The Catawba Nation is currently developing a Tribal Governance Court. Like a traditional court, this program will allow citizens to bring cases before a judge to have their issues decided. As a judge operating under the power of our sovereign nation, he or she will be empowered to decide certain election challenges. The court will also hear cases against elected, governmental officers, or the General Council (our legislative body), and interpret Catawba law in accordance with the constitution. As a tribal court, the judge in this program will also be able to apply community practices as standards and use peacemaking to determine outcomes. This program will hopefully also help address citizens concerns about transparency of elected official oversight. Instead of simply being required to bring up concerns in General Council meetings, citizens will now have additional avenues to remedy their concerns.
For questions about Future court programs, please contact Meredith Hungate, Director of Justice Services at (803) 984-0393.