Tribal Judicial System
The Judicial Power of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is vested exclusively in a Judicial System which consists of a Tribal Supreme Court and a Tribal Court of General Jurisdiction known as the Tribal Court. The Courts have authority provided through Tribal Codes approved by the Tribal Council. The Tribal Supreme Court also has the authority to promulgate rules of the Court for the Administration of the Judicial System, Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rules of Criminal Procedure. The overall goal of the Tribal Judicial System is to institutionalize the rule of the law in the enhancement of the Tribe’s capability to provide judicial services to its Tribal Members. The Tribal Judicial System is operated for the benefit of Tribal Members as an important exercise of sovereignty.
Tribal Court Administration also administers the Tribe’s Healing to Wellness Court Program formally known as the Drug Court Program. The Tribal Healing to Wellness Court is given the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-using offenders through an intensive supervision and treatment program. The Wellness Court ensures consistency in judicial decision making, coordination between other departments and resources, and increased cost-effectiveness. Our Wellness Court Program consists of four (4) phases each requiring counseling sessions, random urine/swab/blood/alcohol drug screens, and regular Court appearances. The defendant progresses through the program at his/her own pace based upon individual needs and motivation. The Tribal Court Administration also oversees a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program for tribal members and 1st Generation descendants who are drug-using offenders in tribal court or state courts which includes a residential, inpatient, and outpatient component. The Tribal Court Administration also manages the tribe’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention Programs which includes a Prevention Team comprised of various employees within the tribe. The Tribe’s Ethics Committee is also provided administrative support through Tribal Court Administration support staff.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Court is held twice a month on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. and Family Court is held twice a month on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Wellness Court staffing and status hearings are held each Friday at 8:00 AM. The Court staff includes a Chief Tribal Judge, Associate Tribal Judge, Tribal Court Administrator, Clerk of Court, Tribal Court Assistant, Case Manager, Forensic Counselor, Probation Officer, and a Judicial Assistant. The Tribal Court Administration also administers the Tribal Probation and Public Defender programs. The Tribal Court Administration has a Wellness Court Team who also services as the Judicial Advisory Team for the Tribal Court Administration. The Team consists of several tribal employees including the Tribal Prosecutor, Public Defender, Associate Tribal Judge, Case Manager, Pharmacist (Health Department), Family Services Director, Investigator (Police Department), Tribal Probation Officer, Case Manager, and the Court Administrator. The Tribal Prosecutor, located within the Legal Department serves a vital role within both Tribal Court and Wellness Court. The Supreme Court consists of one (1) Chief Justice and two (2) Associate Justices. All Judges within the Tribal Judicial System are licensed attorneys and are appointed by the Tribal Council. The Judicial System is directed through the Public Safety Division.