Tribal Court-State Court Forum


2016 Tribal Court-State Court Forum Nominations


We are currently soliciting nominations to fill three tribal court judge
vacancies on the Tribal Court-State Court Forum. The deadline for submitting a nomination is September 30, 2016.

Purpose:
The forum makes recommendations to the council for improving the administration of justice in all proceedings in which the authority to exercise jurisdiction by the state judicial branch and the tribal justice systems overlaps.

Date Established:
December 2010

Key projects of this advisory body are outlined in the annual agenda.

2016 Tribal Court-State Court Forum Meetings
August 18, 2016
October 6, 2016
December 15, 2016

2017 Tribal Court-State Court Forum Meetings
February 16, 2017
April 13, 2017 (in-person) tentative
June 8, 2017
August 17, 2017
October 12, 2017

Previous Meetings

The 31-member advisory committee is comprised of 14 tribal court judicial officers, appointed by their tribal leadership, representing 16 of the 22 tribal courts currently operating in California; the director of the California Attorney General’s Office of Native American Affairs; the tribal advisor of the California Governor; and 14 state court judicial officers, including the chairs or their designees of the California Judicial Council’s Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee, Access and Fairness Advisory Committee, Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee, Criminal Law Advisory Committee, Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee, and Traffic Advisory Committee, representatives of the local courts in counties where many of the tribal courts are situated, and a retired judge. The committee reports directly to the Judicial Council. The California Chief Justice appoints the state court judicial officers and non-judicial members. The current membership term runs until September 14, 2016.

Download the Committee Roster

  • Hon. Abby Abinanti, Cochair (Yurok) Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribal Court
  • Hon. Dennis M. Perluss, Cochair, Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, Chair of the Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee
  • Hon. Abby Abinanti (Yurok) Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribal Court
  • Hon. April E. Attebury (Karuk) Judge and Court Administrator of the Karuk Tribal Court
  • Ms. Jacqueline Davenport, Assistant Court Executive Officer, Superior Court of California, County of El Dorado
  • Hon. Gail Dekreon, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco
  • Hon. Leonard P. Edwards (Ret.), Volunteer Mentor Judge, Center for Families, Children & the Courts, Judicial Council of California
  • Hon. Kimberly A. Gaab, Assistant Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Fresno
  • Hon. Michael Golden, Chief Judge of the Morongo Tribal Court
  • Hon. Cynthia Gomez (Tule River Yokut Tribe) Tribal Advisor of the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
  • Mr. Olin Jones (The Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma) Director of the Office of Native American Affairs, California Attorney General’s Office
  • Hon. Mark A. Juhas, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
  • Hon. Lawrence C. King, Chief Judge of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, Parker, Arizona
  • Hon. Suzanne N. Kingsbury, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of El Dorado
  • Hon. William Kockenmeister, Chief Judge of the Bishop Paiute Indian Tribal Court, Chief Judge of the Washoe Tribal Court
  • Hon. Anthony Lee (St. Regis Mohawk Tribe) Chief Judge of the San Manuel Tribal Court
  • Hon. Patricia Lenzi, Chief Judge of the Cedarville Rancheria of Northern Paiute Indians Tribal Court, Alturas, California
  • Hon. Lester J. Marston (Chiricahua and Cahuilla) Chief Judge of the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribal Court
  • Hon. David E. Nelson, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino
  • Hon. Mark Radoff, Chief Judge of the Chemehuevi Tribal Court
  • Hon. John H. Sugiyama, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa
  • Hon. Allen H. Sumner, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
  • Hon. Sunshine S. Sykes, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside
  • Hon. Juan Ulloa, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Imperial
  • Hon. Claudette C. White (Quechan) Chief Judge of the Quechan Tribal Court
  • Hon. Christine Williams (Yurok) Chief Judge of the Shingle Springs Tribal Court
  • Hon. Christopher G. Wilson, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Humboldt
  • Hon. Joseph J. Wiseman, Chief Judge of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians
  • Hon. Sarah S. Works, Chief Judge of the Trinidad Rancheria Tribal Court
  • Hon. Daniel Zeke Zeidler, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
Background
What began with a simple request by one tribal court judge for a meeting with the Chief Justice of the State of California has taken us to where we are today in California, the coming together of tribal court and state court leaders as equal partners to address areas of mutual concern. The first, historic meeting was held in December 2009 (see news release) and led to the establishment of the Tribal Court-State Court Forum (forum) in May 2010. In October 2013, the California Judicial Council adopted rule 10.60 of the California Rules of Court establishing the forum as a formal advisory committee. In adopting this rule, the Judicial Council added a Comment acknowledging that tribes are sovereign and citing statutory and case law recognizing tribes as distinct, independent political nations that retain inherent authority to establish their own form of government, including tribal justice systems.


Charge

The forum makes recommendations to the council for improving the administration of justice in all proceedings in which the authority to exercise jurisdiction by the state judicial branch and the tribal justice systems overlaps.

In addition to the duties described in rule 10.34, the forum:

  1. Identifies issues of mutual importance to tribal and state justice systems, including those concerning the working relationship between tribal and state courts in California;
  2. Makes recommendations relating to the recognition and enforcement of court orders that cross jurisdictional lines, the determination of jurisdiction for cases that might appear in either court system, and the sharing of services between jurisdictions;
  3. Identifies, develops, and shares with tribal and state courts local rules of court, protocols, standing orders, and other agreements that promote tribal court–state court coordination and cooperation, the use of concurrent jurisdiction, and the transfer of cases between jurisdictions;
  4. Recommends appropriate activities needed to support local tribal court–state court collaborations; and
  5. Makes proposals to the Governing Committee of the Center for Judicial Education and Research on educational publications and programming for judges and judicial support staff.

Contact Information

Center for Families, Children & the Courts
Operations & Services
forum@jud.ca.gov

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