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CHAPTER #1

Jurisdiction, Structure & Definitions

PREAMBLE: The peace and security of all tribal members, guests and visitors of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Reservation (“Reservation”), shall be preserved and protected by the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians (“Tribe”). It is the policy of the Tribe that all persons on the Reservation are entitled to the security against harmful and antisocial acts while within the jurisdiction of the Tribe.

1.01 - Jurisdiction

The Tribal Court shall have jurisdiction over all cases arising under the Tribe’s ordinances. The jurisdiction of the Tribal Court shall extend to all persons and lands within the exterior boundaries of the Reservation and is limited only by the Tribe’s Constitution and applicable federal law. The Tribe asserts its territorial, personal, and subject matter jurisdiction over Indians and non-Indians to the fullest extent possible.

1.02 - Structure

1.02.001 - Structure of Laws of the Tribe

The Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians Tribal Court shall apply the laws of the Tribe in liberal construction so as to give full effect to the objectives and purposes for which the Tribe’s laws were enacted. All tribal laws shall be structured, interpreted and construed to:

 (a)  Preserve the peace, harmony, safety, health and general welfare of the people of the Tribe and those permitted to enter or reside on the Reservation; and

 (b)  Ensure peace and order on the Reservation; and

 (c)  Promote the welfare of the Tribe and its members; and

 (d)  Safeguard individual rights and community standards that conform with the Tribe’s culture, customs and traditions, and applicable federal law; and

 (e)  Secure rights and powers which are inherent in the Tribe’s sovereign status; and

 (f)  Exert jurisdiction over all matters essential to the Tribe’s self-determination and self-governance;

 (g)  Treat all parties fairly and without prejudice, protecting individual rights guaranteed by the Indian Civil Rights Act and by the traditions, customs and laws of the Tribe; and

 (h)  Resolve disputes fairly and efficiently; and

 (i) Provide an orderly procedure for resolving conflicts which tribal customs and traditions as well as the prevailing community standards, and which affords all affected persons a fair, prompt, and impartial hearing.