Article 7 Section 1 of the Tribal Constitution vests the judicial power of the CTUIR in the Tribal Court and authorizes the Court to adjudicate disputes and enunciate principles of law. Under Section 6 of Article 7, the Board of Trustees is responsible for setting the qualifications for Chief Judge and Associate Judges and for setting the procedures to evaluate, appoint, and remove judges. The Board is also constitutionally required to appoint the Chief Judge for a term of at least 10 years, and Associate Judges for terms of at least 4 years.
The mission of Tribal Court is to serve the community as an independent, separate branch of government in exercising civil and criminal jurisdiction. Tribal Court provides fair and equitable settlement of disputes, protects the general welfare of the community, and preserves individual rights. In short, Tribal Court provides tribal member’s access to justice. The Court administers all duly enacted tribal laws and ensure the basic principles of due process, equal protection and fairness mandated by tribal and federal law.
Currently, the Umatilla Tribal Court consists of a Chief Judge, two Associate Judges, Tribal Court Director, and Judge Pro Tem, Juvenile and Adult Probation Officers, Truancy Specialist, Community Service Coordinator, Clerk of Court, Forms Clerk and Criminal Records Specialist. Our Public Defenders are local contract attorneys licensed to practice in UTC. Tribal Court staff reports to the Law and Order Committee on a quarterly basis and to the Board of Trustees at least twice per year.
David Gallaher, Doug Nash