Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe Swearing In Officers of Virginia’s First Tribal Court


Contact: Carol Adams, Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe
Phone: (804) 769-0041
Email: carol.adams@umitribe.gov


King William, Virginia – December 30, 2023. Join the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe (UMIT) on January 2, 2024 at 10 a.m. at the Sharon Indian School for the swearing in of their Tribal Court officers. The UMIT’s Tribal Court will be the first one in Virginia recognized by the U.S. Department of Indian Affairs. Following the ceremony, attendees are invited to meet the new court officials and share in light refreshments.

“Establishing Virginia’s first Tribal Court is a significant milestone for our community and for the Commonwealth,” said Chief W. Frank Adams. “Our Tribal Court enables us to deal with most of the legal issues facing our tribal members using our tribal law.”

The UMIT Tribal Court will consider civil matters including: divorce, guardianship, custody, child support, determination of paternity, name change, business contracts, personal injury, probate of non-trust property, and other civil disputes. It will also hear criminal misdemeanor cases involving Indians that occur within Tribal jurisdiction.

The ceremony will be conducted by Chief Justice Melissa Holds the Enemy. Two additional High Court Justices will also be in attendance, Dr. Brian Cameron (Tribal Citizen) and Associate Justice Jack Trope.

The UMIT members being sworn in are: Chief Frank Adams, Assistant Chief Lou Wratchford, and Council Representatives Lenny Adams, Kenneth Adams, Owen Adams, Rob Adams, Desiree Dyer, Wilma Hicks, and Harry “Sonny” Knighton.

The Upper Mattaponi Tribe resides in its traditional territory which is centered around the historic Sharon Indian School in King William County, 13383 William Road in King William, Virginia.