The Court of Appeals was established by the Tribal Council to hear and decide appeals on the law taken from judgments, orders or rulings of the Tribal Court in accordance with CSKT Laws Codified 103-A. On June 27, 1995, the Tribal Council separated the Court of Appeals from the Tribal Court and established a five-member Appellate Justice panel. The Appellate Court is comprised of one Chief Justice, two Attorney Associate Justices, and two Tribal Member Lay Associate Justices. The Chief Justice is appointed to serve a four-year term, and the Associate Justices are appointed to serve a three-year term.
Each panel to hear a case is comprised of two attorney justices and one tribal member lay justice, unless a rehearing en banc is granted. In that case, it is re-heard before the panel of all five justices.
The types of cases that come before the Court of Appeals vary, including child custody, divorces, civil, criminal, probate, juvenile, and small claims.
The Appellate Court convenes in its regular sessions the second week of February, April, June, and October. It may hold special sessions if necessary.
The Chief Justice must be an attorney at law. William Joseph “Joe” Moran served as Chief Justice of the Appellate Court from 2003-2008. Justice Moran was the first CSKT tribal member to serve as Appellate Court Chief Justice. In his honor, Tribal Council named the Appellate Courtroom the WILLIAM JOSEPH MORAN APPELLATE COURTROOM.
Appellate Court Staffing and terms consist of the following:
Abby Dupuis 6/27/1995 - 4/3/2009
D. Renee Pierre 4/3/2009 - 9/7/2010
Abby Dupuis 9/7/2010 - Present
Robert Peregoy 06/27/1995 - 05/09/1996
Pat Smith 01/09/1997 - 10/22/2002
William Joseph Moran 02/13/2003 - March 2008
Wilmer Windham (Acting Chief Justice) - 03/20/2008 - 9/04/2008
Cher Desjarlais Stewart 09/04/2008 – 7/31/2011
Eldena Bear Don’t Walk 08/01/11 - Present
TRIBAL MEMBER LAY ASSOCIATE JUSTICES:
Robert Gauthier 06/27/1995 - 02/18/1999
Margaret Hall 06/27/1995 - 02/18/1999
Clayton Matt 02/18/1999 - 01/11/2010
Greg Dupuis 02/18/1999 - Present
Robert McDonald 04/01/2010 - Present
ATTORNEY ASSOCIATE JUSTICES:
Jim Wheelis 06/27/1995 - 05/09/1996
Marjorie Brown 06/27/1995 - 07/09/1996
Brenda Desmond 01/28/1997 - 07/01/2003
Cynthia Ford 01/28/1997 - 06/27/2000
Michael Eakin 09/21/2000 - 11/07/2003
Wilmer Windham 07/01/2003 - 09/30/2009
Chuck Wall 11/07/2003 - 11/24/2009
Eldena Bear Don't Walk 11/24/2009 – 7/31/11
Daniel Belcourt 10/29/2009 – Present
Joey Jayne 11/1/11 - Present