Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Nooksack tribal police chief could face fines for not jailing court clerk


When the Nooksack Tribal Court of Appeals ruled a court clerk was in contempt of court and should be sent to jail until she filed paperwork in a case involving attorneys fighting against disenrollment from the tribe, Nooksack Chairman Bob Kelly said the order was invalid.

Kelly said the tribe’s constitution does not provide for a separation of powers.

“There is only one branch of government and control of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of the Tribal government fall under the control of the Nooksack Tribal Council,” Kelly wrote in an email July 2. “The Northwest Intertribal Court System is attacking the sovereignty of the Nooksack Tribe with their paternalistic attempts at creating a second independent branch of government not provided for in the Nooksack Constitution. The three recent orders issued by the Nooksack Court of Appeals are invalid because the court is refusing to follow existing case law, and the rules procedures (sic) of the Nooksack court system that were legislated by the Tribal council.”

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