By Joe Morey
An emergency curfew has been declared by the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board (TGB) instructing all minor children 15 years or younger, and not accompanied or supervised by a responsible adult, to remain indoors within their dwellings between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am every day, including weekends.
The TGB resolution took effect on Monday, Oct. 16, and is a temporary order for 60 days, at which time it will be reevaluated.
“As a result of recent violence, theft, gang activity, and damage to tribal and private property within the reservation boundaries, the Tribal Governing Board is taking necessary actions to protect the community and our members,” the Resolution states. “And in response to requests for assistance from tribal members and government entities, is establishing a temporary emergency response within the reservation to protect our community.”
The resolution directs all tribal law enforcement to enforce the curfew by detaining any children found in violation of the curfew order and return them to the dwelling of a relative or responsible adult.
“Citations shall be issued to the parent or legal guardian for any child that violates this temporary emergency curfew; all parents and legal guardians will have a right to appear in the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Court to contest the citation and monetary forfeiture resulting from the curfew violations.”
The TGB took the action in response to reports from tribal police of youth as young as middle school age congregating in large groups late at night, and from the LCO Ojibwe School Superintendent, Jessica Hutchison, that middle school students had been witnessed engaging in gang behavior at the school using hand gestures and signs and/or wearing their hats/clothing in ways that demonstrate gang affiliation.
The school also put out a statement that they would deal with the behavior as a Class I offense which may result in in-school suspensions or out-of-school suspensions, in addition to parent contacts and law enforcement intervention. The school will continue to take opportunities to provide education on the hazards of gang involvement to all students and encourage parents and community members to do the same in order to provide a safe school and community for all.is asking parents and community members teach all of our youth about the dangers of gang activity.
The Tribe has an outstanding curfew ordinance that prohibited minors 15 years and younger to be on foot, bicycle or in any type of vehicle on any public street, avenue, highway, road, alleyway, park, school grounds, swimming beach, cemetery, playground, public building, private residences left open to the public without the presence of adult supervision, or any other public place on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am; unless accompanied by his or her parent, legal guardian, or another person having lawful custody and control of his or her person, or unless there exists a reasonable necessity therefore.
The emergency order extends those hours to 10 pm and 7 am.
The current curfew ordinance remains in effect for 16 and 17 year olds, which prohibits them out between the hours of 11:00pm and 6:00am Sunday through Thursday and between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00am Friday and Saturday; unless accompanied by his or her parent, legal guardian, or another person having lawful custody and control of his or her person, or unless there exists a reasonable necessity therefore.
The ordinance provides for the following exceptions.
(A) Who is on his or her own premises or in the area immediately adjacent thereto.
(B) Whose employment, paid or otherwise, makes it necessary to be on the streets, alleys or public places or in any other motor vehicle during such hours.
(C) Who is attending an official school activity, an activity sponsored by a religious or community organization or any other supervised cultural, educational or social event or is going to or returning from, without any detour or stop, such activity.
(D) Who is otherwise lawfully exercising treaty-protected hunting, fishing, or gathering rights.
The ordinance explains authorization of detention as, “Every law enforcement officer is hereby authorized to detain any minor an officer reasonably believes is violating the provisions of this chapter until such time as the parent, guardian or person having legal custody of the minor shall be immediately notified as soon as possible thereafter report to the police or sheriff's department for the purpose of taking physical custody of the minor and shall sign a release for him or her. If no response is received, the police or sheriff's department shall cite the minor under the applicable section of this ordinance, and if a parent or guardian cannot be located, deliver the minor to his or her residence if the conditions at the residence are suitable. If conditions at the residence are unsuitable, or if the minor is under ten (10) years of age, the police or sheriff's department shall refer the minor and request a transfer of custody to the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Child Welfare Department or Sawyer County Social Services Department.”
(a) Warning. The first time any person is suspected of violating any provisions of this chapter, the person may be given a warning and advised of the general requirements of this chapter and that a subsequent violation shall result in the application of a penalty or forfeiture as provided in this section.
(b) Subsequent Offense - Minor. Any minor who has been warned in the manner provided in Section GNC.4.8.050(a) and who thereafter shall violate Section GNC.4.8.030(a) or Section GNC.4.8.030(b) shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit not less than One Dollar ($1.00) nor more than Twenty-Five Dollars ($25.00), together with the cost of prosecution. The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Court may also order the child cited herein to perform community service appropriate to the age of the minor and circumstances of the violation. The parent, guardian or person having legal custody of the minor cited herein is responsible to the court to see that the minor complies with the court-ordered community service.
(c) Subsequent Offense - Parent or Guardian.
(1) Any parent, guardian or person having legal custody of a minor, and who has been warned in the manner provided in Section GNC.4.8.050(a), and when minor thereafter violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a forfeiture of:
(A) not less than Twenty-Five Dollars ($25.00) and not more than Two Hundred-Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for any violation that not been preceded within five (5) years by a previous conviction;
(B) not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) and not more than Two Hundred- Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for any violation occurring within five (5) years after a first conviction;
(C) not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and not more than Two Hundred-Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for any violation occurring within five (5) years after a second conviction;
(D) not less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) and not more than Two Hundred-Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for any violation occurring within five (5) years after a third or subsequent conviction, together with the cost of prosecution.
(2) The Court may also order the parent, guardian or person having legal custody of the minor cited herein to perform community service appropriate to circumstances of the violation.
(d) Other Adults. Any person, firm or organization who has been warned under Section GNC.4.8.050(a) and who thereafter violates Section GNC.4.8.030(e), shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than Twenty-Five Dollars ($25.00) and not more than Two Hundred-Fifty Dollars ($250.00), together with the costs of prosecution.
(e) Responsibility for Payment. The minor and adult or adults cited are responsible for payment of any fines levied herein within sixty (60) days of citation. This subsection expressly prohibits payment of fines levied against a minor or adult herein using Tribal funds.
(f) Consequence of Non-Payment. A minor that does not remit payment for a fine issued under this chapter within sixty (60) days of issuance may be summoned back to court and is subject to suspension or revocation of Tribal benefits, including, but not limited to, hunting, fishing, and housing rights as determined by the Court.