The mission of the Tribal Court is to implement the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians judicial system, consistent with self-determination and the sovereign powers of the Tribe, by building on the community values of respect, culture and spirituality, that allows for unity, fairness and due process in resolving issues, conflicts and disputes within the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians’ jurisdiction.
The Tribal Judiciary is a separate branch of tribal government established by the tribal constitution. It decides questions concerning the scope and existence of tribal power and gives definition to the substantive law governing the tribe. It is responsible to protect the procedural and individual rights of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian people and entities subject to tribal jurisdiction.
The judicial power of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians is vested in a tribal court system composed of a court of general jurisdiction, called Tribal Court, and an appellate court, called Tribal Appellate Court.
The chief judge and associate judge preside over all civil and criminal cases in Tribal Court arising under the tribal constitution, statutes, regulations, or judicial decisions of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Tribal Court’s jurisdiction is based upon the Tribe’s inherent sovereignty, traditional custom, and federal law.
The Tribal Appellate Court consists of a chief justice and two associate justices that hear appeals from Tribal Court. All Tribal Appellate Court decisions are final and cannot be appealed.
Through this structure, the Court’s vision is to secure the full enjoyment of community and personal rights guaranteed by tribal law, federal law, and the tribal constitution through a fair, just and impartial judiciary system.