The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians established the Tribal Court on March 19, 2009, consisting of a Trial Court and the authority to establish any other Tribal Court, as the Tribal Council deems necessary, which shall resolve disputes as provided by the laws of the Tribe. The objective of the Tribal Court is to provide due process in a fair and equitable manner for public safety while restoring balance to the community in accordance with the customs and traditions of the Tribe. The Shingle Springs Tribal Court is one of 300 Tribal Courts established in Indian Country and is the 21st Tribal Court established in California.
Indian tribes, as sovereigns that pre-exist the federal Union, retain inherent sovereign powers over their members and territory, including the power to exercise jurisdiction over Indians. The Shingle Springs Tribal Council as the governing body of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians exercises its sovereign right to provide an independent, culturally sensitive judicial forum in which to present and resolve disputes based on the Tribe’s laws, ordinances, customs and historical precedent within its jurisdiction through a Tribal Court. Except as otherwise provided by the laws of the Tribe, the Tribal Court shall exercise all judicial and dispute resolution powers of the Tribe, subject only to the limitations provided in the laws of the Tribe and applicable federal law. California is one of six states practicing Indian law under the federal regulations of Public Law 83-280 (P.L. 280) , which transferred federal criminal jurisdiction and conferred some civil jurisdiction on states and state courts. The federal government retains concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute under the Major Crimes Act and General Crimes Act. Under P.L. 280, and the more recent Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, Tribes have retained civil jurisdiction over activities within Indian Country as well as criminal jurisdiction over Indians.
The Tribal Court hears civil matters that can include:
- Dispute resolution
- Arbitration services
- Dis-enrollment appeals
- Enrollment application denial appeals
- Wage garnishments
- Minor’s trust disbursement
- Legal competency
- Preliminary injunctions
- Temporary restraining orders
- Permanent injunctions
- Environmental, housing, and building codes
- Children codes
- Peace and Security codes
- Other civil laws passed by the Tribal Council
The Tribal Court procedures are governed by Tribal Court Rules, that include:
- General Rules for; service and filing of pleadings and papers other than process, Tribal Bar admission requirements, fees, harmless error, citation, amendments, severability, outside government agencies authority to operate on the Rancheria
- Rules of Civil Procedure for; discovery, pretrial meetings, trials, evidence, subpoenas, witnesses, judgments, garnishments of wages, repossession, and disbursement of funds from the Minor’s Trust.
The Tribal Court does not hear criminal cases at this time.
The Tribal Council appoints the Chief Judge of the Tribal Court for a term of five years and may appoint additional judges as it deems necessary and appropriate in accordance to Tribal law.
Judges appointed by the Tribal Council must meet minimum qualifications and are responsible for:
- Promulgate, supervise and implement rules regulating pleadings, practice and procedures in judicial proceedings
- Regulate, by rule, the qualifications and standards of conduct for persons representing parties to disputes and other proceedings.
Additional information and documents can be found using the following publically available resources:
All attorneys and lay advocates must be admitted to the Shingle Springs Tribal Court Bar before appearing in any Tribal court or administrative forum.
The Tribal Council is committed to public safety within its jurisdiction. To provide better services to the community the Tribal Council recently approved the acquisition for a new facility to house the Tribal Court and its administrative functions. The Tribal Court is located on the Shingle Springs Rancheria.
For further information regarding the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians
Tribal Court, please contact the Tribal Court Administrator/Tribal Clerk at:
P.O. Box 531
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
Tribal Court Staff
Christine Williams, Tribal Court Judge
Krystal Moreno, Tribal Court Administrator/Tribal Clerk