According to the Constitution of the Southeastern Mvskoke Nation, Art. II § 2, "Tribal Law applies to Tribal citizens and those non-citizens who have consented to its application, to Tribal Land and its appurtenances, and to the extent authorized by intergovernmental agreements and memoranda of understanding. As enumerated in the choice of forum clause agreed to by Tribal members upon the annual renewal of Tribal citizenship, the Tribal Court is the proper forum for the resolution of all disputes between Tribal members, whether arising from this document or otherwise. Further, Tribal Court will retain jurisdiction over all disputes arising from agreements in which the parties mutually agreed to resolution of their disputes in Tribal Court, or actions and events arising from the same. And finally, the Tribal Court is the proper forum for the resolution of all disputes arising from the interpretation of this or other laws of the Nation. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to limit the ability of the Nation to exercise its inherent sovereignty or right to self-determination."
The Southeastern Mvskoke Nation's Tribal Court is organized pursuant to the Constitution of the Southeastern Mvskoke Nation, Art. V §§ 1-5, which instructs the Tribal Council to appoint a Trial Judge and Appellate Judge to decide all cases and controversies within the jurisdiction of the Nation. The Nation seeks to guide its legal philosophy with a traditional Indigenous ethic of relationality and reciprocity. When settling legal disputes, the Court seeks to mend broken bonds and renew ties of kinship and well-being as a part of the community.
The governing document of the Tribal Court is the Tribal Court Ordinance, promulgated by the Tribal Council in accordance with the Constitution of the Southeastern Mvskoke Nation, Art. V § 5, which instructs that the Tribal Council "shall establish procedures governing actions in the Court." The Ordinance is accessible upon request from the Tribal Secretary.
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