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Violet M. Friisvall Ayres

Chief Judge


(906) 353-7279


8 am – 4:30 pm


472 N. Superior Ave., Baraga, MI 49908

Access to the Court:



The Chief Judge is responsible for oversight and administration of the Trial Court. The Trial Court interprets the laws and ordinances passed by the Tribal Council. These laws and ordinances are in codified form in the KBIC Tribal Code.

Authority and Establishment

The Tribal Court was established by Tribal Council authority under Article VI Section 1. The Court was established in 1972.

Creation and Existence

For Tribal Administrative Purposes only the Tribal Court resembles many of the other tribal programs. In reality however the Court System is codified at 1.101 as an independent branch of the KBIC government. It was created and exists as the third branch co-equal with the Executive and Legislative branches.

Types of Cases

The Trial Court schedules cases for any day of the work-week. Along with the criminal docket the court also hears civil (traffic) and civil (small and large claims), juvenile delinquency, dependency and neglect, divorce, and guardianships and conservatorship cases. Hunting, fishing and trapping violations both criminal and civil in nature are also heard in the Trial Court.


The Tribal Court exercises criminal jurisdiction over KBIC tribal members and members from other federally recognized tribes within the boundaries of the KBIC reservation. Criminal jurisdiction extends to the ceded territories for hunting, fishing and trapping violations only. The Court exercises Civil jurisdiction over all civil matters involving Indians within the boundaries of the reservation.

Law Library

Housed in the jury room there is a law library that is available to the public. In addition to many hard cover subscriptions the law library also has a computer with access to West Law and the internet.


The court employs a Chief Judge, an Associate Judge, a Chief Clerk, a Deputy Clerk, a Probation Officer, a Post-Disposition Probation Officer and a Court Advocate.

Amendment IV