Valley Center, CA
The Intertribal Court of Southern California (ICSC) was formed in 2002 when the Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association received a grant from the United States Department of Justice. The ICSC began operation in August of 2006.
The purpose of the ICSC is to provide its member tribes with an independent and culturally sensitive forum in which to present and resolve disputes.
The scope of the ICSC’s jurisdiction is defined by its member tribes, meaning that each tribe dictates which of its cases the ICSC is authorized to hear. Currently, the ICSC hears a variety of cases including public safety issues, tort claims, environmental issues, family law, conservatorships, enrollment issues, exclusions, and more. The ICSC handles evictions for the All Mission Indian Housing Authority and hears a limited number of cases for several tribes not formally part of the ICSC consortium. The ICSC also offers mediation and arbitration services and hears appeals.
The ICSC functions as a circuit court, with judges traveling to each reservation to resolve cases based on each tribe’s laws, customs, and traditions. The ICSC hears an average of 580 cases per year.
The ICSC serves a consortium of tribes from across southern California. To join the ICSC, a tribe must adopt the ICSC Inter-Governmental Agreement by resolution. The tribe then appoints a representative to the ICSC Judicial Council, the ICSC’s governing body.