Bay Mills Tribal Court: Civil Cases

Typical civil cases heard by the Tribal Court include:

  • Divorce, custody, and support cases
  • Paternity cases
  • Indian Child Welfare Cases
  • Money collection cases
  • Juvenile cases
  • Tort cases
  • Probate cases
  • Landlord-Tenant cases

To commence an action, a complaint or an affidavit needs to be filed in the Bay Mills Tribal Court

Under Chapter I, Section 102, the Tribal Court has jurisdiction over the following types of cases:

  1. All suits wherein the defendant is a member of the Bay Mills Indian Community residing within the exterior boundaries of the Bay Mills Reservation, or
  2. All suits between member(s) and a member(s) or a member(s) and nonmember(s) which are brought before the Tribal Court as arising out of the which create the following relationships:
  3. The doing or causing any act to be done, or consequences to occur, within the exterior boundaries of the Bay Mills Indian Community resulting in an action for tort; or
  4. The ownership, use or possession of any real or tangible personal property located within the exterior boundaries of the Bay Mills Indian Community; or
  5. Entering into a contract for services to be rendered or for materials to be furnished within the exterior boundaries of the Bay Mills Indian Community by the defendant.
  6. All suits brought pursuant to a provision of this Tribal Code, as it may from time to time be amended.

The law which the tribal court applies to civil cases includes the following:

A.  In all civil actions, the Tribal Court shall apply the applicable laws of the United States, any authorized regulations of the Department of Interior, which may be applicable, any ordinance of the Bay Mills Indian Community, and any custom of the Chippewa Tribe not prohibited by the laws of the United States.
B.  Where doubt arises as to the customs and usage of the Chippewa Tribe, the Tribal Court shall request the advice of persons familiar with these customs and usage's.
C.  Any matters that are not covered by applicable laws of the United States, or authorized regulations of the Department of Interior, or tribal custom, shall be decided by the Tribal Court according to the laws of the State of Michigan.