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Tribal Court Development

Alaska Tribes

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Tribal Courts - A Historical Perspective

Types of Tribal Courts
       Traditional Tribal Courts
       CFR Courts (Code of Federal Regulations)
       Modern Tribal Courts
History of Tribal Court Jurisdiction in the U.S.
Brief History of Alaska Tribal Status and Courts
       Venetie Tax Case and Indian Country
       State Recognition of Tribes and Tribal Courts in Alaska (John v. Baker; C.R.H.)

Chapter 2: Tribal Court Jurisdiction - Alaska Tribes

Jurisdiction Terminology - General Categories of Jurisdiction
Territorial Jurisdiction - Indian Country
Personal Jurisdiction - Tribal Members and Protecting Tribal Members
Subject Matter Jurisdiction - Subjects Tribal Courts Handle
Connection between Jurisdiction and Due Process
Path within the Tribe for Exercising Tribal Jurisdiction
Concurrent Jurisdiction - Comity and Full Faith and Credit
Concurrent Jurisdiction Between Tribes (Comity Guidelines for Tribes)
State Jurisdiction under ICWA - Transferring Cases to Tribes
Criminal Jurisdiction
Effects of the Venetie, John, and C.R.H cases on Tribal Jurisdiction
Effects of P.L. 280 on Tribal Jurisdiction

Chapter 3: Tribal Court Structures

Separation of Powers
Tribal Court Structures
Structures of Tribal Courts and Conflicts of Interest
Appellate Court Structures
Intertribal Court Structures
       Northwest Intertribal Court System
       Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals
Tribal Youth Courts and Other Specialty Tribal Courts

Chapter 4: Tribal Court Procedures

Due Process and the Indian Civil Rights Act
Due Process and the John v Baker case
Beginning a Tribal Court Case: Petitions to Use the Tribal Court and Complaints
Procedures for Hearings
Options for Orders and Sentencing
Appellate Court Procedure

Chapter 5: Subject Matter for Tribal Courts

Children’s Subjects
       Child Custody
       Child Protection
       Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
Domestic Violence
       Violence Against Women Act
       Alaska’s Central Registry System
       State and Tribal Jurisdiction over Domestic Violence
       Practical Issues for Enforcing Tribal Protective Orders
Protection of Elders and Vulnerable Adults
Marriages, Divorces, and Annulments
Cultural Protections
Law and Order - Health and Safety
Alcohol Regulation
Employment Issues
Internal Tribal Government Matters
Environmental Regulation

Chapter 6: Tribal Youth Court Development

What is a tribal youth court?
Structure Options
Procedure Options
Creating Sentences Designed to Help and Heal
Planning for a tribal youth court

Chapter 7: Judicial Ethics

Conflicts of Interest
Respectful Behavior
Sample Ethics Ordinance
Traditional Tribal Values and Ethics

Chapter 8: Tribal Court Management Issues

Tribal Court Clerks
Tribal Court Records
Court Calendar
Tribal Court Forms
Tribal Court Seals, Certification Stamps, Date Stamps
Financial Affairs of Tribal Courts

Chapter 9: Enforcement of Tribal Court Decisions

Enforcement of tribal court decisions within the village
       Gathering acceptance among tribal members
       Creating respected court structures, procedures, and ethics standards
       Adopting realistic and culturally appropriate laws
       Getting cases into tribal court
       Follow-through on tribal court orders
Recognition and Enforcement of tribal court decisions outside the village
       Tribal jurisdiction issues
       Public relation networks
       Building common ground
       Due process, comity, and full faith and credit


A:    Indian Civil Rights Act

B:    Sample Tribal Court Ordinances

       Itsa Village Tribal Court Structure
       Itsa Village Tribal Court Procedures
       Itsa Village Court of Appeals
       Itsa Village Tribal Youth Court Structures and Procedures

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 122 First Avenue, Suite 600
 Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
 (907) 452-8251