Perhaps the most basic principle of all Indian Law… is the principle that those powers which are lawfully vested in an Indian Tribe are not, in general, delegated powers granted by express acts of Congress, but rather inherent powers of a limited sovereignty which has never been extinguished. … What is not expressly limited remains within the domain of Tribal Sovereignty."
Felix S. Cohen, Handbook of Federal Indian Law 122 (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1945)
The Blue Lake Rancheria (BLR) Tribal Court is an independent judiciary, organized subject to U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (vol. 25).
As in state and federal court systems, BLR Tribal Court judges objectively consider and rule based on all applicable laws. The Court has the authority and expertise to interpret tribal ordinances, interface with local, state and federal jurisdictions and adjudicate legal matters including: civil, family, intra-tribal and inter-tribal issues (the Court is qualified to adjudicate laws of any federally recognized Native American tribe).
Judges are hired and appointed by the BLR Tribal Council, but the Court is mandated to operate impartially based on applicable law, and remain independent of any tribal interest.
|+ Application To Practice|
|+ Oath Of Admission|
|+ General Order No. 3|
|+ General Order No. 4|
|+ Rules Of Pleading, Practice, And Procedure|
|+ Amendment: Rules of Pleading, Practice, and Procedure|
|+ Attorney Conduct Rules|
|+ Rules Of Evidence|
|+ Juvenile Court Rules Coming soon- Contact the Clerk of the Court for assistance|
|+ Tribal Clerk Conduct|
Other Court Documents
|+ Fee Schedule|
|+ Small Claims Breach|
|+ Small Claims Complaint|
|+ Small Claims Fraud|
|+ Small Claims Summons|
|+ Driving Directions to BLR Tribal Court|
Sets of Tribal Laws, called Ordinances, are drafted and approved by the Tribal Council. Precise, detailed Tribal Law functions as most societal laws do- establishing guidelines and restrictions to govern social and ethical behavior, as well as to control specific areas of Tribal operations and business activities.
Ordinances provide laws and regulations for the judiciary to enforce. Ordinances have been voted on and approved by those they apply to.
- BLR Gaming Ordinance
- BLR Waste Disposal and Reduction Ordinance
- BLR Air Quality Ordinance
- BLR Elections Ordinance (Amended)
The Tribe is organized under an IRA Constitution, approved by the Secretary of the Interior on March 22, 1989.
This Constitution governs the actions of the Tribe and provides the fundamental basis for adjudication of actions and circumstances, just as the U.S. Constitution governs the United States.