The Court of Appeals was established by the Tribal Council to hear and decide appeals on the law taken from judgments, orders or rulings of the Tribal Court in accordance with CSKT Laws Codified 103-A. On June 27, 1995, the Tribal Council separated the Court of Appeals from the Tribal Court and established a five-member Appellate Justice panel. The Appellate Court is comprised of one Chief Justice, two Attorney Associate Justices, and two Tribal Member Lay Associate Justices. The Chief Justice is appointed to serve a four-year term, and the Associate Justices are appointed to serve a three-year term.
Each panel to hear a case is comprised of two attorney justices and one tribal member lay justice, unless a rehearing en banc is granted. In that case, it is re-heard before the panel of all five justices.
The types of cases that come before the Court of Appeals vary, including child custody, divorces, civil, criminal, probate, juvenile, and small claims.
The Appellate Court convenes in its regular sessions the second week of February, April, June, and October. It may hold special sessions if necessary.
The Chief Justice must be an attorney at law. William Joseph “Joe” Moran served as Chief Justice of the Appellate Court from 2003-2008. Justice Moran was the first CSKT tribal member to serve as Appellate Court Chief Justice. In his honor, Tribal Council named the Appellate Courtroom the WILLIAM JOSEPH MORAN APPELLATE COURTROOM.