Tribal Code Title 5. Dispute Resolution, Sec. 5-2301(a): The Trial Court shall be comprised of at least three Judges, one of whom shall be designated by the Tribal Council as Chief Judge of the Trial Court, all appointed by the Tribal Council for a term of four years. Sec. 5-2301 (d): In the event a permanent vacancy occurs in the Trial Court which results in an insufficient number of Judges remaining on the Trial Court, the Tribal Council shall appoint another Judge in accordance with this Article to ensure the minimum number of required Judges under this Section.
The primary function of the judges is to resolve matters brought before the Tribal Court. The Meskwaki Tribal Court is a court of general jurisdiction, meaning that they hear both civil and criminal cases falling within their jurisdiction. Trial Tribal Court judges are recognized as having such authority as is needed to dispose of matters brought before them, ranging from setting the dates for trials and hearings, dispute resolutions, and holding parties in contempt or otherwise sanctioning them for improper behavior.
Christopher Nydle was sworn in as an Associate Judge for the Trial Court of the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa on November 20, 2023.
Judge Nydle began his legal career in private practice, including representing individuals in both criminal and civil matters before the Meskwaki Tribal Court. He then served as the Tribal Prosecutor and an Assistant Attorney General for the Meskwaki Nation from 2012-2021, representing the Tribe and its various departments in matters before the Meskwaki Tribal Court, Iowa District Court, and a variety of other surrounding state court systems. Before returning to the Meskwaki Nation as an Associate Judge, he served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Cedar Rapids.
Judge Nydle grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa and earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Iowa. After a brief foray in the non-profit world, Judge Nydle obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from Drake University Law School, where he was a Public Service Scholar and graduated with honors.
Judge Nydle resides in Cedar Rapids with his wife and 3 children. On the weekends you will likely find him cheering on his children from the sidelines of the soccer field, or in the dugout coaching his son’s youth baseball team.