Friday, February 23, 2007

Grand Traverse Band Tribal Court Chief Judge



Constitutional Basis

The Grand Traverse Band Tribal Constitution specifically establishes a Tribal Judiciary with a court of “general jurisdiction” and an Appellate Court. The Tribal Court is grounded in the Grand Traverse Band constitutional text to exercise “[t]he judicial power [extending] to all cases arising under [the GTB] Constitution, ordinances, regulations, and/or judicial decisions of the Grand Traverse Band and shall be exercised to the fullest extent consistent with self-determination and the sovereign powers of the Tribe.” GTB Const. Art. V, § 2. The Grand Traverse Band Tribal Judiciary and the Tribal Court are established as fully “independent from the legislative and executive functions of the tribal government and no person exercising powers of the legislative or executive functions of government shall exercise powers properly belonging to the judicial branch of government.” GTB Const. Art. V, § 6.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Uphold the Grand Traverse Band Constitution.
  • Since the Grand Traverse Band Tribal Court is a court of general jurisdiction authorized to exercise its judicial authority to the fullest extend possible, the subject matter of the Court filings consists of a broad array of complex civil and criminal matters.
  • The Chief Judge is expected and required to be fully conversant in the complexities of criminal and civil law in general and in particular, the complexities, both statutory and case law, of federal Indian law.
  • The Chief Judge is expected to have a commitment to the development of Tribal common law in general and the Grand Traverse Band common law in particular.
  • The duties are for caseload will be shared with the Associate Judge and include a broad caseload typical of a Tribal Court.
  • Assist Court administrator in managing administrative matters.
  • Provide full range of judicial services, including hearing cases in the trial court concerning such issues as criminal, civil, and family matters.
  • Assign cases to associate judge as appropriately/necessary.
  • Prepares and issues timely written orders, judgments, search and arrest warrants.
  • Develop and implements appropriate policies and procedures that are consistent with the Tribe’s needs and Tribal Law.
  • Communicates needs of Court to Tribal Council.
  • Assist the Court Administrator in setting and amending budgets, management of grants, reporting for grants, finances and setting the docket of Tribal Court.

Required Qualifications:

A member of the Grand Traverse Band over 18 year of age and/or is an attorney licensed to practice before the state courts of any state in the United States.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate of an accredited law school with a license to practice law in any state, preferably Michigan.
  • At least 10 years post J.D. experience in the practice of law.
  • Detailed knowledge of Federal Indian Law and ability to understand and implement Tribal Law as written.
  • Tribal court management experience preferred.

Special Qualifications:

  • Take/Pass pre-employment drug screening test and Criminal Background Check.
  • Tribal/Native Americans preference applies.


Depends on Experience/Qualification and comparable to rates of other Tribal Judges.

Please send cover letter, resume, references, and salary preference to:

GTB Legal Department, 2605 N. West Bayshore Drive, Peshawbestown, MI 49682