Monday, July 28, 2014  

Suquamish Tribal Court - Grace Duggan Justice Center

Suquamish Tribal Court - Grace Duggan Justice Center
360.394.8521 phone
360.598.5333 fax
18490 Suquamish Way NE, Suite 105
Suquamish, WA 98392

Justice Center Programs:

- Tribal Prosecutor's Office
- Court Spokesperson
- Drug Court
- Mediation

Services provided to Tribal Members:

The Suquamish Tribal Court provides most services that you would find in other courts, such as:

Civil paperwork for the following matter: Child Support, Civil Claims, Name Change, Parenting Plans, Protection Orders and Dissolutions. The Court Spokesperson can usually assist Tribal Members in filling out these forms.   If the court cannot help you, we can refer you to someone who can help you.

Submitted by Jamie Barringer
The Suquamish Tribe Family Treatment Court (FTC) has been up and running since August 2010, when we welcomed our first participant. The development and purpose of the FTC, through a multidisciplinary approach, is to support the healing of Suquamish parents, ensuring that children have safe and permanent homes. Additional FTC goals consist of breaking the cycle of addiction, reuniting families, and assisting participants to be self sufficient in the community. Participants in the FTC must be Eighteen (18) years or older, have an active Suquamish Youth in Need of Care ICW case, a strong desire to change their life, a willingness to seek treatment for Chemical Dependency issues, no history of sex/violent crimes, no domestic violence history, and no active criminal cases. The FTC’s most important request of the participant is the willingness to change; for themselves, their children, their families, and the community as a whole. Participants in FTC have the support of several department representatives throughout the course of their program. As a team the FTC staff awards incentives to the participants for full compliance, and on occasion the team has to order sanctions for lack of compliance. FTC hearings are held every other week, where the participants, compliant or not, are welcomed by the supporting FTC team. The FTC team of staff consists of Judge Randal Steckel, Chief Court clerk Kathy Bradley, ICW Vicky Doyle and Dennis Deaton, Wellness Chemical Dependency Professional/Supervisor Grace Jones, Suquamish Attorney for ICW Liz McCormick, Wellness Psychiatrist Dr. Ann Bruce (as needed for consultation), Bailiff Riel Padron, and Tribal Court Spokesperson/Advocate Jamie Barringer. Each team member plays an important role in the success of the program as well as the success of the participants.
Chief Judge Randal Steckel leads the Family Treatment court team in regards to case focus, input from parties, and issuing the final orders after each court session. For the court the family treatment court has been an exciting and promising program. It combines a mix of social work and law in trying to keep families together. The atmosphere of the proceeding is meant to be helpful and nurturing combined with responsibility and, when appropriate, sanctions. The court has at its disposal a trained, culturally appropriate ICW worker, a vigorous court advocate and a committed wellness program that can provide mental health and/or drug/alcohol treatment. In addition, as the cases proceed, the family treatment court staff will assist with helping families get transportation, employment and housing. The court is proud and thankful to the tribal council and the family treatment court team in allowing such a community based program to be established with the goal of helping families be united, healthy and strong, not just for themselves but, for the Suquamish Tribal Community as well.
Kathy Bradley, Chief Court Clerk and Court Administrator not only manages the court clerk duties for the Family Treatment Court program, she also assists with the Family Treatment Court grant duties. Kathy, as an elder of the Suquamish Tribe, not only provides her applause and kudos to the FTC participants when in compliance, but she also gives excellent heart to heart talks with clients who may be struggling.
Grace Jones, CDP, Chemical Dependency Supervisor, at the Wellness Center, plays a very important role in the FTC team. Not only does she coordinate and provide alcohol and other drug treatment services for our participants, she additionally composes reports for the court in which the participant’s participation and compliance with treatment requirements is reflected.
Liz McCormick, Attorney for ICW, is the assigned attorney for the Indian Child Welfare Department. She attends all court hearings and monitors progress of the Family Treatment Court cases as well as the underlying dependency cases. Liz attends and participates in FTC staffings and advises on any pending legal issues that arise. In addition, she represents the interests of ICW, including bringing a focus in the discussions to the best interests and needs of the child and tribal community as a whole.
Vicky Doyle and Dennis Deaton from ICW, are key players in the FTC team as well. Their role consists of:
1. Support the healing of parents to ensure children have safe and permanent homes.
2. Identify, provide, and monitor appropriate services for families through a multidisciplinary approach.
3. Ensure parents are able to care for themselves.
4. Break the cycle of addiction.
5. Reunite families whenever possible.

6. Assist participants to build a framework in which they can be self-sufficient.

7. Provide strong and active efforts to maintain the family, if there is no eminent danger to the child.

Riel Padron, Bailiff, does more than just monitor the court during our FTC hearings. Riel assists FTC participants in obtaining resources for community service hours, and helps to monitor those hours, if needed. Riel also assists in monitoring Urine Drug Screens as requested by the court for FTC participants.
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