Tribal Court

Sokaogon Tribal Court

Office Hours:  Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


The Sokaogon Chippewa Community Tribal Court handles civil matters AS PROVIDED FOR in the Tribal Codes and Ordinances including but not limited to:

  • ICW
  • Minor Guardianship
  • Child Custody and Parenting Time
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Name Change
  • Civil Matters only as provided for in the Tribal Codes
  • Ordinances

Please Note

  • The Tribal Court does not provide legal advice or legal aid.
  • The Tribal Court cannot take cases without having jurisdiction.
  • The Tribal Court does not provide Tribal Members with an attorney.


Self Help - Wisconsin Judicare, Inc. - Find answers to your legal questions.

Application for Legal Services - Wisconsin Judicare, Inc. - Complete the online application to apply for legal services.

Seven Sacred Gifts

Did You Know?

Did you know the Tribal Court is a separate branch of Tribal government? While some people assume that speaking to the Chairman or members of the Tribal Council may help their case move more quickly, it doesn't. Questions asked to other branches will be directed to the Tribal Court.


Did you know cases handled by the Tribal Court are open to the public, except for cases sealed by the court? The Tribal Court handles many different cases, including marriages, divorces, peacemaking, truancy, trespassing, evictions, restraining orders and Indian Child Welfare (ICW) cases. While most cases handled by the Tribal Court are open to the public, those dealing with minors are sealed and not available to the public.


Did you know the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Court has rules to ensure fairness and safety for everyone? The Tribal Court has developed a list of rules, and you may have seen this follwing sign posted. These rules are to ensure fairness and safety for everyone involved.

Failure to follow the court room rules could result in, but not limited to, the following: case dismissal, contempt, fine or denial of community benefits such as hunting, fishing, gaming, etc.


Did you know the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Court cannot hear any information on a case that may go before the court? We advise everyone to be mindful of what you share involving the court. As a reminder, if you share information with the Clerk of Courts, it is their job to inform the judges too.


Did you know anything you post on social media can be used as evidence in court? Please remember that what you put on the internet is public and can be entered into the court as evidence in a case. Be mindful of what you are posting and saying on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.


Did you know the Tribal Court offers the Peacemaking Court? The Peacemaking Court provides a traditional-culture alternative to Anglo-American justice practices by utilizing wisdom, customs and practices to resolve disputes.

The Peacemaking Court seeks justice for everyone involved by engaging the skills and perspectives of a community Peacemaking Judge to help the parties come to a mutual solution. The Peacemaking Judge meets with the disputing parties to a lawsuit to talk through issues and help the parties make decisions.

In contrast, a Judge in regular Court makes the decision for the parties. The consensual agreement of the parties in Peacemaking Court emphasizes healing and lasting solutions rather than a judgment of damages or punishment.


Did you know the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Court, the Clerk of Courts, or Tribal Judges cannot give legal advice? If you are a "party" to a court case - meaning you are involved in the case - and you have questions about the court documents regarding your case, then you should contact a lawyer for help. If you cannot afford a lawyer then check your local community for free legal service providers.


Did you know the Court may take up to 90 days to issue a court order? While the Tribal Court is allowed up to 90 days to issue a court order, the Court will do its best to issue the order in a timely fashion.


Did you know not every Tribe has its own Tribal Court? We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with and represent our Tribe, and we thank the community for all its support.


Did you know outstanding fines will prevent you from obtaining a spearing permit? Anyone who wants to spear needs a permit from the GLIFWC office. But if you're on the fine list, you will not be able to obtain a permit.

To take care of your fines, please make your payment at the SCC Accounting Office. Partial payments can be made, but permits cannot be issued until the full fine amount has been paid.


Did you know the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Court was established in 1983 by the late Honorable Chief Judge Fred A. Ackley, Jr.? Fred served as the Chief Judge from the day the court started up until his passing in 2018.

Fred was a significant cultural and spiritual leader in the community. He was a member of the Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association and represented other Tribal courts such as Lac du Flambeau and Lac Courte Oreilles. He fought for treaty rights, advocated for environmental protections, and was an inspiration to many in Indian Country.

His legacy lives on in the community in the shape of many Tribal programs today.


Did you know the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Court is built upon the foundation of the Seven Sacred Gifts? The Seven Sacred Gifts, or Grandfather Teachings, teach us how to treat each other, our relatives and ourselves. Please remember to practice these values in everything you do.


Did you know the Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Court sometimes closes due to the Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association (WTJA) and Wisconsin Tribal Court Clerks Association trainings and quarterly meetings? According to their website, "The Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association, Inc. exists as a voice of equal justice for all, and is dedicated to the protection of Tribal sovereignty through judicial education, cooperation, collaboration and respectful communication while embracing Tribal traditions, customs and values. The vision of the WTJA is to promote and dispense equal justice to all people within its jurisdiction through education and training, while embracing its constitutions, laws, traditions, and culture to restore harmony, respect and peace for the next seven generations."

View the WTJA By-Laws. The Sokaogon Chippewa Tribal Court participates in these meetings to help build and maintain judicial and other professional relationships.


Did you know the Sokaogon Chippewa Clerk of Court is responsible for organizing and filing all court documents for every court case? In addition to organizing and filing, some of the daily duties and responsibilities of the Clerk of Court include, but are not limited to:

  • Scheduling court hearings
  • Sending out notices of hearings to all parties
  • Typing and printing notices, forms, court calendars, etc.
  • Attending and keeping written and recorded minutes of all court proceedings
  • Budgeting and reporting
  • Certifying mail
  • Certifying copies
  • Notarizing documents
  • Organizing and filing for all cases and court documents, including petitions, motions, orders, violations and citations, etc.

If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Swanson, Clerk of Courts.

You may email Amanda, or call 715-478-7608.  Feel free to visit her office during office hours (Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm).