Copies must be made before the hearing.
- Where to Sit – defendants present for criminal cases must sit in the gallery until the judge calls the case then proceed to the podium. Parties present for civil matters may sit at the tables.
- Hearings Involving Minors/Juveniles – are CLOSED and only those needed for the hearing are allowed in the courtroom. All others will be asked to leave.
- Notice of Hearing –parties must sign for and obtain a Notice of Hearing for their next court date before leaving the courtroom. Any party who leaves without receiving their Notice of Hearing risks having a bench warrant issued if they fail to appear for the next scheduled hearing.
- Vacated, Continued or Rescheduled Hearings – when a hearing is vacated, continued or rescheduled the court clerks will contact parties as soon as possible by telephone to inform them of the change and send a new Notice of Hearing to all parties.
- Current Contact Information – the Court REQUIRES that parties provide their current mailing address, physical address and telephone number.
- Witnesses– parties must ensure that their witnesses know the date/time hearings when their presence is needed. The Court does NOT personally serve or subpoena witnesses to appear. Witnesses must wait in the lobby until they are called to testify.
- Subpoenas – are signed by a judge upon request and approval. The requesting party is responsible for serving the subpoena. Any witness who is subpoenaed and fails to appear may be issued a bench warrant.