The Judiciary Branch officially formed with the passage of the Ho-Chunk Nation Judiciary Act of 1995 on March 22, 1995, but represents a constitutionally created branch of tribal government. HCN Const., art. III, § 2. The Constitution of the Ho-Chunk Nation charges the Judiciary with the application and interpretation of the laws of the Ho-Chunk Nation. HCN Const., arts. IV, § 2, VII, § 4. The Nation's laws consist of the Constitution, legislative enactments, and Traditional Court articulations of custom and tradition, which serve as the basis for the Nation's evolving common law. The Judiciary performs its role within the context of justiciable cases and controversies brought by aggrieved litigants, seeking redress of either past, imminent or ongoing harm. HCN Const., art. VII, § 5(a). Four separate courts comprise the Ho-Chunk Nation Judiciary: Supreme Court, Trial Court, Traditional Court, and Healing to Wellness Court. The Judiciary encourages interest in the judicial process and any resulting public scrutiny or constructive criticism. Consequently, the Judiciary hopes that its web page aids in stimulating such interest while also providing the public with a tool to further delve into the emerging tribal jurisprudence.
The Ho-Chunk Nation Judiciary provides the information on this web site as a service to tribal members and other Internet users. The information on this website includes primary legal resources such as court decisions and statutes as well as secondary resources like bulletins. None of this information is legal advice. Due to the rapidly changing nature of law and the reliance on outside sources for information, the Judiciary makes no warranty or guarantee regarding the accuracy of any of the posted materials at this site or any other sites that might be linked.