The History of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court was created in May of 1992 to address activities that involve or arise at the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise.  Since that time, 35 titles of statutory law have expanded the court’s jurisdiction.  The court has interpreted and applied this law in over 535 published decisions and appellate opinions.  These are contained in 5 volumes of the Mashantucket Pequot Reports.  The court is best known for the reasoned case law contained in these volumes.  Mashantucket cases have been cited in tribal, state, and federal courts across the country.  While approximately 80 – 85% of the courts case load relates to activities in the resort area, community members and businesses also utilize the court to resolve their differences. 

The court is administered through the office of the Chief Judge.  The body of case law has been produced in equal measure from the outstanding trial and appellate judges who have served on the reservation.  Currently, Chief Judge Thomas J. Londregan administers the court and presides on the trial bench with trial judge Edward B. O’Connell.  Appellate Judges Gregory H Bigler and Jill E Tompkins serve on the Court of Appeals. 

Former Chief Judges include Thomas W. Weissmuller, Jill E. Shibles and Rochelle Ducheneaux.  Former trial and appellate judges include Jane Freeman, Barbara M. Quinn, Jean M. Lucasey, Arthur H. Latimer, Keith M. Harper, and the late Robert C. Zampano.  Present staff members are Jennifer Apes, Clerk of Courts; Patricia Brune, Administrative Assistant III; Andrew R. Cannon, Director of Probation, Family Investigation and PTI Services; and Paul J. Mitchell, Bailiff. The Court also retains a law school graduate to fulfill the duties of Law Clerk on an annual basis, and strives to fill the position with a Native American student of Indian Law.