The Grand Traverse Band Tribal Court exervises jurisdiction pursuant to the Constitution and Tribal Code. The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians tribal government is based on the reservation located in Peshawbestown, Michigan, but the tribe has trust property and tribally owned lands within the Tribe’s six-county service area of Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Manistee Counties.
The Grand Traverse Band Tribal Judiciary consists of the Tribal Appellate Court, with three Appellate Judges, and the Tribal Court, with one full-time Chief Judge and one part-time Associate Judge. The Tribal Judiciary's authority to hear cases comes from Article V of the Grand Traverse Band Constitution, Tribal ordinances and other regulations.
The Tribal Appellate Court hears appeals from decisions of the Tribal Court below, and also makes policy decisions concerning the adoption of court rules, court policies, etc. The Tribal Appellate Court meets on a quarterly and as-needed basis.
The Tribal Court is the court of general jurisdiction, and hears all cases at the trial level, including civil, criminal, juvenile, traffic, Indian Child Welfare (ICW), minor trust, and all other cases.
The Tribal Court is open Monday through Friday, and is generally open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Tribal Court maintains a Peacemaking program, whereby disputes can be resolved in a more traditional manner. The Tribal Court also runs a Drug Court Program to assist those with alcohol and drug related offenses break the cycle of addiction.