Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, May 21, 2010


Page 3


George Appoints New Coalition of Tribal and State Courts


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Chief Justice Ronald M. George yesterday announced the appointment of the California Tribal Court/State Court Coalition, intended to develop measures to improve the working relationship between California’s tribal and state courts and to focus on areas of mutual concern.

The coalition—which is set to include Presiding Justice Dennis M. Perluss of Div. Seven of this district’s Court of Appeal and Justice Steven Z. Perren of this district’s Div. Six—is the first organization of its kind in the state, George indicated.

He said the coalition will study and provide recommendations on enforcement and recognition of protective and other kinds of orders and judgments, jurisdictional issues, and how to ensure access to justice in Indian country in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and teen-dating violence.

“Tribal and state courts share the same essential commitment to serve the public,” George commented. “By developing procedures that will foster cooperation on jurisdictional issues, tribal and state courts can work together to ensure the effective and efficient administration of justice for those coming to our courts.”

 The coalition will be co-chaired by Judge Richard C. Blake, chief judge of the Hoopa Tribal Court and presiding judge of the Smith River Rancheria Tribal Court, and Justice Richard D. Huffman of the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s Div. One.

Proposed members include tribal court judges; state court judges; chairs of the Judicial Council’s advisory committees on access and fairness, criminal law, civil and small claims, family and juvenile, and traffic; and the director of Native American Affairs for the California Attorney General’s Office.

George said the coalition’s formation resulted from a meeting last December in which issues concerning tribal and state courts were discussed, and indicated that funding for the coalition will be provided by a federal grant.

Other members from tribal courts include Yurok Tribal Court Chief Judge Abby Abinanti, Intertribal Court of Southern California Chief Judge Anthony J. Brandenburg, Karuk Tribal Court Chief Judge Charles N. Henry, Bishop Paiute Indian Tribal Court Chief Judge William Kockenmeister, Blue Lake Rancheria Tribal Court Chief Judge Lester J. Marston, and Michael Golden, chief judge of the Morongo Tribal Court and the Redding Rancheria Tribal Court.

Other members from state courts include Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jerilyn L. Borack, San Diego Superior Court Judge Susan D. Huguenor, Justice James R. Lambden of the First District Court of Appeal’s Div. Two, Santa Clara Superior Court Commissioner Deborah A. Ryan, Inyo Superior Court Judge Dean Stout, Imperial Superior Court Judge Juan Ulloa, Humboldt Superior Court Presiding Judge Christopher G. Wilson, and Olin Jones, director of the Attorney General’s Office of Native American Affairs.


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