In re Bell

3 Am. Tribal Law 305 (2001)

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In re Bell

Fort Peck Tribal Court Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes
3 Am. Tribal Law 305 (2001)

Facts

The tribal police charged Mike Bell (defendant), a Native American juvenile, with felony theft, to be tried in the juvenile division of tribal court. When Mike and his mother, Deb’e Bell, appeared at the initial hearing, the judge orally advised them of Mike’s right to (1) present evidence, (2) call witnesses, (3) question witnesses, (4) obtain counsel at his own expense, and (5) attend the hearing. Mike and Deb’e were served with a written summons that included the time, date, and place of the hearing. Mike was unrepresented at the hearing on the felony-theft charge. The prosecution (plaintiff) presented witness testimony, but Mike did not. Mike was found guilty of felony theft and sentenced to 90 days in juvenile detention. Mike appealed, arguing that he was not given written notice as required by Title v., § 305(b) of the Fort Peck Tribes Comprehensive Code of Justice (CCOJ), causing him to fail to present an effective defense.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (DeCoteau, J.)

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