Skip to main content
This section is included in your selections.

A. A database of eligible jurors shall be maintained by the Court containing data supplied by the Osage Nation Membership Office, the Osage Nation Human Resources Department and the Human Resources Department or its equivalent at each of the Osage Nation’s enterprises, agencies, subdivisions, and instrumentalities, including the entity responsible for tracking all residents of the Pawhuska, Hominy, and Grayhorse Indian villages. The database shall contain the eligible juror’s full name, date of birth, mailing address and residential address. The data shall be provided to the Court Administrator in secure electronic form on an appropriate portable storage device. The eligible juror list shall be updated by the Court using data supplied by the above entities from time to time, but no less than once in each year at the close of the fiscal year.

B. The Court shall provide for the selection of names of persons eligible for service as jurors. Jurors shall be eighteen (18) years of age or older with no felony convictions and, notwithstanding any other law of the Osage Nation, shall be chosen from the following classes of persons:

1. Osage Nation tribal members living within seventy-five (75) miles of the Osage Nation Court;

2. Residents of the Pawhuska Indian Village, Hominy Indian Village, the Grayhorse Indian Village and Osage Nation Housing; and

3. Employees of the Osage Nation or any of its enterprises, agencies, subdivisions, or instrumentalities who have been employed for at least one continuous year prior to being called as a juror.

C. Juries will be comprised of six jurors, and one or more alternate jurors as determined by the Court. A person may be excused from serving on a jury upon good cause shown under oath to a Judge. Jurors whose employers provide for compensated leave for jury service shall not be excused by the Court because of work-related responsibilities, except under extraordinary circumstances. The Judge shall consider the needs of the Court to maintain an adequate jury pool before allowing jurors to be excused for employment reasons. Elected officials shall be exempt from serving on juries during their terms of office.

1. The Clerk of the Court will randomly select a minimum of fifty (50) names from the jury pool.

2. The Court shall issue summons and thereby notify persons selected for jury service. Persons selected for jury service shall be summoned by mail or personal service. Persons who do not appear after proper notice of jury service shall be subject to contempt of Court.

D. After summoning jurors and before trial, or at a time designated by the Court, the Clerk shall notify the Court and counsel of the names of the members of the jury pool appearing for selection. In selecting a jury from among the panel members, the initial questioning of the jurors shall be conducted by the Judge in order to determine whether each prospective juror is capable of being fair and impartial. Questions to be asked by the Court shall include as appropriate whether a panel member:

1. Is directly related to any person involved in the action, including, but not limited to, the parties, counsel, alleged victims, or any prospective witness;

2. Is or has been involved in any business, financial, professional, or personal relationship with a party or alleged victim;

3. Has had any previous involvement in a civil or criminal lawsuit or dispute with a party or alleged victim;

4. Has a financial or personal interest in the outcome of the action before the Court; or

5. Has formed an opinion as to the defendant’s guilt.

E. When the Court determines that a juror is prejudiced or cannot act impartially, the juror shall be excused. After questioning by the Judge, both parties may question the jurors using the struck jury system. Either party may question the jurors concerning the nature of the action, including burden of proof in criminal cases and the presumption of innocence. The Judge may limit examination of jurors when the Judge believes such examination to be improper or unacceptably time consuming.

F. All challenges must be made to the Tribal Court before the jury is empanelled and sworn. When a potential challenge for cause is discovered after the jury is sworn, and before the introduction of any evidence, the Court may allow a challenge for cause to be made.

1. Each party shall have unlimited challenges for cause. Each challenge must be tried and determined by the Court at the time the challenge is made.

2. Each party shall have two peremptory challenges. In criminal cases where defendants are tried together, the prosecution and defense shall each be entitled to one additional peremptory challenge.

G. Any objection to the manner in which the venire or jury has been selected or drawn shall be raised by motion to discharge. It shall be the duty of the Court to conduct a hearing on any motion to discharge. The burden of proof shall be on the movant. If the Court finds that the venire was improperly selected or drawn, the Court shall order a new venire. If the Court finds that the jury was improperly selected or drawn, the Court shall order the jury discharged and the selection or drawing of a new jury.

H. No person shall be qualified to sit on a jury panel in the Tribal Court in any case where that person has a direct interest or wherein any relative, by marriage or blood, in the first or second degree is a party; nor shall any party be required to use a peremptory challenge to remove a person not qualified to serve as a juror under this section. This section shall not be construed as the sole cause upon which a juror may be challenged for cause, and other conflicts of interest shall be considered by the Judge.

I. In the event there is a shortage of jurors, the Court may call upon anyone eligible to serve as a juror in the case without giving any advance notice.

J. Every person who is required to attend Court for selection or service as a juror shall be entitled to a flat fee in the amount set forth in the court’s fee schedule for each day for compensation and travel.

K. The jury shall be sworn in by the Court. Any juror who violates the oath may be held in contempt of Court and may be held in the Tribal Jail for up to six months, or fined up to One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or both.

L. Once empanelled, jurors shall be instructed by the Judge that it is their duty not to converse among themselves or with anyone else on any subject connected with the trial, or to form or express any opinion thereon, until the issues of the case are finally submitted to them. Jurors may be allowed to take notes, in the discretion of the Court. At each adjournment recess prior to submission of the case to the jury, jurors’ notes shall be collected by the Bailiff and the Judge shall instruct the jurors as to whether they may separate or must remain in the care of the Bailiff or other proper officer of the Court.

M. Upon request by either party, the Court may allow the jury to view any place or property deemed pertinent to the just determination of the case. If viewing of a place or property is deemed appropriate, the Court shall place the jury under the custody of the Bailiff, or other proper officer of the Court, who shall then transport the jury to the viewing place. The place or property will be shown to the jury by a person appointed by the Court for that purpose, and the jurors may personally inspect the same. The Bailiff, or other proper officer of the Court, must ensure that no person speaks or otherwise communicates with the jury, on any subject connected with the trial, while viewing the place or property or traveling to or from the viewing site. After the jury has viewed the place or property, the Bailiff, or other proper officer of the Court, shall return the jurors to the courtroom without unnecessary delay or at a specified time, as directed by the Court.

N. The submission, content, dispute and record of jury instructions shall be:

1. Each party shall propose jury instructions in writing as set forth by the criminal procedure rules of this Title. If no jury instructions are submitted to the Court, the Judge may order one or more parties to submit jury instructions.

2. If either party desires a special instruction to be given to the jury, such proposed instruction shall be reduced to writing, signed by the party offering the instruction, and delivered to the Judge.

3. All jury instructions shall adequately inform the jurors of:

a. Which decisions are made by the jury and which by the Presiding Judge;

b. The issues of fact in the case;

c. The rules of law to be applied to the issues of fact; and

d. The burden of proof with respect to each issue of fact.

4. A party not offering a proposed instruction shall be allowed reasonable opportunity to examine the proposed instruction and object to it. The objection must specifically state on what grounds the instruction is not an accurate statement of the law or is not an appropriate instruction for this particular case and, therefore, should not be given. A dispute regarding a proposed jury instruction must be settled during a settlement hearing outside the presence of the jury. Parties must note any objections to the jury instructions at the settlement of instructions or in writing prior to the settling hearing. A record must be made at the hearing to settle instructions.

5. After all evidence has been presented, and before closing arguments, the Court shall give both general and specific instructions to the jurors. For the record, but not for the jury, the Court shall mark or endorse each instruction in such a manner that shall distinctly reflect what proposed instructions were rejected, what were given in whole, and what were modified, together with the Court’s reasons for giving as requested, as modified, or for refusing a proposed instruction. All proposed instructions are part of the Court record. All objections to jury instructions must be noted on the Court record, as well as the Court’s reasons for either giving as requested, as modified, or for refusing a proposed instruction.

O. After closing arguments, the Court shall commit the jury to the care of a Bailiff or other officer of the Court who shall keep the jurors together and prevent communication between the jurors and others. Upon retiring to deliberate, the jurors shall select a juror as foreperson. After the jury has retired for deliberation, if there is any disagreement among the jurors as to the testimony or if the jurors desire to be informed on any point of law arising in the cause, they shall notify the Bailiff or the officer appointed to keep them together who shall then notify the Court. The information requested may be given, in the discretion of the Court, after consultation with the parties.

P. Upon retiring for deliberation, the jurors shall take with them the written jury instructions read by the Court, exhibits admitted into evidence, and specific other exhibits. Jurors’ notes may be taken into the jury room at the discretion of the Court. All evidence that has been admitted may be allowed in the jury room, unless the Judge finds good cause not to permit it in the jury room.

Q. While the jury is absent, the Court may adjourn or conduct other business, but it must be open for every purpose connected with the cause submitted to the jury until a verdict is returned or the jury discharged.

R. The jury shall return a verdict as instructed by the Court and for each offense charged. The verdict must be unanimous in all criminal actions. The verdict must be signed by the foreperson and returned by the jury to the Judge in open Court. When two or more defendants are involved in the case before the jury, the jurors may reach a verdict regarding any one of the defendants. If the jury cannot agree with respect to all the defendants, the defendant or defendants as to whom it does not agree may be tried again.

S. When a verdict is returned, but before it is recorded, the jury shall be polled at the request of any party or upon the Court’s own motion. If the results of the poll show that the verdict does not reflect the verdict returned, the jury may be directed to return for further deliberations or may be discharged at the Court’s discretion.

T. When the jury has reached a verdict or has determined that it shall be unable to do so, even with additional deliberation, the Court shall discharge the jurors from service. ONCA 19-79, eff. Sept. 30, 2019.