Tribal Judicial System
The Judicial Power of the Poarch 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 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 Drug Court Program. The Tribal Drug Court is given the responsibility to handle cases involving drug-using offenders through an intensive supervision and treatment program. The Drug Court ensures consistency in judicial decision making, coordination between other departments and resources, and increased cost-effectiveness. Our Drug Court Program consists of four (4) phases each requiring counseling sessions, random urine/swab/blood/alcohol drug screens and regular Drug 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 First 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 Creek Indians Tribal Court is held twice a month on Mondays at 9:00 AM. Drug Court staffing and status hearings are held each Friday at 8:00 AM. The Court staff includes a Tribal Judge, Drug Court Judge, Tribal Court Administrator, Clerk of Court, Tribal Court Assistant, Case Manager, Certified Addictions Counselor, and a Judicial Assistant. The Tribal Court Administration also administers the Tribal Probation and Public Defender programs. The Tribe’s Police Chief, and Human Services Coordinator serve as part of the Tribe’s Drug Court Team. The Tribe’s Drug Court Team also serves as a Tribal Court Advisory Board. The Tribal Prosecutor, located within the Legal Department also serves a vital role within both Tribal Court and Drug 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.