(A) Purpose of the Committee. Should a complaint regarding alleged impropriety within the Karuk Judiciary System be filed with the Court Clerk or the Tribal Council, the Tribal Council shall convene a Judicial Oversight Committee.
(B) Structure and Terms of Members of the Judicial Oversight Committee. The Oversight Committee shall consist of at least three (3) members; all shall be enrolled Karuk Tribal citizens. One (1) member each shall represent the Orleans, Happy Camp and Yreka areas, if possible.
(C) Filling Vacancies on the Committee and Qualifications of Members.
(1) Vacant positions on the Oversight Committee shall be filled within thirty (30) days after the creation of the vacancy. The Tribal Council shall give notice that nominations are being accepted for the Committee. The notice will designate the community or communities from which the position is to be filled. In order to qualify for appointment to the Committee, a person must submit:
(a) Proof of legal physical residency within a one hundred (100) road mile radius of the exterior boundaries of the Karuk lands. Proof shall consist of three (3) items of evidence equivalent to what candidates for the Tribal Council must submit pursuant to Chapter 4.05 KTC, Elections.
(b) A statement of intent containing the reasons for wanting to serve on the Committee, judicial philosophy, other background as applicable to the position.
(c) At least one (1) letter of recommendation stating that because of the esteem in which they hold the candidate, that the candidate should be appointed to one (1) of the positions on the Judicial Oversight Committee.
(2) If only one (1) person from an area submits the proof of residency, statement of intent and letter of recommendation, the Tribal Council shall then review the required documents for correctness, and shall then approve the candidate. If more than one (1) person submits the documents as required, the Tribal Council then must decide between or among the candidates based on that person’s ethical standing within the Tribal community.
(3) Because the Oversight Committee shall be responsible for ensuring the ethical operation of the Tribal Court, in order to uphold the honesty, honor and integrity of the Tribal Court, no person shall serve on the Oversight Committee who would not qualify to serve on the Tribal Council.
(D) Authority and Decision-Making Process of the Committee – Removal.
(1) Decisions of the Committee shall be made by consensus, as opposed to majority vote. The definition of “consensus” is that all Committee members shall participate in the process leading up to any decision-making, and at least a quorum shall come to agreement about a particular decision or course of action. A quorum shall be at least three (3) members of the Committee.
(2) When information has been received indicating a violation of any of the Tribe’s laws or Judicial Codes of Ethics, the Judicial Oversight Committee shall render a decision after a full hearing in closed session has been held. A vote by the Committee must consist of two (2) eligible voting Committee members out of three (3) eligible voting Committee members whether or not any judge, mediator or Judicial Oversight Committee member may be suspended, dismissed, or removed for cause. Should the Committee vote for suspension, dismissal, or removal, the recommendation shall then be made to the Tribal Council for a vote.
(3) The Tribal Council may only vote on the issue of removal after receipt of a recommendation for suspension, dismissal, or removal for cause by the Judicial Oversight Committee.
(4) Any judge, mediator or Judicial Oversight Committee member may then be suspended, dismissed, or removed for cause by the Tribal Council by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the eligible voters of the Council.
(5) The Tribal Chairperson or his/her designate shall make available copies of a written statement setting out the facts and reasons for the proposed action to the judge or other Court personnel in question, the other judges, and to members of the Tribal Council at least thirty (30) calendar days before the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Tribal Council.
(6) That meeting shall be a closed session hearing where the accused judge or other Court personnel shall be given an adequate opportunity to answer any and all charges.
(7) Causes deemed sufficient for bringing such action shall include all those listed in the Karuk Tribe Personnel Policies and Procedures as well as but not be limited to: sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, excessive use of intoxicants, conviction of any offense other than minor traffic violations and other infractions, use of official position for personal gain, or failure to perform judicial duties adequately and in accordance with the terms of this chapter.
(8) The decision of the Tribal Council shall be final.