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Our Mission

The mission of the Tribal Judiciary is to provide fully functioning judicial forums for all matters heard by the courts of the Tribe built upon Tribal laws, values, culture and traditions which provide fairness and due process in resolving conflicts and disputes within its jurisdiction. In accomplishing the mission, the courts of the Tribe shall exercise judicial authority consistent with the sovereign powers of the Pokagon Band and to provide for operation as a branch of government consistent with the principles of separation of powers.

Article XII Tribal Judiciary

SECTION 1. Judicial Powers and Jurisdiction. The judicial power of the Pokagon Band shall be vested in a tribal court system. The judicial power shall extend to all cases arising under this Constitution, all legislative enactments, codes, statutes, ordinances, regulations, and judicial decisions of the Pokagon Band, may be exercised to the fullest extent consistent with self-determination and the sovereign powers of the Band, and, as exercised, shall govern all persons and entities subject to the Pokagon Band's jurisdiction.

SECTION 2. Judicial Independence. The Tribal Judiciary shall be independent from the legislative and executive functions of the tribal government. No person exercising powers of the executive or legislative branches of the government shall exercise powers properly belonging to the judicial branch.

Court Staff

Stephen Rambeaux, Court Administrator
(269) 462-4232

Mathew Erickson, Assistant Court Administrator

Donna Walls, Court Clerk

Shelley Kowitz, Community Justice Officer

Jason S. Wesaw, Peacemaking Coordinator

To reach any of these staff members, please send an email to TCT.Court@PokagonBand-nsn.gov. You may address your email to an above person, and they will respond.

Tribal Courts

58620 Sink Rd.
P.O. Box 355
Dowagiac, MI 49047
Ph: (269)783-0505
Fax: (269)783-0519

Regular Business Hours
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Closed on the following 2024 Holidays:

New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2024
Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 15, 2024
Good Friday, March 29, 2024
Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2024
Juneteenth, Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Independence Day, Thursday, July 4, 2024
Day after Independence Day, Friday, July 5, 2024
Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2024
Sovereignty Day, Friday, September 20, 2024
Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday, October 14, 2024
Veteran’s Day, Monday, November 11, 2024
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, 2024
Day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 29, 2024
Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, 2024
Christmas Day, Wednesday, December 25, 2024
New Year’s Eve, Tuesday, December 31, 2024
New Year’s Day, Wednesday January 1, 2025

Because of demands of hearings, meetings, training needs, and other scheduled conflicts, please call ahead to make sure Court staff is available to meet your needs.

Schedule of Court Fees (revised 8/14/14)

Requirements for Practicing Before Tribal Court: The Tribal Court allow attorneys, who are admitted to practice in any state and who are in good standing, to practice before the Tribal Court. Each applicant for admission must complete an Application for Admission to Practice and Oath of Admission, and must be duly admitted to practice. Admission to practice before the Tribal Court is deemed admission to practice before the Appellate Court.