The court was initially established by the U.S. Federal government in response to requests from various agencies and enactment of the Magnuson Act by Congress. The court operated under the Code of Federal Regulations (25 CFR Part 11) on the Hoopa Indian Reservation to regulate Indian fishing on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers. In 1978, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) established another branch of this court in Klamath, California to regulate Indian fishing on the Klamath River. This court reviewed fishing cases forwarded from the BIA law enforcement officers monitoring Indian fishing activity on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers until the year 1993. The Yurok Tribe, after formal organization under the Yurok Constitution, took over the CFR contract and the disposition of the court’s fishing cases until the adoption of the Yurok Tribe Judicial Branch Ordinance in 1996 and the institution of the Tribe Fishing Ordinance in 1996. At that time, measures were taken to cease operation of the CFR court and transfer jurisdiction to the Yurok Tribe under its Constitution and ordinances.
Since 1996, the tribe has enacted ordinances and codes that govern their reservation, residents, tribal members, tribal lands, ancestral territory and those who do business with the tribe or on the reservation. A list of the current and pending codes can be found on the tribe’s website.
The Yurok Tribal Court has been developed as an effective tribal justice system encompassing both traditional principles as well as contemporary jurisprudence for the Yurok People.
Court Cases: Civil
- Child support
- Civil citations (ordinance violations)
- Civil complaints
- Construction planning
- Kinship guardianships
- Sex offenders
- Wellness court
Chief Judge: Hon.
Court Administrator: Jennifer Burgess
Court Address: P.O. Box 1027, Klamath, CA 95548
Court Location: 230 Klamath Boulevard, Klamath CA 95548
Court Website: http://www.yuroktribe.org/tribalcourt/