Share |

A Quick Guide to Nevada's Tribal Courts

Embedded Scribd iPaper - Requires Javascript and Flash Player
A QUICK GUIDE TO
NEVADA’S
TRIBAL
BY PATTY D. CAFFERATA, ESQ.
Photos by Treat D. Cafferata
Nevada tribal courts are unique courts of record. Two have elected judges; the other tribes contract with individuals to serve as judges. Native American judges proudly note their tribal membership. Before appearing in one of these courts, an attorney should contact the court clerk for the most current information. This guide to the tribal courts was compiled in April and May of 2011.
COURTS
native American tribes are sovereign nations governed by their own constitutions and law and order codes. the tribal courts offer lawyers a chance to acquire pro bono hours by representing defendants. sixteen courts handle the legal matters of the Paiute, shoshone, Washoe and Goshute tribes in nevada. According to the 2010 Census, native Americans comprise about 1.5 percent of the nevada population, or more than 37,000 people.
8 Nevada Lawyer August 2011
Confederate Tribes of the Goshute Reservation
P Box 6104 .O. Tribal Center Road Ibapah, Utah 89034 (435) 234-1138 in Utah (435) 234-1162 fax Judge: Dustin O. Jansen from Idaho, telephone number (801) 360-8960 Court Administrator: Dustin O. Jansen Court Clerk: none Contact: Phyllis Naranjo, Tribal Council Secretary Court hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Court held: First Friday of the month beginning at 10 a.m. Filing fees: None, except for a one-time attorney admission fee of $25 A graduate of the University of Utah, College of Law, Judge Dustin Jansen (Navajo) holds court in the tribal building. Although the court is not a 25 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) court, he decides
criminal cases based on the 25 CFR and the tribal council ordinances. Additionally, the tribe adopted Utah’s legal reasoning and forms. Attorney Matt EchoHawk (Pawnee) from Idaho serves as the tribe’s prosecutor. The tribe has no official advocates. Any lawyer who wishes to appear in court is sworn in at the hearing.
Filing fees: From $10 to $50, attorney admission fee is $25 and the purchase of the Law and Order Code is $25 Judge (nonlawyer) Teresa Sprouse travels from Ely, Nevada to hold court in an unmarked tan double-wide trailer. Most cases are handled in a non-confrontational manner. The parties represent themselves; the tribe has not hired a prosecutor or advocate. The parties merely tell the judge their side of the story.
Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Tribe
P Box 219 .O. 2711 Agency Road Owyhee, Nevada 89832 (775) 757-2741 (775) 757-2078 or 757-2071 fax Chief Judge: Erven Schlender Associate Judge: Timothy Darrington Pro Tem Judge: Matt EchoHawk Court Clerk: Tex Blossom Assistant Clerk: Candace Kelly Court hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Even though the Nevada part of the reservation and court are on Pacific Time, the tribe operates on Mountain time) Court held: Every other Thursday (criminal docket is followed by the juvenile calendar) and Friday (civil calendar) Filing fees: From $20 to $100, attorney admission fee is $50/case or $100/annual fee Elected judge to a three-year term in June, Erven Schlender, a graduate of the University of Idaho, College of Law, joined Associate Judge Darrington and Pro Tem Judge EchoHawk, lawyers from Idaho, to preside over cases in the Shoshone Paiute Tribal Court building. The tribe’s prosecutor Carolyn Steele (Seneca) is also an attorney from Idaho. The tribe has two advocates and occasionally Nevada Legal Services assists individuals with cases, such as in child support matters. Since first adopted, the law and order code has been revised only to add the crimes of domestic violence and elder abuse but not a civil traffic code.
Ely Shoshone Tribe
16 Shoshone Circle Ely, Nevada 89301 (775) 289-2700 (775) 289-3557 fax Judge: Mitchell Wright Clerk: Dolores Manchester Court hours: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Court held: Third Friday of the month (usually) Filing fees: Range is consistent with the Nevada Revised Statutes, attorney admission fee is $100/annually Reno attorney Mitchell Wright was elected judge for a three-year term that expires in January 2012. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa, College of Law. He holds court in the administration building. His decisions are based on the recently revised law and order code, which is available on CD. A Utah law firm provides a prosecutor and the tribe’s lay advocate is Teresa Sprouse. To be admitted to practice in this court, an attorney must complete an application and the judge must approve it.
Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribes
987 Rio Vista Drive Fallon, Nevada 89406 (775) 423-8883 (775) 423-7395 fax Chief Judge: F. Woodside Wright Pro tem Associate Judge: William “Bill” Kockenmeister Appellate Judges: Bill Kockenmeister, David Humke and Patricia Barnes Court Administrator: Carmen Crutcher Clerk: Rebecca Masso Court hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Court held: Monday at 9 a.m. Filing fees: From $10 to $100, attorney admission fees from zero for the first four cases to $200/year Chief Judge (nonlawyer) Woodside Wright presides in the Tribal Justice Center. He bases his
continued on page 10
Duckwater Shoshone Tribe
P Box 140068 .O. 109 Newe Street Duckwater, Nevada 89413 (775) 863-0178 (775) 863-0384 fax Judge: Teresa Sprouse Clerk: Ruby Sam Court hours: Most Fridays and on court days, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Court held: Once a month, on a non-payday Friday beginning at 10 a.m., or by arrangement
August 2011
Nevada Lawyer
9
A QUICK GUIDE TO NEVADA’S TRIBAL COURTS
continued from page 9
decisions on the law and order code. In cases, such as probate and child support cases, the judges use the NRS as a guide. To practice in this court, lawyers must file a Motion for Admission that must be approved by the chief judge. Appeals may be taken to the tribe’s appellate court. These cases are heard by a three-judge panel of Bill Kockenmeister, David Humke and Patricia Barnes.
Court hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Court held: Criminal court usually on the first Thursday of the month and civil court is held on the following Friday of the month at 9 a.m. Filing fees: None, except attorney admission fee of $25 Judge Bill Kockenmeister, a University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law graduate, holds court in the meeting room in the Fort McDermitt Community Building. He bases his decisions on the tribe’s law and order code. To practice in this tribal court, a licensed attorney must apply for admission and pass the tribe’s bar exam of 100 true/ false and multiple-choice questions.
Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe
P Box 397 .O. 111 North Reservation Road McDermitt, Nevada 89421 (775) 532-8402 (775) 532-8202 fax Judge: William “Bill” Kockenmeister Prosecutor: vacant Clerk: Stephanie Abel
Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada (ITCN)
680 Greenbrae Drive, Suite 280 Sparks, Nevada 89431 (775) 355-0600, ext. 128 (775) 284-3274 fax Judges: Seven attorneys Court hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Clerk: Shannon Rambeau Court held: Every three months at the Judicial College, University of Nevada, Reno (pictured above.) Filing fees: None The council has seven attorney judges; five are from out-of-state. They are: Lisa Atkinson (Northern Cherokee and Osage); Gary Bass (Tulalip); Cheryl Fairbanks (Tlingit-Tsimshian); Jill Griener from Reno; Raymond Rodriguez from Carson City; Carolyn Steele (Seneca); and Eric Swenson from Utah. The court’s case load is about half civil and half criminal. The court adopted rules that are available on the ITCN’s website, itcnca.org. Those rules are superseded by the tribal law and order code of the case.
10
Nevada Lawyer
August 2011
planning to change the court schedule to once every three months. To practice in this court, an attorney must be licensed and swear to follow the law and order code. The court clerk will fax the one-page criminal code to any lawyer who pays the fee.
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians
Stuffed cougar in the Confederate Tribes of the Goshute reservation’s large courtroom.
P Box 187 .O. 3 E. Lincoln Street Moapa, Nevada 89025 (702) 865-2845 (702) 865-2060 fax Judge: Ruth Kolhoss Prosecutor: Bill Berrett Advocate (and tribe’s social services director): Dawn Bruce Court clerk: Cynthia Dotson Court hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Court held: Once a month at 8:30 a.m. Filing fees: Contact the clerk The Moapa Band’s Tribal Court meets once a month in a courtroom in a building shared with the police department and other tribal offices. Judge (nonlawyer) Ruth Kolhoss bases her decisions on the tribe’s law and order code. To practice in this court, an attorney must be a member of the state bar, supplying his or her state bar number. The court clerk confirms the attorney’s status with the state bar.
Las Vegas Paiute Tribe
Six Paiute Drive Las Vegas, Nevada 89106 (702) 383-1511 (702) 471-1394 fax Judge: Cal J. Potter, III Prosecutor: Patrick Murch Court hours: Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Clerk: Danae Bright-Shimp Court held: Third Thursday of the month beginning at 2 p.m. Filing fees: None, except a $50 attorney admission fee Cal J. Potter III, a graduate of the University of Arizona, College of Law, serves as judge and (nonlawyer) Sheila McCord (Hualapai from Arizona) serves as the pro tem judge. The judges rely on the law and order code for their decisions, but they use the NRS, if an issue is not covered in the code. The tribe has conducted bench trials, but no jury trials. An attorney must pass a background check to practice in this court.
Pyramid Lake Indian Tribe
P Box 257 .O. 221 Nixon Highway 447 Nixon, NV 89424 (775) 574-1094 or 574-1095 (775) 574-1096 fax Chief Judge (criminal and civil matters): David Humke Criminal Court held: Second, third and fourth Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. Civil Court held: First and third Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Judge (family and juvenile matters): Ryan Bellows Juvenile Court held: Second Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Family Court held: Second Tuesday at 6 p.m. Prosecutor: Thomas Wilson, III Advocate: Charlene Dressler Court Administrator: Jackie Phoenix
continued on page 12
Lovelock Paiute Tribe
P Box 878 .O. 208 Bowean Street Lovelock, Nevada 89419 (775) 273-5194 (775) 273-3302 fax Judge: William “Bill” Kochenmeister Prosecutor and Advocate: Charlene Dressler Clerk: Crystal Osborn Court hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon Court held: Once a month on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Filing fees: Contact the clerk, attorney admission fee is $50 Once a month, Judge Bill Kockenmeister holds court in the administration building, but the tribe is
August 2011
Nevada Lawyer
11
A QUICK GUIDE TO NEVADA’S TRIBAL COURTS
continued from page 11
Court clerk: Vacant Court hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Filing fees: From $15 to $50, attorney admission fees $10 to $75 annually Judge David Humke, a graduate of the Nevada School of Law at Old College, and Judge Ryan Bellows, a graduate of Brigham Young University Law School, hold court in the Judicial Services Building and base their decisions on the tribe’s law and order code. The cost for a copy of the code is $25 or $5 for a CD. For attorneys to practice in this tribal court, they complete an application to be approved by the judge.
Court hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Court held: Monday through Friday, beginning at 9 a.m. Filing fees: From $5 to $25, attorney admission fee is $50 Court is held in the Tribal Court and in a tribal court services building. For additional information, see the article, Judge Joseph (Joe) Van Walraven: Full-time judge for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony on page 37.
Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone
1523 Shoshone Circle Elko, Nevada 89801 (775) 738-7042 (775) 738-6047 fax Judge: Lisa Otipoby Herbert from Oklahoma Prosecutor: Must be admitted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Court clerk: Sharon Stevens Court hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Court held: Once a month for three consecutive days Filing fees: From $15 to $40, and attorney
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony
1900 Prosperity Street Reno, Nevada 89502 (775) 785-8775 (775) 329-8153 fax Judge: Joseph Van Walraven Prosecutor: Eric Hoshizaki Court Administrator: Jeraldine Magee Court Clerk: Henrietta “Etta” Toby
12
Nevada Lawyer
August 2011
admission fees are $20 for one case or $75 for annual admission
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe
P Box 206 .O. Death Valley, California 92328 (760) 786-2374 (760) 786-2376 fax The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe’s court is inactive.
Walker River Paiute Tribe
1018 Hospital Road Schurz, Nevada 89427 (775) 732-2333 fax
Filing fees: schedule from $25 to $45, admission fee to Tribal Court is $25 annually, no fee for civil court The tribe has two courts, a tribal court for their members and a civil (traffic) court for non-Native Americans. Bill Kockenmeister is the judge for both courts. In civil court, the defendant may appeal his conviction and argue his or her case before another judge. To appear in this court, an attorney must take the oath of office, swear to respect the court and swear they know the tribe’s law and order code. The code may be purchased at $ 0.15/page or $100 for the entire code.
Washoe Tribe
919 Highway 395 South Gardnerville, Nevada 89410 (775) 265-4191 (775) 265-0258 fax
Tribal Court P Box 225 .O. Schurz, Nevada 89427 (775) 773-2232 Tribal court clerk: Antonia Rogers Civil (Traffic) Court P Box 407 .O. Schurz, Nevada 89427 (775) 773-2222 Civil court clerk: Sharon Muldoon Judge: William “Bill” Kockenmeister Prosecutor: Thomas Wilson, III Advocate: A tribal member Court hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Court held: On Wednesdays, Tribal Court meets twice a month and civil court meets once a month on the third Wednesday after the Tribal Court calendar
Judge: William “Bill” Kockenmeister Prosecutor: Patricia Lenzi Public defenders: Matt Ence, Scott Souers and Jack Sheehan (retired) Court clerk-coordinator: Jennifer Leal Court hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Court held: Wednesday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. Filing fees: From $20 to $215 for a jury trial, attorney admission fee of $50, plus $10 for a CD of the Law and Order Code Judge Bill Kockenmeister presides in the judicial services building courtroom and bases his decisions on the relevant Law and Order Code found in its 31 Titles. If an applicable relevant code does not exist, he may look to other parts of the code, tribal ordinances, prior opinions and tribal custom, then to federal law and finally to other state laws. Patricia Lenzi (St. Regis Mohawk), a graduate of UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a former district attorney from California, is the prosecutor. For an attorney to practice in this court, he or she must be in good standing with the state bar, swear to uphold the law and order code and complete an application to be approved by the judge. For additional information, see “Washoe Tribal Court-Tradition Comes Full Circle” by Suzanne Garcia on page 34.
continued on page 14
Walker River Paiute Tribe court building.
August 2011
Nevada Lawyer
13
A QUICK GUIDE TO NEVADA’S TRIBAL COURTS
continued from page 13
Winnemucca Colony Council
P Box 1370 .O. Winnemucca, Nevada 89446 The Winnemucca Council Tribal Court is an inactive 25 CFR Court.
Yerington Paiute Tribe
171 Campbell Lane Yerington, Nevada 89447 (775) 463-3301, ext. 225 (775) 463-5568 fax Judge: David Humke (left.) Prosecutor: Mitchell Wright Advocates: Terrylee Sampson (Pyramid Lake Indian Tribe), Gary Smith owner of Paiute Legal Services in Reno, and Marci Williams (Walker River Paiute Tribe) Court clerk: Peggy Heim Court hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Court held: Twice a month on Mondays, 9 a.m. to noon the first or second week of the month and then two weeks later Filing fees: none Judge David Humke holds court in the administration building. He bases his decisions on the tribe’s law and order code, currently under revision. To practice in this court, an attorney must be a licensed attorney in good standing with the state bar, show proof of license, and file a Notice of Intent to Practice in the court.
Yomba Shoshone Tribe
HC 61, Box 6275 Austin, Nevada (775) 964-2463 (775) 964-2443 fax The Yomba Shoshone Tribal Court is inactive.
Patty Cafferata’S BIO IS ON PaGe 6.
14
Nevada Lawyer
August 2011
This document is © 2011 by jsmith22 - all rights reserved.
AttachmentSize
NVL_Aug-2011_Guide-to-Tribal-Courts.pdf6.25 MB