(1) The Tribal Court shall consist of such associate and pro tem judges as the Tribal Council may appoint.
(2) All Karuk Tribal Court judges shall be at least thirty (30) years of age, have earned a bachelor’s degree, and possess a demonstrable knowledge and experience with tribal courts, Indian law, federal law, and California law.
(3) In the event that there is no qualified judge or there are an insufficient number of judges available to hear a particular case, acting judges shall be appointed by random drawing from the temporary judge list, with the full powers of a regularly appointed Tribal judge to hear and dispose of the case. The qualification for temporary judge must meet the minimum qualification of associate judges. Such appointment shall be only for the period of time necessary to dispose of the case in question.
(B) Duties. Assigned judges will be responsible for:
(1) Enforcing the Tribal ordinances and law, subject to approval by the Tribal Council;
(2) Hearing all matters delegated to the Court by ordinance; and
(3) Assisting Court staff and administration with improvements of the Court system, coordinating with the Court-appointed advocate program regarding appointments of advocates for children, and representing the Tribal Court to other courts, agencies and persons as appropriate.
(C) Removal by Judicial Oversight Committee. Judges shall be removed from their appointment by the process set forth in KTC 3.05.110, by the Judicial Oversight Committee.
(D) Disqualification of Judges.
(1) Conflict of Interest. No judge shall be qualified to act as such in any case where she/he has any direct interest, or where any party involved in the case includes a relative by marriage or blood in the first or second degree. A judge may be disqualified upon his/her own motion or by application by any party in the proceeding upon filing a verified motion in writing.
(2) Bias or Prejudice. Upon the filing of any affidavit by a party setting forth facts establishing that by reason of bias or prejudice of the judge to whom the case is assigned, the party cannot have a fair trial, a panel of Karuk Tribal Court judges will review the affidavit and determine whether the judge shall disqualify himself/herself. Such affidavit shall be filed within five (5) days of a judge being assigned to the case, within five (5) days after any material decision is made in the case by the judge and in any other situation at least five (5) days prior to trial. Only one (1) such affidavit may be filed by a party in each case.
(3) Complaints filed against a judge or mediator shall be made in writing and shall be signed by the complainant. Each complaint shall be filed with the Court Clerk, who shall assign a docket number, and acknowledge receipt of the complaint. Upon receipt of such a complaint, the Clerk shall immediately notify the Judicial Oversight Committee, who shall investigate the complaint and take all necessary action.
(E) Immunity. Judges and mediators acting within the scope of their authority share the Tribe’s sovereign immunity from suit and may not be made to defend a lawsuit without the express written consent of the Tribal Council.
(F) Compensation. Judges shall be compensated at a rate and under such terms and conditions as the Tribal Council shall, from time to time, establish.