State-Tribal Justice Forum

gavelThe general charge of the State-Tribal Justice Forum is to promote and sustain communication, education and cooperation among tribal and state court systems. The Forum meets quarterly and includes five circuit court judges, five tribal judges, one tribal attorney and one district court administrator. The director of state courts serves as an ex officio member of the Forum.

Committee membership

Name Affiliation/Location
Hon. Neal Nielsen (Chair) Vilas County Circuit Court
Hon. John Anderson Bayfield County Circuit Court
Hon. Mark Goodman Monroe County Circuit Court
Hon. William Kussel Shawano County Circuit Court
Hon. Leon Stenz Forest County Circuit Court
Hon. Gwendolyn Topping Red Cliff Tribal Court
Hon. Shannon Cobe Lac Du Flambeau Tribal Court
Hon. JoDeen Lowe Ho Chunk Tribal Court (alternate)
Attorney Howard Bichler Wisconsin Judicare
Mr. Christopher Channing, District Court Administrator Tenth Judicial District
Attorney Paul Stenzel  
Hon. Randy R. Koschnick, Director of State Courts (ex officio) Wisconsin Court System

In July of 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance sponsored a national gathering to foster tribal-federal-state court relations. This conference, entitled Walking on Common Ground: Pathways to Equal Justice, served as the catalyst for Wisconsin to reconvene its State-Tribal Justice Forum, which began meeting in 2006.

The Forum's most recent efforts have centered on issues of concurrent jurisdiction and transfer of jurisdiction. Through the Discretionary Transfer of Civil Cases to Tribal Court, Wisconsin state courts have the ability to transfer civil cases of concurrent jurisdiction to tribal courts when deemed appropriate through the application of enumerated standards.

View the rule Adobe PDF
View the amendment to the rule Adobe PDF
View the order adopting the rule permanently Adobe PDF

For more information, contact the Office of Court Operations at (608) 266-3121.

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