Information from the Choctaw Nation details each division of its court system.
1. The Choctaw Nation Judicial Branch
The judicial powers of the Choctaw Nation shall be vested in the Constitutional Court and the Court of General Jurisdiction.
2. The Choctaw Nation Constitutional Court
The Choctaw Nation Constitutional Court shall consist of a three (3) member Court appointed by the Chief with the advice and consent of the Tribal Council. One (1) such member, the presiding judge, (Chief Justice) shall be a lawyer duly licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Oklahoma. Two (2) members shall be non-lawyers.
The Constitutional Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to decide disputes, by vote of two (2) members, arising under any provision of the Choctaw Nation Constitution or any rule or regulation enacted by the Tribal Council. The Constitutional Court shall have supervisory authority over the Court of General Jurisdiction. This Tribal Court shall also have discretionary authority to hear an appeal from any judgment from the Appellate Division of the Court of General Jurisdiction, under such rules as the Constitutional Court shall adopt, with the approval of the Tribal Council. The decision of the Constitutional Court shall be final.
3. The Choctaw Nation Court of General Jurisdiction
The Choctaw Nation Court of General Jurisdiction shall have full civil and criminal jurisdiction over all Indian country as described in Article I, Section 2 of the Choctaw Nation Constitution. The Court of General Jurisdiction shall not have jurisdiction over matters arising under any provision of the Constitution, or any rule or regulation enacted by the Tribal Council. The Court of General Jurisdiction operates through the Appellate Division and the District Courts of the Choctaw Nation.
4. The Choctaw Nation Appellate Division
The Choctaw Nation Appellate Division shall consist of a three (3) member Court appointed by the Chief with the advice and consent of the Tribal Council. One (1) such member, the presiding Judge (Chief Judge) and two (2) members of Associate Judges. The Appellate Division has full authority on any appeal from the District Court to affirm, reverse, modify or vacate any action in the District Court or other entity from whom an appeal is taken as authorized by law.
5. The Choctaw Nation District Court
The Choctaw Nation District Court currently consists of the Chief Judge, two (2) District Judges and one (1) Special District Judge, as may be appointed according to law.
All decisions made by the District Court will be recognized by the State and CFR Courts. The District Court will focus on family issues such as divorce, child custody, child support, parental rights, visitation and adoption, civil matters, juvenile matters and guardianship. The Court will also preside over criminal matters in accordance to the Tribal Law and Order Act adopted into the Choctaw Nation legislation in 2015.
This Court will be designed to assist the Choctaw people, but it will accept others into the Court upon execution of certain waivers. The Court will incorporate traditional values into the system to provide a more personal touch to its solutions on matters brought before it.